It has been half a year since I bought my Lenovo Thinkpad tablet and I couldn’t be happier with how my drawing/painting skills have progressed in that time. They just came out with a second generation Thinkpad with Windows 8, but I am usig the first generation model with Android. Before I purchased the tablet, I mostly would use a basic 2B pencil and do value sketching in a traditional sketchbook. There is a lot to learn with that, but I really yearned for doing quick sketches and drawings in color. Using color always made me anxious before, and that is what probably bothered me the most.
Six months later after extensive use, the tablet has really been a useful sketchbook tool. I take it with me almost everywhere I go. I can go to lunch and paint the waitress, or just sit on a park bench and paint the trees on a nice sunny day. No need to worry about mixing paints, or making a mess on my work clothes. Worse case scenario is that it squawks at me saying it is low on batteries.
Of course you have to worry about the battery life, but having a low power tablet has the great benefit enabling long drawing sessions. I have drawn for six or seven hours in a sitting and didn’t have to worry about charging it. I really think that having a huge battery life is probably one of the most important things with a “mobile sketchbook”. The freedom it gives you makes it feel more like a tool than another accessory.
A few points when sketching with a tablet
- Don’t fiddle around too much with settings. It can be tempting, but it really gets distracting and makes it hard to be relaxed.
- Pick a couple of brushes and a few colors, and stick with them. Again, all of the options are distracting.
- Don’t abuse the undo button. Just paint over your mistakes. It is more natural and ends up creating more character in the piece.
- Drawing on glass is different feeling, so concentrate on what you see an not how your hand feels. You get use to it.
Here are some of the sketches I have done with it. They are in a random order, so the quality of the sketch is probably closely related to how long I have had it. I go to a lot of figure drawing meetup groups, so that is where all of the naked ladies are coming from. Let me know if anyone else has started using tablets for sketching. I would love to hear your experience!