I totally get where you're coming from, I used to have the same problem! When I was first starting out digitally I would sketch out my drawing on paper and then I would take a picture of it so I could import it onto my tablet. I would just color on top of the sketch and do all the line work digitally. It was super helpful and also helped me learn all the elements of drawing digitally.
However, if you want to draw straight on the digital program I would suggest keep practicing. Drawing digitally is quite different then drawing traditionally, and definitely takes lots of practice!
I suggest tracing some of your traditional sketches for a while to help you get the feel for how to adjust to the tablet better? I'm more confident in my traditional art too and if I had a scanner and Photoshop that's probably all I'd use...
I had the same problem. I could draw on paper fine but on the tablet it was weird.
For me it came down to these 4 things:
1. Your mapping settings. If you are mapping your tablet to your screen and the two have drastically different resolutions your lines will just look weird. Slightly skewed.
2. Your driver. If you are not using the correct driver for your system your drawing will look distorted in this vague way that you wont be able to put your finger on but will loathe
3. Knowing ALL of the tool modifications and how they work. Unless you know how every setting and advanced setting affects your lines, your lines will be unpredictable. If you are trying to draw calligraphic lineart but you have Transfer setting on it will make your lines blurry and you'll be mad. So make sure you are using the right tool at the right setting at the right time. Tedious, but necessary
4. Practice. Not just practicing by drawing a lot and hoping it'll turn out right, but specific pactice by making certain lines and seeing how they turn out. Envision the line you want, try to make it, and if it turns out wrong, look for why that might be. Is it too dark? Too fuzzy? Jagged? Thick? Too hard? Then when you find out what you dislike, start looking for other brushes that might do what you want or changing your brush settings to get the right effect. Is the stroke not round enough? Is it flattening in an area and should be rounder? Whatever the problem is go through tool options and try things that might fix it. In this way you can learn what settings and situations and types of hand movements create the kind of lines digitally that you like to make traditionally.
Hope this helps! It really helped me. I'm not good yet but I'm not struggling all the time anymore, so that's a relief.
nextARTISTFeatured By OwnerDec 21, 2015Student Digital Artist
Hey this is a good question. I can't really relate because I got the hang of using a tablet after a few days but I can try to offer advice. The "shaky lines" are definitely an issue. I use gimp with my tablet and on the ink tool (and brush) there is a feature called smoothing. If you put this all the way up the program follows behind your pen and smooths out the lines as you draw them. I'm sure any good software has something like this so you should look for it. Before I found it on gimp I had the same problem as you. After that, its really just up to how easily you can get used to drawing while looking at the screen. If you find it's too awkward you could always draw on paper and scan it in to the computer and go over the lines.
Do you use your tablet often? Like with all new tools, it takes time until you get used to it, so if you haven't been using your tablet often enough, you won't be use to it. And if you are using it often, it could be a mental block on your end too. Some people just can't make the transition (which is totally fine) from traditional to digital. I have a feeling your tablet is one where you look at the screen instead of the 'drawing'. That can take some time getting used to. I think it took me all summer to get used to the idea, but a couple of years for my art to improve; I used tutorials, videos and just general playing around with the programs to get a feel for it. Hand-eye co-ordination is super important, so if yours is good, you should get the hang of it soon.
As for the shaky lines, my hands are pretty bad for that. But that's the thing I like about digital art. Most programs come with a stabilizer function, so your lines can mimic the shakiness of your hands or it can be smoothed out automatically while you draw. Play around with the stabilizer to see which settings work for you (I use SAI, so I usually hover in between S3-S6).
You have to get used to drawing in one place, and seeing the results in another place. This takes time.
So: take that time. Unplug your computer's mouse and out it in a drawer. Cover up your laptop's trackpad. Use the tablet for everything. After a few days you'll find that you've become a lot more confident when drawing with it.
Definitely hard to do but you can do it! 99% of the time your screen is bigger than your tablet so the ratio of tablet to screen is multiplied.
I also noticed that you said your lineart is shakey. Maybe you're drawing wrong. When you draw your lineart TRADITIONALLY, do you draw slowly or swing your hand and/or elbow? If the former, then you ARE drawing wrong. If the latter, you should have little problem transitioning to using a tablet even if the tablet is smoother than traditional paper.
If you're still having trouble, maybe start with an Ipad or the like . It's the closest thing to a traditional media.
Well, to be honest. A tablet, to me to make myself clear, is a pencil and piece of paper to me. If you aren't used to drawing to the tablet, then it could be potentially be the hardware itself, or you just aren't used to drawing on something that isn't a pencil and piece of paper. And I would like to see some of your traditional and digital to compare the two to see where the differences lie heavily in. If you have shaky lines, thats something you have to learn to stop doing. Like drawing from elbow, shoulder and knowing when to draw with fingers vs wrists. That kind of stuff, yaknow?
I had same problem some years ago. I was shocked why I can't draw on tablet if I can on the paper. What helped me is copying! I opened a simple picture in my drawing program and copied the line art. I got used to use digital tablet quickly.
yeah there's a slight style and line difference with a tablet. if your traditional art is so good try scanning it/taking photo and then working over that. that way you can color it and go over your lines too.
which will both help you get clean sketches and practice your drawings with a tablet
when I first got my tablet I had the same problem. For me it was such a wild departure from what I was used to doing, I knew in my head, that it shouldn't have been difficult but when I tired to do simple things like drawing a circle I just couldn't.
I think the it's more of a mind over matter sort of thing. Yes it's different; it's going to feel different and take some time to fully master because it's not the same as drawing on paper. but if you let it defeat you then that's what's going to happen.
For me I took small steps. I played around with the settings started off with trying to make straight-ish lines and stuff like that and moved on to stick figures, basically I had to teach myself how to draw all over again. Now I'd say I draw better on my tablet than on paper.
That's maybe cause you don't understand how to use a tablet maybe. The main use of a tablet is the pen pressure sensitivity. I have a Tablet(not Wacom one) and it was damn hard and uncomfortable at first to work with. I tried drawing directly on the tablet and sucked Like Hell,but then I realised its stupid to use the tablet completely from A to Z to do everything. Tablets are not papers(until and unless it's a screen one). You focus completely on the screen while you move your hand around the tablet. If you suck at drawing using the tablet like me then first draw traditionally on a paper and then take a pic of it or scan it to get it inside the Computer and then work on it for coloring. As for the common problems many face with drawing smooth lines these videos should help you out www.youtube.com/watch?v=be8gp7…
Use the Pen tool for getting smooth lines. Make sure you have the Wacom ones, other brands suck usually.
Same problem with many peoples, because you watch the screen while drawing. Or a. Very weird things.. If you haven't adjusted tab working area as screen resolution ratio Solution if you have big budget. Then buy drawing screen. Where you can see. Picture you drawing.
The same way you can draw well with a pencil and not paint well with a brush.
A tablet is not a pencil, and it is not a brush, but it is the looks that gave you that false impression to think it was like a pencil of real pen, and maybe a brush all in one.
The brush has different widths with how much pressure you use, and a pencil don't, but it draws finer or softer lines that can be erased easier, but no matter how it is like something you are not drawing or painting on a piece of paper. You work on a digital screen from a remote position.
If you are just learning then give yourself time to learn to work with digital, and if you have ever worked with watercolors, pastels, and paints then you should know that every different type of medium has it own thing it does best. Like the pencil can draw lines, and it is no good for painting or filling large areas with color. If you work with digital art enough you will see what is hard to do and what is easy. Then it would be better to do things that is easy, because there are many ways to do things and the hard way is not the best way.
If you really want to see improvements then draw small, because drawing across a lot of pixel blocks is easier to do than across many that can go any direction and show every shake and mistake. Doodle with something small so you can try doing many ideas and get some experience. You will see more improvements because you did more small artwork than your whole 5 years.
I've been drawing traditionally my entire life so far...I started drawing digitally over the last year, and while my art isnt superb right now, I do like where I'm headed. I get on my Wacom tablet almost everyday and try to either draw or draw & ink something digitally. It's one of those things where it takes a LOT of patience & persistence. I used to be the same way because I had an old Wacom that has the plastic cover which felt funny trying to do art on- plus I wasnt used to looking at the screen while I drew on the tablet; those two factors kept me from working digitally for years. I finally decided to give digital a try with Manga Studio(and a new Wacom tablet) after a friend of mine did some digital work for me and I saw how clean and nice his digi-inks were. I havent looked back since...
My whole thing is, dont get all serious and stressed out about it- once you get to the level where you're doing really nice digital you'll look back on this...but just keep at it. Art is supposed to be stress reducing, not stress inducing.
omg you wouldnt believe the stress i had w shaky digital lines what program do you use? i found out after using ps for ages that it doesnt have stabiliser settings so it picks up aaaalll the lil squiggles and tiny movements your hand makes, the stabilisation depending on the number you set it too smooths your lines out for you i tried firealpaca which i heard had stabilisation settings and ahhhh instant line improvemenT some other programs that have stabilisation are sai and manga studio
good luck w it though i know how frustrating that is omfg
With my traditional art, the lines tend to be sketchy most of the time but I smooth them out pretty easily. I've been doing digital art for around 5 years like I said. Wouldn't the "block" go away by then??O:
At this point I might find videos with people who are using your specific drawing software and doing things that you specifically want to do with it. Sometimes getting that shakiness fixed really comes down to the details of tools and settings.
Or, worst comes to worst, you can draw roughs on paper, photograph it, and go over it with the pen/vector tool.