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Hello there,

I recently bought a new Wacom product, a pen-computer Mobile Studio Pro 13. I'll give my thoughts about it on this journal

I wanted to replace my Cintiq 13HD because its cable connection is getting bad (which seems to be common for that particular model). The device still works very well as long as the cable is in right position. I don't think it's worth selling due to this little fault, but I'm considering to give it away as a contest prize some day. Anyway, to the review:

1. Model specific information and price 3/5:

There are total of 5 models with varying specs of Mobile Studio Pro, three with 13,3'' screen and two with 15,6'' screen. The prices (at Wacom e-store excluding discount campaign) and specs go as follows:
  • MSP 13,3'': $1800, WIN 10 Home, Intel Core i5-6267U 2,9 GHz, 128 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM DDR3, Intel Iris Graphics 550, WHQD 2560x1440, 96% Adobe RBG
  • MSP 13,3'': $2000, WIN 10 Pro, Intel Core i7-6567U 3,3 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM DDR3, Intel Iris Graphics 550, WHQD 2560x1440, 96% Adobe RBG
  • MSP 13,3'': $2400, WIN 10 Pro, Intel Core i7-6567U 3,3 GHz, 512 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM DDR3, Intel Iris Graphics 550, WHQD 2560x1440, 96% Adobe RBG
  • MSP 15,6'': $2400, WIN 10 Pro, Intel Core i5-6267U 2,9 GHz, 256 Gt SSD, 8 GB RAM DDR3, NVIDIA Quadro M600M 2 GB, 4K 3840x2160, 94% Adobe RBG
  • MSP 15,6'': $3300, WIN 10 Pro, Intel Core i7-6567U 3,3 GHz, 512 Gt SSD, 16 GB RAM DDR3, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4 GB, 4K 3840x2160, 94% Adobe RBG
You can check full list of specs from wacom website: www.wacom.com/en-us/products/p…

These aren't especially cheap, especially by specs alone. I purchased the bolded one on the list above, because I believe it had the best utility to cost ratio for my needs. My primary criteria was portability, so the larger model was out of question. The second criteria was physical buttons on the bezel, which ruled out Cintiq Pro models (they need wireless remote or just a keyboard on the side). I'm fine with the WHQD resolution, I did enjoy old Cintiq 13HD 1080p resolution already, which also convinced me to go for the smaller MSP model. The downside is having less capable GPU although all the different GPU options are fairly close to each other and ranked very low on the list of other high end GPUs at www.videocardbenchmark.net. The CPU is also ranked very low on the list of high end CPUs at www.cpubenchmark.net. Although some more SSD space would have been neat (though that can be compensated with a SD card), I'm fine with 8 GB RAM (I used to do just fine with my laptop which had 6 GB RAM). Gotta mention though, the RAM can't be expanded later.

2. The device 4/5:

What comes to the quality of the product, it feels and looks amazing like professional products should. There are 6 buttons (8 on larger models) and 4-in-1 functions touch ring (with windows button in the middle) on the bezel, along with power switch, volume controls and auto-rotate switch on the side. There are also two cameras, which are more like curiosities (top end models on both sizes have 3D cameras/scanners, but I had read they aren't quite as functional as one would hope). There are three USB-C ports, 3.5 mm audio-in, SD-card slot, power switch and volume buttons on the sides. Since there aren't any legacy USB or dedicated display ports, you need adapters for connecting older hardware. Also, charging the MSP takes one USB-C port. If you wan't to use peripherals, it's probably a good idea to go for ones with Bluetooth. The Kensington security lock slot also works as a slot for a pen holder.

At the top pic: 3 USB ports, Kensington lock slot/pen holder slot. At the bottom pic: volume controls, auto-rotate switch, power switch, led-light, audio jack, SD card slot

At the bottom there are two grooves for mounting the device on a separately sold stand ($100). It would have been nice to have one included like Cintiq 13HD had. Ventilation is neatly hidden at the bottom, though the fan is way too noisy even when idling. The device also gets considerably hot at the bottom-middle section (right-handed orientation), even without doing anything. Audio output is outright bad, but I don't know if it's possible to get better audio from tablets/laptops anyway (luckily you can use headphones or external speakers).

3. The screen 5/5:

The screen surface has matte finish on it, so screen glare is greatly diminished. The bezel is fairly wide for compensating inaccuracy of pen tracking near the edges. I used Lagom website for checking the performance of the screen. The colors are stunning and viewing angles are good thanks to the IPS-panel. The contrasts are also great and the screen can discern between different levels of dark and light values surprisingly well. Colors and brightness appears to be very uniform all around. The screen is too sharp for some tests. Gamma is around 1.7 out of the box (although it should be 2.2), I haven't tried calibrating the screen just yet. It's positive to see that Wacom display settings actually work for a change. You can adjust color space between Native, Adobe RGB and sRGB and also adjust gamma setting.

4. Mobility 3/5:

Albeit being surprisingly heavy (2,9 lbs/1,32 Kg), it's fairly portable, considering it's all-in-one solution. Battery last around 3 hours at best in typical use or 5-6 hours with light use (not thoroughly tested though), which isn't very impressive. The battery cannot be removed or changed, which makes me doubt the longevity of this device. The AC charger is quite a bulky piece to carry around as well. Surprisingly MSP doesn't have a slot for SIM-card, so the only mobile access to internet is trough WIFI. The metallic pen case holds up to six extra pen nibs (comes with 3 extra nibs out of the box). The cap of the nib holder is a bit loose, so I'm afraid I'll lose it some day.


The pen case looks like certain toys for women...

5. The new Pro Pen 4/5:

Wacom pens have always been good, precise and responsive. The new pen has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity (and 60 degrees tilt), which is impressive, but sounds more like marketing trick. Older Intuos and Pro Pen had 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and the feel was super already, so to what degree 4x more sensitivity makes a difference remains to be seen. But as usual, there are two side switches and an eraser at the other end. You can personalize the pen a bit with colorful circlets. There is also a variant for 3D navigation sold separately. The nibs are exchangeable as usual, but it's unfortunate that Wacom decided to make them smaller than before (well, the tip is still original in size, but the part going inside is thinner). In practice this means that the old spare nibs are incompatible with the new pen and you can't use both ends like before. The older pens can be used on the MSP, but the new pen can't be used on older devices.

I noticed that the eraser end has different calibration than the other, but it can't be calibrated individually. I always calibrate my pen so that the cursor won't be under the nib, but now it will be under the eraser. The older Pro Pen calibrates correctly.

6. Drawing on the MSP 3/5:

Like with Cintiqs, the drawing feel is identical and intuitive, because you can actually look at what you are drawing. The surface is still a bit too slippery to my liking, though this can be compensated by using felt nibs (one included) instead of standard plastic nibs. Even then it takes some time for the nib to get squashed a bit for better friction. That said, I'm sure it will be better to draw on once the nib wears down a bit. The felt nibs on my Cintiqs hardly ever wears down to a point of needing replacement, so it will be interesting to see how these new nibs compare.

I tested the device on a long train trip and on my desk to get an idea how it performs in both situations. Drawing on the go isn't easy. It's a bit too heavy and large to be held with one hand. I had a small table in front of me on the train, but even then it was a bit cumbersome, especially due to the slipperiness of the surface and train movement. Doing anything precise was out of question. Technically drawing on portrait mode was a bit easier, though the pen calibration is optimized for horizontal orientation (unless you calibrate it again). Accessing express keys isn't very intuitive on the portrait mode though.

Drawing on a sturdy table at home wasn't any different compared to drawing on a Cintiq. Although the touch is automatically disabled when the pen is on the surface, it was still fairly common occurrence to accidentally press tools or icons on the windows taskbar with the arm. It might be a good idea to hide the windows task bar during drawing.

As mentioned earlier, the device get really hot after a while and the hot area is right under the hand (if you are right-handed and orientate the device accordingly). It's recommended to use smudge guard for more comfortable drawing experience.

7. Software and drivers 2/5:

I've been skeptical about WIN 10, tablets and touch UI in general, but I was positively surprised how smooth everything worked. However, I was more concerned about the Wacom drivers, because they have always been terrible in practice. The driver might crash out of the blue, touch may become non-functional, pressure sensitivity may not work etc. MSP isn't any special, it's technically just PC with Wacom drivers. And as expected, just after 2 hours of tweaking the driver, it crashed for the first time.

On the driver properties you can customize the functions fairly freely. On paper, all the features are great: you can adjust pen pressure curve, functions on the express keys, touch-gestures, program on-screen shortcut buttons for touch use etc. You can even make program specific settings. It's not until you try to delve a bit deeper to the functions when you find there are some limitations, more about those later.

If you read Wacom limited warranty, they specifically say that they won't be held liable if the hardware or software doesn't behave as expected, crashes or otherwise doesn't work without errors. Wacom drivers have been around for over 10 years at least and they still are the weakest part of the equation. You had only one job Wacom.

8. Express keys 2/5:

The express keys are by most parts good and reliable. However, it's unfortunate Wacom didn't implement Cintiq 13HD rocker ring on this model, had I realized this I would have reconsidered the purchase, for it was one of the main reason I wanted this model instead of Cintiq Pro (which has no buttons and requires a wireless remote which is sold separately...). The middle button on the ring is windows key and that can't be reprogrammed. There are 4 buttons on the ring, but they merely change the mode of how the touch ring operates. So technically you would use it for zooming in/out, changing brush size, cycling undo/redo etc. The touch rings have always been unreliable and it's easy to have just the wrong mode on, so using it and cycling between the modes is cumbersome, considering the drawing softwares usually have their own ways to get the job done much faster.

This wasn't the case with Cintiq 13 HD. All buttons on the rocker ring could be programmed and you could even press two/three buttons at the same time. I had 7 functions which I could access quickly with just the thumb and that really helped productivity. That said, there are technically less buttons on the MSP, or they are too dispersed for fast use. Although this is more of a personal opinion, I'm very picky when it comes to efficiency and immersion, any extra interruptions really tick me off.

9. Touch operations 1/5:

Touch works nicely in general, except when you would truly want to utilize it for productivity. As said already, you can create on-screen controls to expand the limited array of physical buttons, which are absolutely amazing if they just worked. With the pre-installed driver, the on-screen controls became unresponsive to touch after few minutes and required constant restarting of the Wacom service. After driver update that issues was fixed, but they would stay unresponsive for at least 1 second after lifting the pen (tapping them repeatedly would just extend the unresponsive period until you give it that 1 second). They also may get stuck as if you were holding a button down, so it's not advisable to enable repeating action (I had undo going mad and deleting my whole drawing in a matter of seconds). Some features can't be evoked trough on-screen controls (such as modifier keys alone). Some on-screen controls would also pop-up on their own even though they shouldn't unless I press a specific button on the bezel. That said, this device would be amazing if just its features worked like they should. It's such a shame really.

10. Verdict :

MSP is fun and quite impressive, but rather expensive. If you need all-in-one solution and need to work on the go or need a device for presenting ideas for customers, then MSP might be worth considering. The specs are nothing in comparison to high end laptops or desktop workstations. If you already have a a capable laptop or PC, it's advisable to go for a Cintiq models instead, or even Intuos Pro if you have great display already. Even older Cintiq 13HD might be worth considering, for it's only $800 and offers all the benefits of a pen display (excluding touch operations).

However, many of the productivity enhancing features don't work as well as one would expect from a high end device like this. The driver hiccups are far too frequent and touch operations leave a lot to be desired.

Over all score 6/10


The good:
+ all-in-one, portable computer/drawing platform
+ great design with physical express keys
+ great display with matte finish and stunning colors
+ great pen which is enjoyable to draw with
+ precise pen tracking
+ drivers allow fairly extensive tweaking possibilities

The bad:
- expensive (even the cheapest model)
- a stand not included
- only USB-C ports, so adapters are required for connecting older devices.
- CPU and GPU, while on the high end, are ranked very low (even on the most expensive model)
- not much storage capacity
- really loud fan noise even when idling
- gets really hot even when idling (with smudge guard this isn't a problem)
- battery can't be removed and replaced
- slippery screen surface (can be compensated with felt nibs)
- touch ring and non-programmable windows key take room for usable express keys
- drivers are (and always have been) unreliable
- touch operations aren't quite as smooth as one would expect
- eraser on the pen can't be calibrated (cursor appears behind the eraser).
- nibs from legacy pens are incompatible with the new pen

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Do you spend a lot of time drawing only to feel you aren't getting anywhere? Why does it seem your artistic friend improves faster than you? Are other people only telling you to keep drawing and that you will eventually learn making art?

If so, then this post is just for you.

What do you need to do in order to learn making art


First things first. It's true that if you just keep drawing a lot, you will eventually learn doing it. However, that's just partially true. It's also important to evaluate how much efforts are you putting on learning to make art. Maybe that friend of yours actually has a sound strategy. 

I had been drawing a lot in my childhood but it wasn't until 2009 that my friend told me how bad I was. I didn't see much of improvements in my works at the time, so I figured there was definitely some truth in his words. I started building a strategy that would allow me to learn at least some key concepts to achieve my desired goals and fair enough, after some experimenting and fine tuning, it has worked decently. In this post, I'm going to go trough some key points that you should consider if you feel stalling.

Learn to know yourself, even the darkest things you would rather not know


Are you sure what kind of person you really are? What do you know about yourself? Do you know why you prefer certain things over others? Do you know why you don't like doing something? Do you know why you are afraid of doing or unwilling to do something? Are you impatient? Do you think you already got the basics and therefore you don't find it worth practicing anymore?

The first thing you should be doing is to ask questions from yourself. Try to find out what kind of tendencies and desires you have, especially the darkest ones you would rather not know. Knowing what kind of monster lies within you is important in order to keep it at bay or even take advantage of it in certain situations.

There are myriad of potential tendencies and desires, but for example, do you rush you drawings to get them uploaded so that you will get quick satisfaction from potential comments, new watchers, favorites and views? Do you want to draw hentai to satiate your own needs? Are you trying to capitalize on something that's highly popular? It's okay, but you have to be aware that these things might contribute to your lack of improvements. It's easy to get allured by short term satisfaction at the expense of long term gains.

Jordan B. Peterson does a good job explaining the Jungian shadow and about the devils inside yourself. Here is a short example of just that: Jordan Peterson - How To Develop Your Dark Side. Although it doesn't have anything to do with art itself, knowing yourself also allows you to tackle with subjects like art as well. In other words, you will become better armed to take on various challenges.

Become your worst critic and embrace all the critique you get

It's often difficult to get critique, yet alone meaningful and constructive critique. Let's face it, the majority of those who would really have something to say (like great artists) tend not to comment on works that would need exactly that. Not voluntarily or for free at least. If you really want critique, it's worthwhile to consider becoming your own critic. While you may not know how you should fix your works, you can learn telling the difference between a good and bad drawing so that you can at least orientate yourself roughly towards the right path.

"Be merciless to yourself" is an inside joke at my workplace. I personally have been doing exactly that though. I have followed this principle: "getting critique feels bad, but I will embrace it as my friend so that I can work on my abilities in such way that I don't need to feel bad about myself ever again". I honestly don't like being critiqued, but I decided to push that part of me aside for the greater good. I'm like "bring it on, slap my cheek with all you got!". A friend of mine (the one who said how bad I was that is) said I'm a mental masochist, but embracing the things you don't want to hear may in fact be just the thing you should do.

Also bear in mind that lack of attention is also a form of critique (if it's not just about lack of visibility). To put that bluntly, that could mean "your works aren't worth my time". I have seen people who are absolutely confident about their abilities and yet they complain for not being as popular as their friend while also saying he or she isn't even that great of an artist. Maybe their niche just isn't that interesting despite their skillful execution. Maybe their execution isn't really that good either. Just maybe. Anyway, their resentment won't garner them any extra points. You should try considering whether you need to change yourself rather than blame others for not being everything you could be.

By learning what kind of person I'm and what kind of things I would want to see in art, I've acted as if that applies to others as well (and that's not limited to just boobs and booties mind you). Many of my thoughts aren't very pleasant, but my approach has gotten me this far. I have tried to write about this before, but I figured articulating my thought process won't do me any favors ^^'.

Identify your inadequacies and work on them, or face the consequences

You are free to choose what you want to pursue. If you don't want to learn doing something, for one reason or another, keep in mind that it may deny some opportunities from you. I for example don't like painting at all, so I haven't put any effort in learning it. Therefore I'm not able to jump into painting style coloring unless I'm willing to start from the very bottom. And I know I don't. I don't see that as a problem though, for I've always been more inclined to inked drawings anyway.

However, if you don't want to see the effort of (tedious) practicing, you likely won't reach your goals any time soon.

Keep in mind that drawing something like human figures requires mastery of many different skills and subjects and then make them work together. I have a tutorial about this called "Learning Order to Human Figure Drawing. It's an idealistic approach to the topic, but it will give you an idea what to expect. Human figure drawing involves some difficult such as perspective. If you ignore perspective, that will definitely prevent you from drawing certain kinds of drawings, and the little you can do may not be especially interesting for others to look at.

Repetition and drawing frequently is pretty much the only way to train your hand. Even if you don't want to, be prepared to spend some time on drawing "perfect" lines, arcs, squares, circles etc. Perfection itself isn't the end goal, but if you can't discipline yourself to practice, you will keep asking how to learn drawing at forums over and over again. Is that really what you want?

If there are things you don't want to draw, like drawing a canvas full of just circles over and over again, do that just like 5-10 minutes and then reward yourself by drawing something you want to draw. Challenge yourself and if things don't go your way, allow yourself to fail, proceed to something else and try again some other time. Not only will you draw more this way, you will also be working on some important albeit not so fun things almost without knowing. 

Don't settle with mediocrity

It's "easy" to draw a face from the side, but often times that's not quite as interesting as drawing it slightly off-angle. Similarly a front view can be a powerful view in certain situations, but it has to be justified. Regular 3/4th view can work in pretty much in any situation, but using the exact same viewing angle will look boring after a while.

I often see people drawing guns with meticulous detail, but they are often side views. That's something I just can't bear to do myself, even if drawing one in perspective is so much more difficult. I still take such challenges because I want to be able to draw things in interesting manner. I'm not willing to settle with mediocrity and I will rather fail to draw a challenging drawing instead of drawing easy works.

You however need to mind your skill level and adjust the challenges according to it. Typical tutorials tend to show you how to draw a front and side view, but remember that it's merely to make you familiar with the human body. Once you get more experienced and you want to upload your works, make sure to make them as interesting as possible. Think it this way: what kind of drawings you are willing to look at over and over again? Would you choose to look at drawings that you find interesting or drawings that are boring, even if the subject itself is relevant to your interests?

Deviantart is full of mediocre anime/manga inspired drawings (which is fine, people are free to upload what they want). Do you want to blend into the masses or would you rather be recognized as a top tier artist? Or maybe just above average? You don't have to, but you absolutely could. Anyway, the choice is yours to make.

Be infinitely curious to bypass your autonomous filtering

Why an object farther away looks smaller than one in close proximity? How many fingers do you have? Does your character have two left hands? Where is the ground? When a train goes past you, where does it go?

If you want to become an artist, you have to learn seeing the world as it is, not the way you think it is. You see, there is a lot of discarded information your brain doesn't even bother processing. You don't need to know how water looks in drawings if you just know how to satiate your thirst. Therefore, don't be so sure that you know anything at all how things really look like. You probably know how a car or a castle looks, but that's just an symbolic representation in your mind. Try drawing one and you see you know nothing really. Or rather, you both know and don't know.

The reason we are told to draw from life is just about this and you fail just because you keep drawing what you think you see, not what you really see. And well, you will keep failing for some time even if you drew what you see, but that's just your technical inadequacies. When you draw from life or any reference, you need to take everything in account at first. You should focus on learning to see the key points of reference and you should check how they are related to multiple other reference points. So maybe a part you drew looks fine on it's own, but the rest of the subject aren't scaled properly. Maybe some parts aren't proportionally correct in relation to some other parts.

Be aware that learning to see properly takes time and you have to keep applying your incomplete understanding to eventually reach a point where you start to see things in right way. Learning just basics won't help you to see the connection with the complex subjects and complex subjects are too hard to draw unless you are good with basics, so you sort of need to burn the candle from both ends until the puzzle pieces start to make sense.

Make hypothesis how to reach your goals, analyse your works and adjust your strategies constantly.

This is something you should be paying a lot of attention on and I couldn't possibly stress this enough. Even if you were doing this already, you should be pondering if there is still something you could do better. Be always ready to change yourself.

You can keep drawing mindlessly for years without improving much at all. You absolutely have to analyse what the heck you are actually doing all the time. You have to revisit your old works and analyse them to see them in different light. What were the merits? What is worth improving on? What didn't work quite so well? What was absolutely horrible about them? What kind of tendencies still had an effect on your actions and choices? What kind of aspects about yourself may have influenced your actions and choices that you haven't been aware of, or you have denied to work on either knowingly or subconsciously?

After doing some introspection, make a hypothesis what you should try doing in order to reach your goals, put them in action and see what happens. After few drawings, do you see any change at all? If not, make adjustments to your strategy. Try to asses things that you may not have taken in account before. Consider what kind of skills you would actually need to achieve your goals. Note that some subjects may require an approach that seems absolutely counter-intuitive on the first glance. For example, your goal is to become an artist, but what do you know about what constitutes being an artist? What if your conception of an artist is leading you astray?

The more you do this, the better your guesses will become. Once you understand some key concepts, you can make fairly decent assumptions where to focus on next. For example, maybe it's for the best to focus on basic 3D forms before tackling too much with shading, because if you are adequate with 3D forms, it's just matter of applying that understanding on shading. I did this, in fact, I have based my understanding completely on 3D forms.

Learn when to give up so that you can rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

Learning to know yourself is important but it can also be mentally taxing and painful road. If you aren't careful, you will encounter such dark, distressing or even frightening things that you would rather quit and stay inside your cozy comfort zone. My original strategy took me to places that still haunt me, which is why I'm including this topic here.

I don't regret visiting the dark corners in my mind, even though it caused some unnecessary anxiety. Remember that when you are planning your strategy, at some points you may have to admit that the path you have chosen doesn't quite work or it leads to a dead end. If you had all your eggs on the same basket for years, that revelation will hurt a lot. However, keep in mind that was just one path from multiple potential paths you may not have even considered. Even if you reach a bottomless pit, there could be other paths that allows you to circumvent it, or maybe some other directions will actually serve your goals much better.

When you reach a point where you are about to break, learn to give up and take few or even several steps backwards. Even if it may haunt you for a while (or even years as it was with me), it's better to sacrifice just part of yourself rather than actually die on it. The mental block I encountered felt infinite at first, but after years of introspecting and working on other frontiers made me understand it wasn't quite as big of a dragon as I originally thought.

This became quite a long post, so I think this will do for now.
Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there,

If you didn't know, I've been half-deaf since I was like 4-5 years old or so. I can't hear with my right ear at all. I'm not going into details why, but that's the case. So I literally have mono hearing and I can't locate where a sound is coming unless I turn my head to hear the difference. But take two radios playing two different channels and I can't tell them apart from distance. Since I have been half-deaf over two decades by now, I don't even know what I'm missing. Maybe it's not that big of a deal after all.

Anyway, I'm fairly musical so I like listening music and playing instruments like piano and accordion. Having just one working ear doesn't really have a negative impact on that, luckily.

I'm also excellent with keeping secrets. Whisper them to my right ear and I can guarantee no one will ever hear those secrets from me. That's a great perk isn't it?

Is it too loud in a class room? No problem, I just plug my finger in my left ear and I can keep working with my right hand. That was really handy when I was at school. Even it's rather unfortunate being half-deaf, you could say I was lucky it wasn't the other way around, not to mention the chance of being completely deaf.

If I listen music trough headphones, I can only hear the left channel. That's a bummer because stereo music has some different sounds for left and right channels, though if you position the jack slightly off, it's possible to get mono output in some devices. Anyway, I can't experience the extra dimension of stereo sound and in some cases I'm even missing "half" of the songs.

Anyway, I once realized that I can actually tinker with the balance of the left and right channels. If I set the output on the right channel high enough, I can actually feel the sound trough sense of touch when using headphones. I can also hear the sounds slightly with my left ear due to the loudness. Suddenly the music sounds and feels more three dimensional than before. That's actually quite amazing for a half-deaf person like me.

I also figured that not being able to hear the right channel is a big handicap in FPS shooting games. However, with balance tinkering, I can feel the gunshots even if I don't hear them. It's almost more reliable way to determine the direction of the gunshot compared to hearing them on the left. That's fun fix for the handicap.

Like, I don't know, someone with stereo hearing probably can't imagine how big thing it is for me to experience stereo sound, even if it's just a simulation. Gotta appreciate the small joys in life we have.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Muh (your) pointsu!Hades is ticked off 

I've been accumulating points from your donations in order to use them as prizes in future contests. To my horror I noticed that my dA points balance has shrunk on its own!

I bought 3 months CORE membership with extra 3 months in it, so 6 months in total about one and a half year ago. Unfortunately I didn't realize it also enabled automatic rebilling! I rarely check my membership status or point balance, so I had no idea the points I wanted to save for future use went on renewing my membership. Technically I need the membership only for the polls.

I'm sorry that my carelessness led to your points being wasted on renewing my membership... if you buy CORE membership sometime without plans to renew it and you have some points in your balance, make sure to disable automatic rebilling from your account settings. It seems dA will enable it every time you buy CORE. Gifts probably won't trigger that.

As you can see from my donation pool, I have accumulated over 12, 000 dA points in total thanks to your patronage. It's such a shame that around 4 800 da points were unintentionally wasted on renewing my CORE membership (with some more being used intentionally on it). As I said, I was planning to use those points as rewards for a future contest(s). I've postponed next contest because at the time there were plans to make a contest at Manga-United and I didn't want to have another contest running at the same time.

Thanks to your donations, I was able to hold a contest with point rewards (I was also able to secure a promised prize from my personal point pool in a different contest due to some disagreements between the judges). And of course, I've been able to hold polls on some interesting topics. I also thank those who have given membership as gifts for that has allowed me to accumulate those points for future.

I do appreciate your donations and while this journal may give a vibe of point begging, there is no need to donate points or CORE because of this journal. I just wanted to warn you about this default behavior of dA (although you are probably not as careless as I'm). I'll consider either buying more points or use real money prizes instead when the time is ripe. I suppose real money prizes are allowed are they? At least it's fine to use points as prizes in contests of skill according to this FAQ894. I gotta check how money prizes are treated, because I assume you would prefer them over points. If you are up for interesting and challenging contests, that is.

Next one will be about drawing two pages manga contest or a new pose practice challenge. We shall see.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there,

Today I began to wonder some interesting things, at least I find them interesting.

You know how there are bunch of ideals and expectations of what kind of people we should be. For example, think about a kid growing to adulthood. Gradually she/he should forget the toys and move to something more adult-like. Or rather, it's like the society and social relationships pushes us to certain direction or we probably set the expectations to ourselves by assuming what others expect from us.

I'm still building stuff with legos, though it can probably be considered as semi-professional modelling. But I wonder how people react to someone saying  "I play with legos". I also have an ample collection of anime figures. I remember how my friend once said that "when you invite your girlfriend candidate, you better hide those things". I didn't get it, I just thought that if someone doesn't accept my hobbies, then they are better off finding someone else.

But I suppose it has to do with these ideals and expectations people have. Having a lot of toys around gives an impression about a person who hasn't really grown up. Add pair of boobies on those toys and it will give some weirder impressions. Anyway, Whether those thoughts stem from ourselves or whether they are pushed on us by others is a matter of debate, but they are there. The society expects us to behave in certain way. At some point you become an adult and you are expected to do adult things.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't mind such hobbies, but let's move on to another example.

I've spent a lot of time on drawing. Although I'm not considering it as a career, I'm aiming to replicate the quality and atmosphere of Japanese manga. And I figured it takes a huge portion of my time if I want to keep doing it. But I enjoy pursuing that goal and it looks that there are also a lot of people who appreciate my art.

Maybe I'm not the best example here, imagine how much time some of the most popular artists today and in the past have dedicated on their craft. That time is obviously away from something else. It would be interesting to know how much time some artists are allocating on their drawing hobby.

What comes to me, rather than going to hang out with friends in a bar, I drew. Rather than reading books, I drew. Rather than making physical exercises, I drew. I just drew, drew, drew. I wouldn't be here now if I didn't spend that much time, but as a result I'm not used to social interaction for more than necessary, for instance. Even if I went to hang out with friends, I did it few hours at max and then got back so that I could draw. Today I draw less frequently and it shows.

Now think about yourself. How much would you be ready to sacrifice just for becoming great in art? All the time you spend on video games, movies, recreation, reading, physical exercise, social interactions, family etc. could be used to drawing. It's not that you should completely forget all of them, but the more time you dedicate on art, equally much time has to be sacrificed from something else. What if you want to make both art and music? Or have a job that's unrelated to them as well? Even more time has to be sacrificed and even the time you can muster on your creative hobbies needs to be divided between them. Professional artist are doing art for living, so basically they have fused their job and hobby into one clump. I'm actually doing this partially by working as an architect, but my work and drawing hobby are very different from each other.

If you aren't ready to dedicate the majority of your time on art, then how do you expect to become a great artist?

That said, we know that we shouldn't forget physical exercise and friends altogether. It's not healthy. There are many things we don't want to sacrifice, yet we admire works that are made by people who may in fact do exactly this. Making living as a mangaka is really hard and takes a lot of dedication. I'm not saying that that all great artist are like this or that we should aim for lethal working ethics, but I'm talking about my own experiences on how time allocation affects my productivity. Had I kept drawing as much as I used to, I would definitely keep uploading much better, or at least more refined drawings, and I would be doing that frequently.

It's perfectly fine to make art just for recreational purposes, it's just that it will take considerable time to become a great artist if that's what you want. But if you do spend a lot of time on your craft, how much your friends, partner and family appreciates your decision to spend less time with them? How much your future kids would benefit from your sacrifices by having a huge collection of awesome old toys as well as a playmate to play with them or many musical instruments or art tools to try out and a capable mentor to teach them?

I wonder.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there people!

The time has come for me to reveal my thoughts on my new pen display, Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch. I acquired this device about 9 months ago, but it took me a while to figure out what kind of review I should write about it (I also needed to wait for summer to test how it performs in high room temperatures). My original version turned out to be too bloated with specs and details and I figured it wouldn't serve the readers the best possible way. You can read the specs from Wacom website or from other reviews. (Here is link to Wacom website: www.wacom.com/en-us/products/p… )

I instead decided to write about things that other reviews might not take in account and what I would have wanted to know before investing a lot of money on something like this
. This Cintiq model is great, but I have some mixed feelings about it.

As for a little background about my experience with drawing tablets and pen displays, prior to this model I have used Wacom Intuos 4 L graphics tablet for 4 years and then upgraded to Wacom Cintiq 13HD pen display. I used that model for about 3 years. That said, I would say I'm fairly familiar with these devices, although my experiences are limited to only one manufacturer.

This is how it looks from the front. Image by Wacom

This is for professionals
Cintiq 27QHD is rather expensive, around 2700 EUR, or ~2890 USD. That said, this model is meant for professionals. If you are a beginner or a hobbyist, I suggest that you go either for a high end graphics tablet or entry level pen display instead. You will get much more with a fraction of the price. And, should you get serious, you can always upgrade later. By the time you do, there might be even better models available. Some new generation models already have some better features.

Hardware prerequisites

In order to take full advantage of a device like Cintiq 27QHD, your PC should have fairly good GPU and connectivity. If you don't have Display Port, your graphics card doesn't support higher than 1920x1080 resolution or 10-bit color depth, you will be wasting your money on this model (unless you plan to upgrade your computer later). Fair enough, it can be used with HDMI and DVI cables, but you won't be able to use it with the native resolution of 2560x1440 and you will lose color accuracy as well. That said, you would pay extra for features that you won't get to take advantage of. Professional photo editors may find the color accuracy insufficient, although 97% coverage of Adobe RGB color space is pretty good (AFAIK Mac retina screen covers 98% of Adobe RGB).

Durability
The first thing I need to say about Wacom products in general is that they are high quality and made to last. I was concerned that the pen displays would wear out in extensive use very quickly, but this was not the case even with the entry level Cintiq 13HD. Although I upgraded from Cintiq 13HD,  it's still working like a new. There surely are some marks of use on the screen, but they aren't visible while in use.

What comes to Cintiq 27QHD,  the screen is even hardier and thicker. Considering it's size, it's not likely that you would be moving it around much and exposing it to extra hazards as you would with handheld devices.

That said, you can expect this model to last for years. It will be difficult to justify buying a new model after buying this one unless you aren't short of money.

The Ergo stand can be seen better in this view. Image by Wacom

Size and stand
This thing is big so it's good to have a dedicated table for it. Having a stand is advisable. I got Wacom ergo stand bundled, although normally it's bought separately (so I saved around 400 EUR), which allows me to push it aside or use it as a regular screen when I'm not drawing. There are other stands from 3rd party manufacturers, but unfortunately I can't say how they perform. I heard Ergotron display mounts are pretty good and offer more flexibility, but the display may wobble a bit in extreme positions (which is something I would hate to cope with).

The back of the Cintiq 27QHD isn't flat, so even without a stand the screen will have an angle of 5 degrees when drawing. There are retractable legs to increase the angle to 20 degrees. I figured that angle of 30-40 degrees is optimal for me, so I'm glad I got the stand.

Express Keys remote controller
Unlike the older models, this Cintiq doesn't have physical buttons around the bezel, so the design looks quite cool and uniform. There is a separate bluetooth remote with 17 express keys and a zoom ring. It can be attached magnetically on either side or placed anywhere you want. In that sense it's really versatile, but I feel physical buttons on the previous models I used were more reliable. On the other hand, this Cintiq is is so large that having physical buttons on both sides (for right and left handed people) might not be ideal either.

The EK remote controller. Image by Wacom

I'm not especially satisfied with the button layout and the zoom ring on the remote. When I used Cintiq 13HD, I really enjoyed the rocker ring, because I could reach so many functions with just my thumb. I realized that the zoom ring is more like a curiosity rather than a necessity. It feels either too sensitive or unresponsive. Accidental zooming is common, especially if you use the buttons around it frequently, which I do. This wasn't a problem with Wacom Intuos 4 L, because there were no express keys around the zoom ring.

I think the remote controller would need a big overhaul to make it more usable and reliable, but it's obviously better than nothing.

Touch commands

Touch enabled commands are cool, but not amazing. It definitely adds some flexibility. There are many possibilities to build different shortcut menus which you can configure to pop up near the pen or anywhere on the screen. Accidental inputs are so common that I need to turn touch off for most of the time which makes it inconvenient in many situations.

There are fairly limited number of gestures that can be used. Not only that, you will need programs that support some features to work (such as canvas rotating). Anyway, if you are investing on this pen display, getting the touch enabled version probably won't hurt your wallet too much. Also, on-screen keyboard can substitute a physical keyboard to some degree, but in general, the touch version leaves a lot to be desired.

Multi-screen setup
It's good to note that Cintiq 27QHD "wants" to be the primary display. If the screen is extended on the secondary display (Cintiq), then touch commands will happen on the primary screen by default. Sometimes the cursor will also move either on the primary screen or consider both screens as one and this behavior can't be changed in driver settings (because it apparently works as intended). The only option is to restore the preferences from a backup file so that the driver will recognize the displays correctly. This may be a Win OS related problem.

Also note that at least on Win 7, the on-screen keyboard will appear on the primary screen. That's not very convenient if Cintiq is the secondary screen. There are some 3rd party apps to circumvent this problem though.

Drawing with the Cintiq 27QHD
Like with pretty much any pen displays out there, drawing on Cintiq 27QHD is intuitive and very close to feel of drawing on paper.

The surface is quite slippery, so I recommend using felt nibs for extra friction. The thicker glass has it's trade off with greater parallax effect (a gap between cursor and the nib). This can be compensated with calibration to some extent and after a while you will get used to it.

This Cintiq remains cool for quite some time. After an hour of drawing, the upper portion of the screen becomes a little warm, but the lower portion remains surprisingly cool. In room temperatures higher than 23 degrees Celsius the screen will get warm faster and drawing becomes inconvenient due to sweat. A smudge guard might be a good investment if you need to operate the device in high temperatures.

It's possible to personalize the pen performance and express key functions with great flexibility with the Wacom Tablet Properties app. Each program can also have its own unique settings. It's also possible to create on-screen menus with more commands in addition to the buttons on the remote.

Comparison to other models
As I said, I upgraded from Wacom Cintiq 13HD. There are some things I want to highlight on it and Cintiq 27QHD.

When it comes to color gamut, 27QHD 97% Adobe RGB is superior to 13HD 70% Adobe RGB. This is one reason I wanted to upgrade, for I found 13HD colors too washed out. Cintiq pro 16 has 94% coverage, so it doesn't fall far from 27QHD (I might have considered buying that model instead had I not bought this before it was released).

The pixel density isn't amazing on 27QHD. 13HD has smaller screen and higher pixel density, so it looks sharper even when zoomed in. That said, the pixel are distinguishable on 27QHD. The newer Cintiq pro 16 has 16 inch screen with 4K resolution, which means even higher pixel density.

The screen real estate on 27QHD is great for large scale drawings and paintings. It's cool to be able to see much more at once. I tend to draw small though, so drawing area on 13HD was fine for me. Cintiq pro 16 might have offered more value for the money.

The biggest problem with Cintiq 13HD was that the screen got hot very quickly at the bottom right corner, just the area where you will be holding your drawing hand if you are right-handed. Cintiq 13HD was also very picky about the power cable position, so even the slightest move may cause the device to turn off due to bad connection. Thankfully there are no such issues with the Cintiq 27QHD.

Drawing with a pen display is always more intuitive when compared to a graphics tablet and external screen. However, I drew with Wacom Intuos 4 L for quite some time and it's manageable. So having a decent graphics tablet and an external screen can be much more cost effective than having a Cintiq 27QHD.

These days several Wacom products use the same Pro Pen so the pen performance is the same in most models (newer generation models have Pro Pen 2, which seems to have 4x more pressure sensitivity levels, 8192 over the old 2048. I don't have experiences on how this new pen performs in comparison to the old pen I use).

Problems I have encountered
With Paint tool SAI, the on-screen commands cannot be used with the pen (so you need to enable touch and touch the buttons). If you unplug the usb cable before opening SAI, then the on-screen commands can be used. However, then SAI won't recognize the pressure... This destroyed my old and effective working methods. I had radial menu mapped on the pen side switch so I could quickly reach most commands with just the pen. This is no longer possible, not with Paint tool SAI at least, so I need to rely more on the EK remote. Paint Tool SAI 2 doesn't have these problems and Clipstudio Paint seems to work just fine.

The EK remote may occasionally register two inputs per button press and this is often seen with undo command (because it's used so frequently). In fact, I got a replacement from Wacom since they determined I have a faulty remote controller, but this still occurs with the new one, albeit not as often. Sometimes the functions will get stuck, i.e. after using undo (crtl+z), the ctrl modifier will get stuck and that's rather annoying distraction to the workflow.

Every now and then the driver will throw a low battery warning for the EK remote, even though there is still 75% or more battery life left. This will also interrupt the workflow.

Adjusting screen brightness, contrast etc. can be done with Wacom Display Settings app, but it doesn't work. It only shows a pop up which says you don't have a supported Wacom display connected. It used to work before I updated the driver in hopes to get fixes for some other problems.

Unfortunately Wacom drivers have never been very reliable, so loss of pressure sensitivity or messed up touch mapping are fairly common (though not as frequent as before). I don't know if other manufacturers are any better in this department but this has always been the case with Wacom.

Verdict

Here are the pros and cons in short:

Pros
+ Neat design
+ A lot of screen real-estate to draw on
+ Very good color production and accuracy
+ Guaranteed to serve for years
+ EK remote placement is flexible compared to physical buttons
+ Stays quite cool for quite a long time


Cons:
- Pricey
- Screen surface is a bit slippery (can be compensated with felt nibs)
- The screen resolution could be higher
- Ergo stand not included by default
- Unreliable EK remote
- Touch version leaves a lot to be desired
- Wacom drivers are still unreliable
- Somewhat old features in comparison to newer generation models and accessories


My score: 7/10


In short, Wacom Cintiq 27QHD is great and gets the job done, but is clearly geared for dedicated and professional use. There are few cons that severely impact the workflow and overall enjoyment of this model and which shouldn't even be present in this price range. Other models such as Cintiq 13HD and Cintiq pro 13/16 will likely be much better options for hobbyists and offer more value for the money.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
CLARIFICATION 1: it seems people are taking this as if I'm blaming younger generations in general. That's not the case. I'm not blaming those who are already doing their best and are on the verge of burnout. I'm also not referring to big scale problem such as economical mess the generations before us left behind. I'm talking about those who have difficulties with even the most basic expectations, such as appearing at work early in the morning.

I also want to stress that I was the youngest child in my family and a I got pampered a lot. Today I would appreciate a lot if I had more responsibilities. Not knowing how to deal with the issues are causing more anxiety than the issues themselves. Therefore, had I grown in a world with expectations, I would also be more prepared to deal with them. That's my point.


Hello there people, I'm back with some little pondering.

Where is this world going right now? I just read how young adults in Finland are requesting sick leave far too often or how they ask medication for anxiety. I understand that working life is demanding, probably even more than in the past, but I'm afraid that's only because younger generations aren't as used to take responsibility and face the consequences as much as the old folks.

I'm not very old myself either and being the youngest child in my family, I was pampered a lot. Although I can say I enjoyed it, it wasn't especially beneficial for the future. My brothers weren't as pampered as me and they seem to be doing just fine, if not better.

I'm not doing badly myself, but taking responsibility is still somewhat stressing for me and that's just because no one expected it from me. To be able to handle responsibilities, one has to have them and get used to them gradually. Just like you won't learn drawing unless you put the effort in it yourself.

That's a huge problem for pampered young adults who enter the working life and realize that one has to actually do something there. Even something as simple as waking up early for work can be too much to ask.

Today in schools the idea is to use positive encouragement and avoid criticism. For example, there are no longer score based evaluation in schools (in Finland), so that those who are doing bad don't feel bad in comparison to others. It sounds nice and great, but what happens when we need to expect something from these people? The only option is to lower the bar, because demanding more would make them feel bad and that's against the current trend.

Punishments and consequences are there so that people would do everything in their might to avoid them. If there are no expectations, then people won't bother to try harder either. There is no need for it.

This is obviously a good thing for those who aren't doing very well at school, but they are the future generations who eventually enter the working life. Also those who would have the enthusiasm to try hard don't feel compelled to do so because you aren't rewarded for doing better than others. Everyone gets the same reward if they just try yay!

In art, this would mean that anything can be considered art and should receive equal recognition as masterpieces which were created with utmost passion and expertise. Of course, not all art isn't made so that it would be evaluated and recreational purposes are important as well.

Again, it's mentally great thing if we can avoid bad feelings altogether, but I'm afraid it's not enough to motivate people to take responsibilities and try harder. That's not to say the answer is physical discipline or that things were done better in the past, but something has to be done. I wouldn't be here if my friend didn't have the guts to tell I was bad at drawing.

TL;DR: if we grow in a world with expectations, then we will also learn and get used to live up to those expectations.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Ayyy, its my birthday!


Thank you all who remembered! I also thank those who are late in advance! Llamas are always awesome!


I should have made this journal earlier to avoid getting my front page bloated  haha:D

I'm now 27 years old. Although as a number it's not very special, I decided to get me something special to compensate. I ordered a three-row accordion!


Isn't it beautiful? Though the wood parts will be in walnut on mine.

It's a high-end diatonic accordion manufactured by Beltuna, an Italian accordion factory. This model is called Samuel 3/18 and the number 18 refers to it's extended bass side. Typically there are 12 buttons, but this model has 18 (for a comparison, my current two-row accordion has 8 bass buttons). On top of that, the reeds are handmade in comparison to regular Samuel 3 model.

1 or 2 months and it will be here.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Do you find yourself in situations where the discussion steers towards something you have strong opinions but you know the majority will not share your thoughts and will definitely gang up on you, even if you raise a valid point or if it's based on cold statistics, other verifiable data or just common sense?

What comes to me, I want to ponder things from all angles, even those which are considered controversial. However, I'm usually bad at explaining my thoughts clearly, especially in face to face conversations (writing this isn't much easier, but at least I have some time to think this trough before posting). I also may not remember the details well enough to sound convincing. Although in some cases my thoughts truly reflects my real opinions, I also want to raise questions and,as I said, ponder things.

Usually I don't want speak my thoughts out, because I know that those I usually deal with in real life don't have the same way of thinking as I do. I tend to imagine that I jump outside of my body and mind into a objective and neutral space, where me or the others won't be harmed from mentally harsh thoughts. This "mode" allows me to take pretty much any kind of critique or opinions, because I can ignore my feelings about the matter (not completely waterproof, but good enough). However, if the other party doesn't enter this mode as well, there is a high chance that what I'm saying will sound blunt or controversial. And of course it does if you let your feelings take over. Another problem I find annoying is that (as I mentioned being bad at explaining things), some people will cling to one thoughtless word or phrase to devalue the whole thought. I feel words are too powerful sometimes. I will probably stumble with this journal as well.

Somethings are just true, whether you like it or not. Sometimes it doesn't really matter what your or my personal thoughts are. Like, I'm but one individual here. I though agree that sometimes there is nothing to gain from pointing out the truth either.

Let's leave political issues aside and just focus on art for now. It's more relevant topic in deviantart anyway.

In history, artists have been held in high regard and the standards of quality have been very high. Obviously, attaining mastery of perfect anatomy and other artistic aspects requires a lot of skill and effort, and those with greater skill are and should be rewarded for their remarkable achievements.

Today it's easy for pretty much anyone to pick up art as a hobby and call themselves an artist. As crazy as it may sound, a completely white painting can be forth millions. Turning an old urinal upside down is suddenly art. Is the point in who came up with the idea and made it reality first? Or is it just that people worship certain individuals so much that anything they do is art? I have difficulties treating something like that as art. I personally value true craftsmanship and skill. Things don't have to be realistic or perfect, but the works should convey the idea so that the illusion feels convincing. By the way, I admit that I'm not a big fan of abstract art.

If your art doesn't draw attention, it's not necessarily because others are idiots. The chances are that people won't see any reason to appreciate your art. Think about it, whose art do you hold in high regard?. I find that in this event it's more important to either accept that what you like to do isn't something others would appreciate and not make a fuss about it, or work on concepts and ideas that will make your works desirable. I don't care if you just want to create art for yourself and ignore what others think, but then you aren't in a position to blame others for their lack of interest towards your art. You need to deserve the attention with your abilities and not to expect anyone to follow you just because you call yourself an artist. Isn't that just common sense?

In my standards, I'm not an artist either, though my ultimate goal is to reach such high level of mastery that others would acknowledge my efforts and ability to draw. I'm aware of my shortcomings though, some of which are rooted deep within my way of thinking, but I either don't want or know how to deal with them, or I simply choose not to address them for the time being. I can only blame myself for those. If you enjoy my works, then it probably tells something about my ability to draw. Or maybe it's not my abilities but my tutorials that have gotten me where I am now. Whatever it is, I'll keep trying to earn your respect trough my works and actions instead of expecting it for granted. If you think I don't deserve it, that's fine too.

If you can enter the neutral arena in your mind, then I may open up a bit more xD

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there,

I draw quite often but my ideas don't always work out quite as I envisioned them. I feel it's not worth the effort to keep drawing something that I don't believe in 100%. Today I thought sharing some drawings that I didn't get to finish for one reason or another.

A pose practice featuring Sayaka and the handsome guy (mature content:

I can remember why I didn't finish this. At the time I attempted this I lacked experience and confidence with male characters. I also felt that it was too early to toss Sayaka with the handsome guy together in nude pose practice. Chronologically this happens somewhere after pose practice 7.

A pose practice featuring Sayaka, Sachiko, Sayuri and Shoji taking bath together (mature content)

I wanted to have some fun with the babies, but the bathing scene wasn't a good idea. I wanted to keep this as innocent as possible so I tried natural censoring by covering all intimate parts with something, but I didn't come up with interesting poses. I felt this just didn't work out, although the start wasn't that bad.

A semi-comic featuring Sayaka, the handsome guy and Kohana:

This was too ambitious and poorly implemented that I decided to abandon this. For being a pose practice, this features too elaborated storytelling so I strayed off from the actual goal of pose practicing. Also, I disregarded reading order in this but I figured that being inconsistent with the reading order was a mistake. There are some neat poses and viewing angles though so it was such a shame I ruined this with bad presentation. I didn't plan out the sequence in advance, which was a fatal mistake.

"Pose freedom", an ambitious attempt to compile "all" poses:

This turned out to be too demanding and boring to work with. My goal was to demonstrate the joint articulation and limitations of the human body and put them in order from easiest to hardest. I quickly realized that it was really difficult to categorize each pose and determine its difficulty. Anyway, I roughly categorized the poses depending on how many contact points or interactions there were. In other words, the less there are limitations from the environment, the easier to pose is to draw. A character floating in midair is easier than a standing character for example. A character holding something on one hand is more difficult than one holding something with both hands etc.

These are works that I will probably never finish, but it's not completely out of question to try them again when I have the confidence. The semi-comic one is definitely something I want to try redrawing from scratch, for the story was really fun and important point for Sayaka.

That's all for now. I hope you enjoy!

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there people,

I haven't posted the review about the new Wacom Cintiq 27QHD just yet because I have had a peculiar issue with the Express Key remote controller. One of the buttons has been acting up, registering an extra input irregularly but frequently. It was so infuriating issue that I finally contacted Wacom Support for RMA. I thought it would be good to include their customer service in the review as well.

Here you can see how I demonstrated the issue for Wacom: www.dropbox.com/s/ua4fr0f8ztaq…

After exchanging several emails, Wacom technicians concluded that I have a faulty device and agreed on exchanging the faulty one to a new device. That means I won't be able to draw with my Cintiq until I get the new remote. I probably need to fetch my small Cintiq from my parent's place.

Stay tuned for the review,
Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
...you would most likely get an answer that might sound rude or isn't what you would want to hear.

Don't get me wrong, this is actually very important question, but I think that you should ask this from yourself rather than from me. My intention isn't to bash anyone, mind you. It's just my seemingly pessimistic logic and mindset that I follow and use in order to avoid resting on my laurels. I have gotten this far thanks to this mentality even thought it's rather blunt and cold. I would rather not answer this question, but I will share my thoughts about this question, which I have been asked several times after posting Nsio explains: Learning Order to Human Figure Drawing. Don't read any further if you are afraid that you will get offended. On the other hand, a good ol' slap right at the face can truly widen your horizons.

"What's my mastery level?

And by "my" I mean you if you ask this question.

DISCLAIMER: I want to remind you that tutorial is very idealistic and shouldn't be taken too literally. My goal was to explain that there are many things to consider before you can draw figures and that even then you need to go trough various phases to reach high level of skill, or mastery levels as I call them in that tutorial. However, the levels are completely made up and the boundaries between them are vague, the skill jumps between them aren't equal and they depend on many variables. If you are missing something essential, it will hinder your ability to create convincing art even if you got high mastery level on some specific fields. Anyway, this is my personal view on this matter and it may not help you in any other way than making you aware of the challenge in front of you.

To understand my logic, you need to "step outside of your mind" and view yourself from stranger's point of view. If you are honest with yourself, you should know the answer already. If you don't, then you probably lack confidence and/or seek for validation or shortcuts. That's my assumption anyway, let's see how I got there.

First things first, why would you even ask this question in the first place? If you are a seasoned artist already, you don't need to ask anything from me or anyone else. You won't need my opinion, because you are confident about your own capabilities of figuring it out yourself. So if you ask this question, my first assumption is you aren't a seasoned artist. If you aren't a seasoned artist, then you most likely aren't very good at art (yet). Normally people ask questions from those they find more capable than themselves. Whether you have just started or been drawing for years doesn't matter.

In my book, that will almost automatically take you below the 3rd mastery. Reaching the 3rd and above mastery levels requires rather peculiar way of thinking. There is a chance that you just don't trust yourself enough and you are doing just fine, or if you keep going, you will eventually reach 3rd and higher mastery levels if you aren't there already. I wouldn't bet on that though. This is the point where you need to ask yourself "what am I seeking to gain from asking this question".

Now you need to be absolutely honest with yourself, because if you aren't, you will not reach higher mastery levels any time soon. If my past self asked this question, I would definitely have ulterior motives: "I'm seeking for validation", "I want to be noticed", "I want get in close contact with him so that I can take advantage of his understanding", "I can skip thing X completely if he says I'm good at this", "I don't want to spend eons on practice, I want to draw boobs already" or something along those lines.

Again, it's possible your motive is purely innocent. If that's the case, then I apologize for assuming otherwise, but it's still likely that your mastery level is below the 3rd. However, if I'm looking at my own history, I would have sought for personal satisfaction and validation, relationships that I could take advantage of or just find shortcuts. I realized these traits in myself the more I drew. To counter them,  I've been working with a very simple thought to get where I stand now "if I'm not satisfied with my own abilities, then I'm not very good at art yet". That led to more thoughts: "I need to find reasons why some art look better than others" and "I need to figure out concepts that will help me to recreate those features". And to avoid stalling, I keep reminding myself that "even if I'm satisfied, I can never be sure if I'm right about anything". I can say that I enjoy my own works a lot, but it's because I saw a lot of effort to reach my current level. I also have decent idea where I still need to work on.

Anyway, I assume people have ulterior motives because when I look at some art, I feel there are many who aren't even trying to create great art. For example, there seems to be a lot of people who are just after big boobies&booties and they tend to have low mastery levels even if they have been drawing for years. I can't really blame them because drawing hentai was my original motive as well. I just happened to get very enthusiastic at drawing and I only wanted to be able to draw as great boobies&booties as I possibly could. Thanks to my honest self-reflections, I haven't been stalling too much and I've been able to learn a bit more than just drawing boobies&booties. It's not my place to moralize your choices though. It's perfectly fine if you have ulterior motives, but if you do, bear in mind that they have their consequences. For example, if you are seeking for shortcuts to art, then you will be wasting your time. The shortest shortcut I have found so far is that there are no shortcuts.

Besides, it's really difficult to give a definite answer for your true mastery level. As I mentioned in the disclaimer, the idea of mastery levels is idealistic and something that I used to explain a concept of approaching art. There is a risk that if I tell you your mastery level, you could think that you have mastered the fields assosicated to that level and ignore them after getting validation from me. That risk of misinterpretation is there if you have read that tutorial.

This is my personal view based on my own progression as an artist. I'm really sorry if it sounds very discouraging and impolite. That's why I said I would rather avoid answering this question. However, I have replied to some people with this honest brutality and it's been surprising how receptive they have been. They were grateful that I had the guts to speak my mind and they could find the faults in their own way of thinking. I hope this will make you learn more about yourself.

TL;DR Don't be afraid of asking questions. Just be mentally prepared that the answers won't always be what you would want to hear.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Stream status: [OFFLINE]
On Wednesday 2nd November
Began: 16:00 PM (UTC+0) 
Ended: 23:50 (UTC +0)
Link: picarto.tv/Nsio
Thank you for joining my livestream session!

Hello there,

I'm going to draw with my brand new Wacom Cintiq 27QHD and I thought livestreaming the session today. Yesterday I drew my original character Sayaka Tsuchimiya in undergarments, so I could probably draw her older sister Sachiko in undergarments this time.

So you can expect something like this:
 Sayaka in Undergarments by Nsio

It's my second time livestreaming with picarto.tv, so there might be some problems at the beginning. Let's hope everything works by the time I'm about to start.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there people,

After using Wacom Cintiq 13HD for about 3 years, I decided to burn some money for real. I felt it was time to get the flagship model of Wacom, Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD. This is how my workstation looks now. That thing is HUGE!

Cintiq 27QHD by Nsio
Look at the size of that thing!

I'm not sure if I can really justify the investment, but since I like drawing so much, I felt it was worth it. I noticed Wacom was selling the touch version bundled with the ergo stand, which is normally sold separately. I have looked at the bigger Cintiqs for quite some time, but I have always been afraid that I don't have enough table space for one or I can't position it in comfortable angle. With the bundle I got the stand for free, so I took the offer. It's great that I can position it like a regular monitor while I'm not using it and bring it over the table edge when I'm drawing.

Cintiq 27QHD boasts the best color production and accuracy of all Cintiq models (requires display port and graphics card supporting 10-bit color depth), so I felt it wasn't feasible to get a 22HD or 24HD models. I must say that I was impressed with the colors even before calibration. I have always felt that the smaller Cintiq I have has rather dull colors and now I can really see the difference. But I plan keeping it as a secondary pen display at my parents' place because I visit them every two weeks. Now I don't need to carry it back and forth.

I haven't got the time to draw with it much, but once I get to configure and test it out, I'll write an in-depth review of it and try to cover things that I was concerned but which I couldn't find on other reviews. Stay tuned!

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
 
Hello there people,

Earlier this year I was a guest lecturer in Animefest 2016 in Czech. It was about psychological side on making art, how our brain works and how artist (and you) can take advantage of it. I'm happy to announce that the lecture can now be found on youtube. Here is the video:


It took so long for the staff to upload it, so I had already uploaded the slides in deviantart:
Nsio Explains: Psychological take on making art by Nsio

I hope you find the lecture useful and inspiring.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Hello there,

I like many kind of music, except rap or songs with heavy emphasis on lyrics. There are some exceptions, but in general I prefer instrumental music, or song that are sung in a language that I don't understand (such as in Japanese). I consider unknown language as instrument. Of course, even then it depends how the singing works together with the rest of the song.

There is also certain type of music that I enjoy listening more than others especially when I'm focusing on a demanding task, such as drawing or architectural design brainstorming. Usually this type of music has a lot of repetition in it, are long and loop seamlessly, making them ideal for long periods of concentration. In fact, I tend to listen one song in loop for hours. It takes me very long to get bored on certain songs. I have found that techno, trance and some game soundtracks are the best kind of music for my needs. I like it when there is very distinct bass thump carrying the song from the start to the very end.

A typical example of such qualities in a song: Masayoshi Minoshima - Mystic Water
(I happen to listen Touhou remixes a lot, but it doesn't have to be Touhou, as long as it has this distinct slow paced thumping bass)

Usually some repetitive noise, beeping and patterns are very fascinating.

For example: Alstroemeria Records - Necrofantasia
(Sadly I have some negative connotations on this after listening it on loop while having angst on some school work. I still like it a lot anyway)

The aforementioned songs work well in general. If I have some very specific goals, I try to match the song with the atmosphere I want to achieve in my drawings. If I want to draw something beautiful, I prefer listening some soothing and relaxing music. If I want to draw something epic or action-packed, I look for orchestral music. When I want to get something done, I tend to listen music that has some sort of tension and feel of urgency. If I'm just practicing and I need to focus on something without having any real goal, I tend to go for neutral but repetitive music.

For beautiful drawings and relaxation: 
FELT - Tears of the Moon 
Alstroemeria Records - Shinto Shrine
(These have some really appealing climaxes and development even when there is clear repetition)

For epicness and action:
Sound.AVE - Fires of Hokkai "the Day of Collapse"
Luminous Arc Ost - Traces of Journey 
(Those drums, wind and string instruments are really inspiring. It's difficult to find extremely good orchestral songs fitting my preferences).

For heavy concentration and urgency:
9 hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors Ost - Extreme Extrication
Ghost Trick Ost - Last Desperate Struggle
(Really digging the bass track and the feel of tension in these. Great DS games btw).

For general problem solving:
Ghost Trick Ost - Dead Afterimage
9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors Ost - Septenary Game 
(Work very well especially when I'm pondering architectural designs).

I also have some weirder preferences, like just listening some noise...
The Best Sounds Ever - MRI sounds
(When I was kid, I was mri scanned several times. The sounds rather... peculiar, but I like it a lot lol)

The songs I listed here are just few examples. I don't know if their effectiveness stems from their familiarity and emotions important to me, so they may not be as useful to you. Anyway, I have found them making it easier for me to focus on any given task, which directly affects the quality of my works.

What's your go to music when you want to focus on something demanding? Or do you agree with my picks as good concentration music?

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
I often get questions regarding drawing and art in general. And while I don't want to be mean, sometimes I wonder if people have problems thinking on their own. I feel like people want others to tell them what to do.

Then I looked at myself and I realized I'm not really different from them.

Since I work as an architect, I get to dabble with things like design and functionality all the time. Although I've been doing this job for quite a while, I still find myself asking what others want me to do rather than do what I want to do. In typical situation, the client has some ideas and wishes, which range from dull to extravagant. But it's not my job to do what the client wants, it's more about making my client to want my ideas. Or rather, it's my job to come up with a synthesis where my design ideas and the clients wishes merge in a way that they couldn't even fathom, but they realize it's what they really want.

Another example my inability of using my own brain is my first perspective tutorial: Nsio explains: Perspective. After a while, I realized that it's not very different from other perspective tutorials and that's because I tried to explain it in a way it's explained everywhere. There are some good pointers, sure, but if people don't understand how perspective works from other tutorials, then I don't know how they would get it from mine. I use the same perspective rules, but my approach is very different. I have no idea why I even explained perspective in a way that I'm not directly using myself. That made me understand that I shouldn't try explaining art concepts like the others do. It won't bring any new angle to the topics after all.

When I was visiting one of my friends, I  explained my way of thinking by using his room as an example, literally telling him what he sees and what not. It took quite a while, but he really started to understand what's going on, which also made him understand the rules of perspective. He even started to apply it by wondering "if what you said is true, then that means... right?". He began to think with his own brain rather than trying to force his mind into a set frame. It was very inspiring moment.

I often get asked where did I learn drawing. I need to say "everywhere". The reason I have learned to understand quite a lot about art is that I used my own brain. I read several tutorials and picked up things that I found useful for my needs. I also made observations about everything I saw, especially on mangas that I liked a lot. I made a lot of experiments to find out if my understanding gets the job done. And just like in my job, I try to find ways to make others desire my ideas rather than simply doing what they (or I) want. Whether I'm successful at that, is whole different matter.

TLDR; Learn from everyone, follow no one.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Stream status: [OFFLINE]
On Wednesday 3rd August
Began: 18:00 PM (UCT+0)
Ended: 21:00 (UCT +0)
Link: picarto.tv/Nsio
Thank you for joining my livestream session!

Hello there,

I thought trying Picarto.tv as a livestream platform for a change. While it won't save the livestream as I'm using free account, I think I'll be able to stream in better quality (60 FPS and 1080p). So yeah, if you are around on Wednesday 3rd August at 18:00 (UTC time), feel free to drop by. That's roughly 1 hour from the time stamp of this journal post.

EDIT: I will be drawing, too

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
LIVESTREAM STATUS:OFFLINE...
DIRECT LINK
 

Hello there people,

Sycra Yasin, a freelance artist and art instructor, invited me to join his livestream on Saturday 30th July at 10:00 PM GMT+2 (at 7:00 PM UTC). Feel free to join us.

I'm not sure what we will be discussing there, but whatever it is, it ought to be super interesting and potentially useful for you as well. You can also ask questions and we (or I) may answer to them.

I'll give direct link to the livestream 1 hour prior the livestream.

Nsio of the Hermit Mystics
Stream status: [OFFLINE...]
On Sunday 26th June
Begins: 19:50 PM (GMT+0)
Ends: 23:12 PM (GMT +0)
Link: www.livestream.com/nsio?t=1294…
Click here to see the recording!
Thanks for joining my livestream session! And thanks for showing up, Sycra, if you are THAT sycra, that is :D


Hello there,

It's been a long time from my latest piano LIVEstream, so I thought doing one today. The details can be seen above. As said, the livestream will start in about 3 hours from the time stamp of this journal post. Note that if you go the channel now, you will see some of my older streams. So if you can't be there during the actual livestream, feel free to watch the old recordings.

See you there, hopefully!


Nsio of the Hermit Mystics