Technology and your art - drawing (graphic) tablets - UPDATED

This wonderful topic was suggested to me today by a fellow Artful Success participant, mostly because of my Adobe Illustrator ramblings.  I am quite a techie....

...and melding that with my art makes me divinely happy.

In response to my post about trying to help people with their ppp issues, I got a lot of questions re my use of Illustrator.  Over a number of posts, I'll highlight some tips and tricks.

Sooooo, how do I draw freehand on AI.  Mostly, I just use my finger on the trackpad.  Because I have a MacBook Pro, the trackpad has been fried in all sorts of Awesomesauce, so doodling with a finger is easy peasy.  If you have a windows based computer, you can certainly do this, it's just not as roomy.  A great alternative to the old finger method is to use a drawing tablet and stylus.  I use mine only about 5% of the time (apparently I have magic fingers!), but if you like the sensation of drawing with a pen, this will be for you.

Attach tablet to your computer with usb and draw with stylus.
The drawing/marks show up on your computer.
I use a Wacom Bamboo pad.  It was inexpensive (under $100), probably much cheaper for you Americans.  For some reason, stuff just costs more here....although since we don't have to live in fear of bancruptcy if we should require medical intervention to get a splinter removed, I'll gladly pay more:)  Annnnnnnnywho.......the stylus on the tablet works exactly like a finger on a trackpad, it's just bigger.  Your tablet basically mimics your computer screen, so if I put the stylus down on the top right portion of the pad, the mark shows up on the top right portion of my screen.  The only thing that I'm not a fan of is that I can't see any markings on the tablet, they just show on the computer screen.  I would prefer to be able to see my drawing on the tablet.  Perhaps more expensive versions offer this?

Once the image is on the computer screen, you can manipulate it however you want using illustrator and just a few clicks.  These manipulations took 2 seconds, if that...

0.5 stroke.  I use this for my all of my ppp work.

This is 2 pt stroke, with one click.

Reverse the black/white

Colour and stretch.....or whatever....

UPDATE:  Many have asked if you can use a tablet with Photoshop....yep.  Just google and you'll find all kinds of yummies to do with tablets and how to install them/use them/etc.

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