There are many reasons why you would want to use a Graphics Tablet or interactive pen display to help you produce digital art and images – and not many against! I will cover a few of the plus points of owning one of these devices and then summarize some of the downsides too. But be prepared for more pro’s than con’s.
A USB Graphics Tablet can be used in all applications. It is not just tied to being used within a specific graphics application like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw. If you wanted to use Microsoft Paint on your PC to make an image, you can. Or if you wanted to use it to re-organize your images in iPhoto on the Mac, you can do that too. The tablet is totally application independent. Sure, some software manufacturers will provide add-ons and plugins to their software to make it easier to use with a Graphics Tablet, but they can be used without it too.
I guess that because you are reading this, you are considering buying a Graphics Tablet. Up until this point you may have been attempting to draw using the mouse and found it very frustrating. Holding the mouse is a very natural position for clicking your way through internet pages or navigating through your library of digital photos, but it is not the best method of drawing. For a start, the hand is facing forwards, where as when you are drawing, your hand is normally facing slightly to the left or right, across your body. Using a mouse, it is very hard to produce fluid strokes as you would do with a pen or pencil but when you use a Graphics Tablet, it frees you from the shackles of the mouse and takes you back to the better, more natural position and angle.
Graphics tablets are also easy to use. A child could easily use one to produce images on a PC or Mac. What could be more intuitive for a child to learn to draw and write onto a computer screen where mistakes can be erased and their imagination can be unleashed.
It has to be said that these graphics pads and interactive pen displays do come at a price. You might want to start with a cheaper model, just to see how you get on with using it before you take the plunge and pay out for a top of the range Wacom screen.
They also take a little getting used to and if you are an established painter, drawer or artist you might initially struggle with transferring your techniques and talents to the screen. Having said that, being able to undo and re-arrange your work as you see fit until you are happy does have it’s benefits too.
So as you can see, there are more Pro’s than there are Con’s. At the end of the day, it may all come down to price over function. Also consider how often you would use the device and what it will be used for. You may not need the most expensive interactive pen display if you are only removing red eye from your digital images once a month.