Friday 14 May 2021

Getting Started With a Drawing Tablet

 Technically this isn't my first time using a drawing tablet. I think I briefly used on about 10 years ago when my boss upgraded to a Wacom so the previous tablet he used "trickled down" to me. The reasoning at the time was that it would be useful for creating UI mockups and annotating them. I don't think it got used much and went in a drawer.

Anyway, this might as well be my first time using one so that's what I'll say.

Over the last few weeks I've enjoyed drawing on paper but I was a little disappointed with the results after scanning in some of my drawings. Plus my folder was starting to grow ever larger so I figured this would be a good opportunity try my hand at digital art.

I did a bit of research and opted for an XP-Pen Deco 01 (v2). It's not overly expensive and is a decent size.


At this point, I can't really justify spending a lot of money on a pen display or similar device so a simple "drawing tablet" (something without a screen) seemed like a good starting point.

One thing I do like about XP-Pen is their little mascot character 😁


My Workstation

It's definitely taking some getting used to. Looking at the screen while drawing didn't feel natural at first but so far I've found that it just takes a little perseverance. A few things that I've found have helped are:


Anybody who knows me knows that my handwriting is atrocious. So much so that one of my old teachers described it as being like a drunken spider crawled across the page with the a pen 😂 (not said maliciously - she was actually pretty supportive). In spite of how terrible my writing looks, writing a few words and sentences helped me get used to the disconnect between hand movements and seeing the result on screen by starting with familiar movements. I don't have much experience with art so handwriting made more sense for me.

Practice Website

I came across a nifty little website that you can use to practice drawing over blueprint figures to work on your accuracy.


Drilling practice routines is useful, but I didn't want this to stop me from actually doing some drawings. Not long after setting up the tablet on my laptop, I fired up Autodesk Sketchbook and had a go at "blocking out" a character. It's safe to say the results were laughable but it's all practice.

This is difficult!

I've largely given up on Sketchbook as it seems a bit limited and I think it might have been developed with Wacom tablets in mind. Instead I switched to Clip Studio Paint (Pro). A friend recommended it and it's not too expensive (about £30 or £40ish) and the developers allow it to be used on two machines (not at the same time) so I can use it on my desktop and laptop.

It won't win any awards, but it's good practice


It helps that I can create an outline that's rough AF and gradually refine it with additional layers of outlines before finishing it. Having drawn my first character entirely on a tablet, I'm not displeased with the result. Sure it's pretty rough and I've managed to get a load of things wrong on it but a few days ago I'd never used this sort of thing before so I'm pleased that I'm starting to get to grips with using it 😊

I plan to go back to some of the tutorial videos I followed for drawing on paper and try to redo them but using the tablet instead.


I'm going to try scanning and tracing some of my earlier drawings for additional practice.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

It had to happen - drawing my first hentai

While getting a little practice in drawing characters, it had to happen sooner or later - turning it in to hentai.

It's safe to say that I managed to completely screw up the proportions. Besides being tied up, the poor girl I've drawn appears to have legs like ICBMs 😦

Sure, it looks absolutely terrible but on the plus side it's been fun and I think I can keep drawing something similar while practising the basic techniques for drawing faces and bodies. Getting the basic shapes and proportions right is proving tricky, starting by "blocking out" characters with basic shapes seems to be helping. Practice makes perfect?

From bad to worse

As for all of the questionable drawings, It's almost enough to make my creations break the fourth wall to ask about my motivations...

It might not be...

Sunday 18 April 2021

Who would have thought it. Drawing?

Recently something has happened that I honestly never imagined would happen. I've developed an interest in drawing.

I think it was after seeing seeing fanart and doujin style works that I was inspired to try. It only really started as an attempt at understanding, I have an uncle who likes art and years ago suggested recreating something I've seen as a way of understanding it better (recently confirmed by my brother who was advised to do the same thing in art college).

So for the last few days I've been trying to learn a few basic techniques and practice as much as I can. I'm the type of person who can develop an obsessive interest in something and then fizzle out but this is something that I feel lets me express myself in a way I've never really been able to before so I'm going to try to keep at it and not give up.


I remembered a line from the 2nd season of the series "Genius", with that season following Picasso.Specifically when at a prestigious art school, the class is reminded "You will never be an artist until you master the laws of perspective" (or words to that effect - it's been a few years since I saw it). So, I figured perspective would be a good place to start (I vaguely remember that I did two point perspective in art class at school many years ago - but that's about it)

A big shout out to circle line art school for their excellent videos on single point perspective. I find the worked example really helpful as opposed to just an intro to perspective and how to draw basic shapes. An example covering drawing a type of room just seems to help it make more sense. Different people learn in different ways, this seems to work well for me.

How to Draw a Room in 1-Point Perspective for Beginners

One of my early attempts. A bit of a mess but a great learning experience.
One of my early attempts. A bit of a mess but a great learning experience.

A later attempt. Getting better... I think
A later attempt. Getting better... I think

How to Draw a Bedroom in 1-Point Perspective

With a few attempts at a living room under my belt, I had a go at a bedroom to try a different angle and different types of objects.  It's going to take a lot of practice but it's proving to be fun and my failures are not proving as frustrating as I'd feared. Every time I get something fundamentally wrong, I learn something from it.

Not that happy with it, but it's a start


Rather than just drilling perspective until I get it right, I'm trying my hand at manga style drawing as well. This is because:

  1. This is what I really want to do (what I've done so far is mainly to get an understanding of the basics)
  2. This will hopefully keep things interesting, I worry that drilling perspective and nothing else will eventually turn it in to a chore and sap the fun from it

I joked to my brother that next step is to learn to draw tentacles, to which he replied that he should have known there was an endgame with this. I want to draw my own hentai, don't judge me!

Another big shout out to people who have created resources  that have helped me take this first step.

How to Draw Faces for Beginners | Anime Manga Drawing Tutorial

I think Whyt Manga has a rather unique style? At least that's what he's suggested in the video. It covers his style of drawing faces, he explains it pretty well and has really helped me to understand things like the proportions and where features are on the face.

My attempt at drawing a female face was a total mess in relation to the male face, as that was my first attempt whereas I made a first attempt at the male face and then tried again.

I've also made an attempt at copying a characters face from something I was reading, I figured that would help me get a feel for it.

And lastly, trying a face from another guide to try different techniques.

How to Draw Anime or Manga Faces (wikihow)


So I'm pretty hopeless so far. My results with faces have been varied, I've tried recreating faces I've drawn to see how consistently I can draw them - and I can't LOL.

A friend has suggested how to draw manga books and is going to have a look at her collection for ones to suggest (it's good to know which ones have been helpful)

It's early days but it's a fun learning experience. Hopefully I'll have something to update soon.