For some time I've been drawing a lot to get more confident with my lines. My exercises were easy on paper, but when I tried to do them on my Intuos it took much more effort to get them right. It was very frustrating—I want to be primarily a digital artist, I don't want to start by drawing thumbnails traditionally every time! But I did have enough money to invest into a new tablet, a tablet of my dreams: Wacom Cintiq. It was the cheapest and smallest of them all, 13HD, but why would I need more if my Intuos is roughly the same size?
Do you remember how happy I was when I switched from Bamboo to Intuos Pro? I was so excited that I had to share the good news with you immediately. And now, I've used Cintiq for a few weeks and you know nothing about it. Why? Well... to be honest, the first time was very disappointing. Yes, it was more precise than Intuos, but not precise enough. I've calibrated it many times, I tried to find the right position, I experimented with brush settings and the tablet settings... Still, it wasn't exactly like drawing on paper.
I've decided to give it more time, and now I have more to tell about its disadvantages. It's slippery when tilted and it kills your neck when laid flat. Its colors are far from perfect. Its surface is so shiny I can see the reflection of my bright ceiling whenever I try to paint something dark (I usually go from dark to light). Sometimes, depending on the color beneath, I can see messy traces of my felt nib all over my painting (I'm using it to reduce the slippery effect). I can't turn off the cursor, so when I'm sketching fine lines the cursor is bigger than them. I can't place the keyboard anywhere near enough and I constantly select the picture (W) instead of erasing a line (E) when I try not to look away. When painting, you see your tiny nib and a big stroke around it, which makes it harder to control it.
That's a long list of disadvantages for such an expensive tool, right? I managed to fix or reduce some of them. I use 100% brightness to reduce the reflection (still, I almost cry when seeing perfect black on my REAL monitor). I've bough Lazy Nezumi to remove the cursor and improve precision. I was also forced to draw more with the elbow, which is nice. And I'm still using it, so it can't be that bad, right?
It's not a bad tool. It is quite precise and it gives you a chance to touch your own painting, which is very cool. I think the biggest problem about it is it's very precise, but not paper-like. That's the biggest issue. You are aware that non-screen tablets are a compromise and you forgive them their quirks, but when you start using Cintiq, you expect it will be just like drawing on paper. It's not. It's very close, but not close enough. Even the sound of a felt nib smearing over the surface can't fix that dissonance!
I keep using it. I think if I master drawing with my elbow it will all be much easier. Still, it will only make the sketching phase easier. Or inking. Or preparing the Clipping Masks. But for painting, Intuos is a much better choice. That's why I have two tablets on my desk now, switching them when needed. Do I regret this purchase? No, I'm sure I would buy a Cintiq sooner or later, just out of curiosity. But surely it didn't met my expectations.
If you dream about a Cintiq to make your drawings more accurate, better try Lazy Nezumi plugin. You don't really need more. You'll save a lot of money and some space on your desk. But, maybe it's just me. If you consider buying this tablet, I would strongly recommend you test it first, if you only have a chance. Check if it's for you before you put money in it.
And if you already have a Cintiq, what's your experience with it? Was it hard to start? Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about, because for you it was perfect right from the first day? Let me know!