While on vacation recently, I did some drawing on a laptop computer while outside and it caught another artist’s attention. She asked me what sort of setup I was using and I told her “a cheap one!” And it is too. (For a computer.) My husband bought an old 12” Mac Laptop for my birthday for around $500 and I added a $100 Wacom Graphire graphics tablet. I’m running OS 9 on the Mac and I use old lite versions of graphics programs that don’t take up much memory to do my drawing in.
I love the freedom of drawing on a computer! That sounds a little odd because it’s so much more complicated than plain old pencil and paper but the computer offers some very alluring tricks. Quick area fills and being able to add light values over dark ones easily are two that I love. The versatility of using “layers” is another one. I love being able to change paper texture at will and choosing “brushes” that create interesting patterns. Then there is the “undo” feature which is also wonderful. (I wish I had the undo feature in real life!)
The computer is a great “thinking” tool for artists too. It’s very easy to work out compositions when you can move all the elements around easily because they are on layers. And you can change values quickly just to see what they look like and even scale objects to different sizes.
I still make the art I send out into the world by pencil, paper and lots of work but it’s fun to step away from that sometimes and merge my muse with my computer.