Friday, April 1, 2011

Wacom Cintiq 21 UX !!!

Ok this is huge. Literally. Two weeks ago I finally took the plunge and upgraded my creative arsenal with the Cintiq 21 UX by Wacom - and all I can say is WOW! For those who don't know, the Cintiq is a tablet monitor that allows you to paint and draw directly on its surface with amazing precision. There's a 12 inch version and a 21 inch. I tried the 12 inch in a local store here in Ottawa and I loved the graceful and accurate feel of the pen and that all-important one-to-one sensation of putting pen directly on the screen, but the 12 inch Cintiq just felt too cramped. It's true that for urban sketching I tend to work small but even then my sketchbooks aren't THAT small... they're about the size of a nice paperback book. But for digital painting and professional illustration work, I definitely like to have the room to move around... So while the 12 was a great portable tablet and response was very nice, in the end I knew that I needed its big brother.

Don't be fooled. The Cintiq is expensive, but if you can scrounge up the dough you quickly realize that it is a sound investment... not only for your illustration business but even for pleasure... to become a better artist. If that is your goal, then let me echo what so many other illustrators and artists say all around the net: you quickly realize that the cost justifies itself by the way your art grows before your very eyes! Seriously, the sky's the limit with this thing, and digital art is an exciting emerging field. I think if you're an artist who tends toward traditional media but wants the added flexibility and reproducibility of digital, the Cintiq is definitely a good investment. Another thing: tally up how much you spend in art supplies each year. You may be surprised how much you'd have to pay to, say, bang out 50 small-sized oil on canvas paintings each year versus using the Cintiq and doing away with the mess, clean-up, costs, etc of traditional media. I made a quick calculation myself and figured I would pay around $700 a year in art supplies for 50 paintings (1 small oil a week).

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