Well, again, best time to write these entries seems to be during lunch breaks and stuff. Here’s number one of two paintings I’m planning to do this time around and it’s the first “formal” painting I’ve done on the TC4200 as well. The second one will prolly go up for next week and hopefully I’ll feel like taking care of the story mess before the update after the next.
So really, the TC4200 might be the best art investment I’ve made since buying my original Wacom (The TC4200 was $50 more expensive, but as far as inflation and the devaluation of the dollar goes, it might as well have cost the same XD). Seriously, it is just that much intuitive to be drawing lines where you can see them, rather than on a standard tablet and looking at a screen. Whether or not this makes a significant improvement in art quality is still to be seen.
In general the TC4200’s not an extremely powerful machine and at least in general drawing, XP Tablet edition seems to give me a bit more lag than my Intuos 3 and my old 500m. Furthermore, it doesn’t do a great job processing those really large brush strokes either, and image manipulation (rotating, resizing, blah blah blah) take significantly longer than on the D830. Ah well. Pentium Ms are still cool in my book.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. My paintings starting from C071120 have been following this trend of increasing brush sizes and especially with the last series of paintings have been looking – for lack of a better word “impressionist”. C080126 is pretty much the pinnacle of this trend. After considering it a bit, I’m really against this trend, so I’ve brought the brush size back down to 10-15 ish for this illustration. Not that the TC4200 can happily render anything much bigger than, say, 30px. Small improvement over the 500m.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve also reached the conclusion (and I don’t really know if I concluded this in the past) that it is much harder for good color to make up for bad lineart than it is for bad lineart to make up for poor coloring. Like in the case of Yuki I think the lineart was pretty fluid and it made up for the whole “impressionist” mess, but with Fate here, I feel like the lineart is pretty stiff and the painting (which I consider to be slightly superior) doesn’t do as good a job of covering up. Maybe just me though. Next painting is going to move away from my current lineart tracing strategy, though there doesn’t really seem to be a good fast fix for improving the quality of linearts in general XD. If only, if only.
Some other annoyances with painting on the HP. When you flip the thing into tablet mode, the screen covers up both the keyboard and the mouse. You don’t really need either of these when you’re doing the actual painting, but they’re nice to have. Keyboard moreso than mouse. A lot of times with the Intuos, I find myself keeping my left hand on the Ctrl + Z combination for quick undos. I’ve set one of my tablet hotkeys to do an undo, but it’s really annoying to keep reaching over to it. External keyboard you say? All my keyboards are PS/2 and the TC4200 is too new to accept such stone age devices.
It’s really annoying trying to keep the screen clean as well. I end up putting a square of tissue or paper towel under the side of my hand when I write/draw on the thing so as to prevent smudges from getting on the screen. One reason I really don’t like standard touch screen devices, all you’re gonna do is get smudges all over that freaking display.
Ultimately a tablet pc seems a nice thing to have for art. Maybe I’ll consider upgrading to like an X60 or X61 tablet somewhere along the line. The lowest X60 tablet I’ve seen has gone for an amazing $650, down from like $950 when I was looking for the TC4200. Prolly when the battery here starts giving out (Which seriously may not be long considering how heavily I’m using it).