Other names : Drawing pad , Graphic tablet , Writing pad
Basically, this device also controls your mouse cursor, similar to a mouse. However, when you control the mouse cursor with a pen-shaped device, it is easier to draw and write after selecting the relevant tool in your software (pen, eraser, brush, colours).
In the opening seconds of the above video, you can see how the drawing pad’s working area is connected to your computer screen. This is important because it shows how your physical movements on the pad directly correspond to actions on the screen. Understanding this connection ensures a smooth and intuitive drawing experience right from the start.
The main difference among pen tablet models is their size, along with design, appearance, and extra buttons. A larger size gives you a better sense of control over brush lines, especially if you use a bigger computer monitor, like 27 inches or above or high-res monitor like 2K. In that case, it’s generally better to go for a larger size.
When drawing with a pen tablet, unlike a pen display, your focus is on your computer screen, not on the surface of the drawing pad. When drawing details, you can zoom in/out and pan the canvas in digital painting software. The drawing pad’s working area is mapped to that zoomed area. This allows you to achieve good output, even with a smaller model, once you get used to its size.
Disadvantages of a large-sized pen tablet( may not apply to everyone):
- Requires a significant amount of table space.
- Involves larger hand movements to move the mouse cursor.
- May not be easily portable for carrying in a bag, especially for a student.
This device is more useful in digital art than graphic design where you use freehand drawing tools to draw/erase.
In vector arts/graphic design, some artist use illustrator pen tool. With pen tool it is easier to draw clean and smooth lines and shapes. But When you use drawing pad with pen tool you don’t feel much difference over mouse because you draw by clicking point to point.
Video 2 - Pen pressure sensitivity use with photoshop brushes
A pen tablet is the most affordable option to start digital art. Our beloved artist Randy Chriz also uses a pen tablet as his current device.
- Pen Monitor : You need to connect it as a monitor to your computer, and you can draw on it.
- Pen Computer: It is an all-in-one computer, eliminating the need for a separate PC or monitor. However, it is a very expensive drawing device.
- Portable all-in-one devices: iPad (Pencil needs to be purchased separately) and Android tablets (models that include the pressure-sensitive pen in the package)