Sorry if I sound construed, drawing tablets really are beautiful things that allow you to manipulate images and refine them down and so much more. I can already hear you all shouting at my one sided argument being completely incorrect in every conceivable way, for you. But this is just me, and for now I am just thinking about this one sidedly, I use my tablet everyday, and if that doesn’t say I endorse this equipment then there is not a lot more I can do. But this is just a quick quip that plagued my wandering mind one day.
With a pencil you know when to stop, no matter how meticulously slow and light you start off, you reach a point where you can only layer up so much lead until your drawing turns into an unrecognisable black hole. Before you get to that stage you have to stop and accept it, no matter what state it is in, or alternatively scrap it and start again. There is very little in ways of recovering from the slippery slope of over shading.
Then in it walked, nay! strutted, into my life, the Wacom bamboo tablet. Sheer and futuristic I am told this A4 size grey slate can allow me to draw straight onto my screen. Gone are the days of photographing and scanning in my drawings to then tediously redraw them out again to make it all digitalised. I am not only handed a pencil, a pen and a brush all in one. I am also now given a super eraser, a white pencil and the almighty undo button. I found myself puffing and puffing away, not knowing when to stop, perfection was actually attainable if I never ever stopped. I love photorealistic pencil drawings, I like that feeling of looking at something having no idea how the human hand created the near impossible and the shocked faces of those who see it. Now here was something that would help me makes this a real possibility. Working and reworking over my drawing, zooming in to 300%, 700% up to even 2000%. Not one pixel could be wrong if I didn’t choose it to be. But it made me begin to think, is it the choice I want or even need, or is it killing my creativity?
Are the constraints of pencil the peril of being an artist, or the joy? are the mistakes the worst bits or actually some of the best bits. If nothing can ever be wrong or undone how do you create new, you forever lie in the infinite whirl pool of correcting your mistakes in this vast digital world.
If nothing this rant has made me realise that I love pencil and the contestants it gives me. I don’t have infinite chances and each decision has to be more carefully assessed over and over again. I am limited but also freed. Pushed to try again, think again, start again. Of course there are many times when you draw and you reach for the ctrl alt z and your eyes well up when you suddenly realise that you are in the real world, but it’s part of the fun. You never know, those mistakes might become your greatest assets.