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Cool 21st Centry Drawing Tools
May 11, 2010

Just Draw It - A New Toy!
May 10, 2010

Hi there,

Mitch here. It's been a while, and I needed a boost, so I got a new drawing 'tool' to jumpstart me back into drawing again.

The last year was a really amazing one having signed on at one of the world's largest video game companies working in the art department there and travelling around the world making sure that when you get a game it's packed with as much great art as possible, but that's also taken me away from my drawing a little bit.

So, I went out and got a new drawing tool (I call it my new toy) called a tablet PC. This is a little different than a conventional tablet that you use to draw on the computer because this one let's you draw right on the screen - it's really cool to finally be able to see what you are drawing, instead of drawing on one surface kind of blindly while looking at the screen.

The problem with this art computer is that it's hard to find info about them because these types of computers generally cater to more the medical and engineering fields. If you're not familiar with them - think of it kind of like an IPad, but with a pen, and pressure sensitivity, and it's a fully functioning computer so you can run all the great drawing software out there without a hitch.

There's 2 companies that stood out above the rest - Toshiba and Lenovo for tablet PCs. I ended up with a Toshiba M400 that I found used on EBay for $309 - a total steal! If I had unlimited money then I would have gone for the Lenovo X201, but with all the bells and whistles in upgrades it would have ended up costing around $2,000. Both of these computers are really slick with good battery life, screen resolution, outdoor visibility and weight so you won't break your back if you travel a lot carrying it around like I do! The one advantage (or disadvantage depending how you look at it) of the Toshiba over the Lenovo is that it comes standard with a DVD player, where the Lenovo needs a special docking cradle to be able to use DVDs.

What's so cool about these is that you can use them like a regular laptop all the time, and then when you are feeling artsy - just flip the screen around and you have a digital sketchbook - it's really too cool.

Another mention that I should give for those of you out there who love your Mac's is called a Modbook. If you get one of these, you'll need to either specially order it from a company called Axiotron, or send in your macbook to them and they'll do the work converting your computer to a Modbook for you. These computers are awesome - if you look up Modbook on Youtube you can get a look at them. The only downside with them is that I haven't read good things online about their customer support if you happen to have a problem with your Modbook - so just go into the situation with your eyes open and weigh your options. The price for one of these will cost you either $900 if you send in your existing Mac, or $1900 if you buy a new one.

Ok - that's it about tablet PCs. I'm really enjoying this and drawing with it often and working on some cool new training and tutorials.


From the Mailroom:

Dear Drawing Coach,

I'm using the program gimp 2.6. and I have a few finished products, but I don't know how to convert it so that I can actually show my friends on Facebook or at least make it into a bitmap image. Any idea on how I can accomplish that?

Thanks - Danny

Hi Danny!

When you are making images for the web, you'll want to save them in one of 3 formats that the web most supports. Those formats are JPG, GIF and PNG - each has special functions. For Facebook, I would recommend saving as a JPG - this will give you good quality, and also keep the image size fairly small (depending on the size of the image) so that it will load quick on the net. Usually when you save a JPG you will have an option to set the quality. Lower quality level means smaller file size, which is good, and I've found that a quality setting of 60 - 90% works great for the web.



In the Works:

More drawing tutorials! There's a lot more coming out and I'm trying to get a new lesson up on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week - You can always see the latest stuff here:


Around the Net:

This month I want to give a shout out to my boy Jeff over at Jeff's been doing a great job delivering great drawing lessons, and if you're looking for more cool lessons go check out his site:

How to Draw Cartoons


New Tutorials:

Cartoon Panda - This one has a video at the end that I made with the new tablet PC mentioned above!

Cartoon Bat - Quick and simple cartoon bat drawing lesson.

Cartoon Stars - Give some personality to your cartoon stars.

How to Draw a Koala - A cute cartoon koala lesson.

Duck Cartoon Drawing Lesson - Drawing a mommy duck and her ducklings following behind.


Handy Links:

FAQ: Got a Question? It's likely answered right here! Drawing Faq
Search: Having trouble finding something on the site? Check here! Drawing Search
Blog: Want to quickly see what's new on the site? Drawing Blog


Question of the Month:

I know a lot of you have been following the site for a while, and some of you are brand new, but I've got this feeling that you guys are looking for more serious cartooning materials. I have this sneaking suspicion that a lot of you are looking to get to the next level with your drawing from simple to intermediate. Am I wrong?

Contact Me and Let me know!


Best wishes for your artistic success!


Mitch Bowler











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