For years I have drooled at the opportunity to own a CINTIQ graphics monitor. It is basically a big digital drawing pad – a computer screen that you can actually draw on.

What’s wrong with a real drawing pad, Cody? Well….nothing. I still use real drawing pads.

The beauty of using a computer for drawing is in the layers. If I draw a large city scene with lots of people and cars and dogs, and I’m halfway through the drawing when I see that one kid is in the wrong spot and needs to be moved, I have to erase the whole kid and redraw him. And that might involve having to erase a few other people to adjust for the design change. On a computer, I can draw every single element on its own layer, and then I can move all those elements around independently of the other layers. I can erase on a layer and not affect any of the others. It’s quite a liberating experience for an artist.

I have been using a drawing tablet for my computer work since like 2001. They are nice because you are actually using a pen to draw with, and the tablet can sense how hard or soft you are applying pressure. The main problem is that your hand is over here drawing, but your eyes are looking elsewhere – the computer screen – to see what you are drawing. It takes some getting used to coordinating the eyes with the hand.

So when I first saw a CINTIQ years ago, I wanted one. Back then they were around $1800. 15 years later I still do not have one. That’s a big cost. Guess how much they are now? The one I would like is $3000. *sigh*

Some of you may know that I suffer from wrist and forearm pain. As I age and actually care about it now, I am trying to find ways to alleviate it so I can continue to be an artist. Well the other night I started thinking about the CINTIQ again, and as I was perusing the internet, I found an article by an artist who had been using digital tablets for years – just like me – and he had horrible wrist pain from it.

I was sold. Now I needed to get a CINTIQ. I try not to touch my credit cards ever, but this seemed like a no-brainer.

As I researched the different CINTIQ models and continued reading this artist’s article, I was surprised to hear that he used to use CINTIQ monitors, but recently he had just discovered the Apple Pencil and was using it on an iPad Pro. At first I thought this was ridiculous. How can a professional artist use an iPad for serious work? You can’t run the Adobe products on an iPad. And the screen size is too small.

Oh I wrestled for a couple hours that night digging up testimonials from artists about CINTIQs and iPads. I was so sure I was going to get a CINTIQ – fulfill that dream I’ve had for so long.

In the end I ordered the iPad and the Apple pencil. Total price tag: $1100. The other artists sold me. The new 13″ iPads are still in production so it won’t ship for another 3 weeks, but I am pretty stoked.

By Cody Deegan

Cody Deegan is a life-long artist versed in drawing, painting, sculpting, and design. He studied filmmaking and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as well as figurative oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

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