I have never considered myself a “fan artist”, but I have always liked drawing. However, a pencil and paper seemed very limiting, especially when I wanted to try new art styles, and buying countless art supplies for something I only considered an occasional passtime was not an option either. Digital fan art has made art much more accessible for everyone. It opens the door to the world of digital brushes and textures, drawing software, color palettes… And it also means the end of dragging ink across the paper, which sounded extremely appealing to me.
The problem with digital is that drawing with a mouse is nearly an impossible task, especially if you lack the patience. The next logical step is to use a graphic tablet. This is a piece of hardware that once seemed quite bizarre and like it was something only used by elite designers, but that’s become more common over the years, even for those who don’t consider themselves artists.
If you’re a fan artist and have considered making the jump to digital, you might have noticed that graphic tablets can be quite… expensive. But fear not, there are also very cheap options that offer everything you need if you’re starting out as an artist. Besides, it’s Black Friday, so if you have been thinking about getting a graphic tablet “someday”, well… today is a very good day.
NOTE 1: We are featuring the best 5 deals we found today, from the most expensive to the cheapest, depending on your needs and buget.
NOTE 2: Make sure the tablet works with your OS first! You will also need to download/buy a drawing software separately if you don’t have one already have (Adobe Photoshop, PaintTool SAI, GIMP…). We recommend checking the manufacturer’s website BEFORE inserting the CD for all the information regarding the drivers and the installation process.
Ugee 1910b is for professional artists, Art Major students, and basically anyone who’s willing to spend big bucks in their artistic future. We are featuring this tablet as the best deal among expensive tablets for what it offers at such price: 19 inches (1440x900px), 2048 levels of pressure, adjustable stand at different angles (it will NOT lay flat), and it supports a second monitor. There are also a few gifts that come with the package: 2 rechargable pens, a drawing glove, and a screen protector.
For nearly half the price, it’s still possible to find pretty good tablets with over 30% discount. The Parblo Coast 10 tablet offers similar features to the Ugee 1910B, but this one will fit artists who prefer drawing flat (it also has an optional little stand similar to those of a keyboard). It offers a light, battery-free pen, High Viewing Angle (Horizontal 170º and Vertical 170º), as well as different applications for writing/signing, drawing/animating, teaching… etc. The package includes a 2-finger glove and a wool liner bag, among other things.
Wacom is one of the most well-respected brands when it comes to graphic tablets. Unlike the other tablets, Wacom Intuos includes a free Art Pack with different software and tutorials. The pen is battery-free and pressure-sensitive, and you can also use your fingers to navigate, scroll or zoom your artwork. The tablet comes with customizable Express Keys that work as shortcuts to make the drawing process easier and more personalized. Wacome Intuos is 10.75 by 8.75 inches and easily fits in a laptop bag.
The first thing you will spot in this tablet is the little shortcut keys. These little keys are used to redefine the settings for customization according to your usage habits. The pen offers 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and the tablet is 15.6 x 13.5 x 2.2 inches and weights 2.7 pounds. The setup and installation process is surprisingly easy, which makes it the ideal tablet for anyone who wants to step up their drawing game without paying a lot of money for it.
Fun story: This is the one I got for myself as my first graphic tablet. It was (and still is) the one with the best quality/price ratio. I have had it for nearly a year now, and I never had any issues with it. Sometimes the pen will act a bit funny, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved with just re-plugging it. If you just want to try a graphic tablet out of curiosity or as a passtime, this is the best option the market has to offer.