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How do you hold a pen for Wacom Pen & Touch Tablet?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:35 am
by TungstenRain
I'm a beginner with art. I'm one of the old guys (but new to the forums). However, I found that I really enjoy sketching and that I eventually want to be able to put out some webcomics. I stumbled upon Sycra's youtube videos and have found them to be invaluable. My last art class was a couple decades ago (we'll leave it at that). And aside from painting minis and walls, I haven't done much in this venue of art. I'm starting from scratch basically.

So, I have a couple questions (which may well likely spawn more questions--they're kinda like rabbits, nasty buggers).

1) How am I supposed to hold the pen for a Wacom Pen & Touch tablet? I''m not quite sure how to hold it without cramping up my arm. Also, I've read and hear that I need to draw from the shoulder and not the wrist. How would I go about this with the tablet?
2) 7 1/2 heads vs 8 heads. What's the deal? I can't find a cohesive story on which to use. From what I've read, 8 is more the noble/ideal, correct? Which is more accurate? What is the best approach on this?

How do you hold a pen for Wacom Pen & Touch Tablet?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:17 am
by Ambiguity
TungstenRain wrote:1) How am I supposed to hold the pen for a Wacom Pen & Touch tablet? I''m not quite sure how to hold it without cramping up my arm. Also, I've read and hear that I need to draw from the shoulder and not the wrist. How would I go about this with the tablet?
You hold it the same way you hold any other pen(although there are other options for other reasons: https://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/how-to-hold-a-stylus).If it's hurting you, you are probably holding it too tight.

To answer the question about drawing with your shoulder, it is again exactly the same as if you were doing it on paper. A problem you might run into, though, is that some tablets have a really small active area. If you have one of these you obviously won't be able to move very far, but you should still be able to get some arm movement. By the way, you can draw from your wrist if you're detailing things, don't feel like you have to put your shoulder into every little thing when drawing.

TungstenRain wrote:2) 7 1/2 heads vs 8 heads. What's the deal? I can't find a cohesive story on which to use. From what I've read, 8 is more the noble/ideal, correct? Which is more accurate? What is the best approach on this?
7 1/2 heads is a realistic average some doctors found when measuring a group of adults, but remember it is an average, not an exact scale for every single person you'll run in to. The 8 heads thing came from the old masters, they made people a bit longer because they felt it looked more beautiful(it also makes for easy divisions of body parts). It's a beauty standard that stuck all the way up until now for some reason, that's why clothing designers always try to get really tall models to show off their clothes.

There is no "best" approach on this, do what suits your taste.
Image

How do you hold a pen for Wacom Pen & Touch Tablet?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:20 pm
by TungstenRain
Ambiguity wrote:You hold it the same way you hold any other pen(although there are other options for other reasons: https://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/how-to-hold-a-stylus).If it's hurting you, you are probably holding it too tight.


Thanks for the link. I think that will help quite a bit. I had to laugh about the "worthless eraser" bit--so true. I'll try and watch how tightly I grip the stylus and see if I'm gripping it too tight.

Ambiguity wrote:To answer the question about drawing with your shoulder, it is again exactly the same as if you were doing it on paper. A problem you might run into, though, is that some tablets have a really small active area. If you have one of these you obviously won't be able to move very far, but you should still be able to get some arm movement. By the way, you can draw from your wrist if you're detailing things, don't feel like you have to put your shoulder into every little thing when drawing.


I've never really drawn on paper other than a 8 1/2 x 11 lined paper (just doodling). So, I don't have a good frame of reference for that. The tablet surface area is fairly small, though I hope I can get a medium Wacom this Christmas.

Ambiguity wrote:7 1/2 heads is a realistic average some doctors found when measuring a group of adults, but remember it is an average, not an exact scale for every single person you'll run in to. The 8 heads thing came from the old masters, they made people a bit longer because they felt it looked more beautiful(it also makes for easy divisions of body parts). It's a beauty standard that stuck all the way up until now for some reason, that's why clothing designers always try to get really tall models to show off their clothes.

(image removed for brevity's sake)

There is no "best" approach on this, do what suits your taste.


Shortly after I submitted this post I found another video that Sycra had posted where he talked about it. He said it was mainly because it was just easier to divide up the space when sketching a person.

Thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.

How do you hold a pen for Wacom Pen & Touch Tablet?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:52 pm
by Audiazif
Your tablet settings could also be a factor in the cramping of your hand. If you have to press hard all the time to get a line, it might be wearing out your hand.