Sketching in Photoshop using Wacom Tablet

In Adobe Illustrator by Jason Secrest


In this Drawing for Illustrator series we will be using a tablet to start from the initial sketch before we bring it over into Adobe Illustrator. This is more of a direct approach to drawing rather than tracing the image. This will be for those who are looking to gain a little more practice getting down your lines and have a little issue with the idea of tracing. We are just kicking off this series and new playlist as we ramp up into more freehand sketching and drawing tutorials that have more information or difficulty in Illustrator.


Don’t try to match me and stay on pace as if it was a step by step tutorial. Just take your time to work on your hand eye coordination and drawing/sketching. There are only 2 drawing phases in this model. (Sketching and Editing) This can also be done using a piece op paper and pencil or any sketch program you like.


Look for the overall shape, scale and proportion in the first phase of your drawing. You will hear me say pro rough draft or sketch. You will hear me say that I approach drawing like a piece of clay which means I can work/mold the lines back and forth until I think it matches up.


Once you lines are down you can edit and gain more confidence with your lines as you keep going over them. Don’t be afraid to edit, change or move lines based on where you want the design to go and not try to match the photo exactly. Most if not all stock photos will not be a perfect match and should be just treated as a resource.


Table Settings

Follow the direction on your tablet for how to install the drivers and set up first. Look for their Properties or Settings. Most of the tablet settings that I can adjust have been turned off or disabled. All of the short cuts will come from the keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator not the tablet. If you have a rather large tablet that you can’t reach your keyboard then I would set up your Express keys.

Brush Settings

Once you have installed the driver, Photoshop will automatically read your tablet and convert your brushes to pressure once it recognizes your tablet pen on the tablet. There are buttons at the top control panel that you can control with pressure the opacity and flow. Any brush can be used- just click shape dynamics in the brush setting and play around with the control panel brushes. This is all personal preference.


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