Should You Buy a Drawing Tablet if You Don't Know How to Draw?

Person drawing on iPad Pro using Apple pencil

Drawing is everyone’s favorite past time but sometimes people invest a lot of money in things they don’t necessarily need or benefit them when it comes to fueling their passion. Many beginner artists are confused whether they should start with a drawing tablet even if they don’t know how to draw because they are afraid they might waste their money on a drawing tablet.

It definitely is worth it to buy a drawing tablet even if you don’t know how to draw as learning digitally comes with its own benefits – you don’t need to resharpen your pencils, you can apply different filters, and have access to a huge library of tools.

However, many people argue that starting off with a paper and pencil is far better than starting digitally. This raw feeling tends to make you more creative as you will get a feel of different possibilities and how to create something out of nothing rather than getting a digitally generated canvas with everything you need.

Should I Get a Drawing Tablet to Learn How to Draw?

When you are first learning how to draw the first thing that comes to mind is using a paper and pencil. But, thanks to technology we have much more advanced tools to use when it comes to drawing, including a drawing tablet. But should you use it for learning how to draw?

You should get a drawing tablet for learning how to draw as it is much more convenient. You don’t need to constantly resharpen your pencils or refill your ink pens. It is also a one-time purchase that would last around 3-5 years meaning you don’t have to spend a large amount of money maintaining it.

However, you should know that owning a drawing tablet doesn’t mean:

  • You’ll instantly become a better artist than most beginners
  • You can’t benefit from drawing traditionally
  • You won’t have to pay for good-quality drawing programs (in the long-run at least).

If you are aware of some of the caveats of using a drawing tablet and take a much more realistic approach to learning digital art, a drawing tablet can be a great investment. There is also a huge learning curve when it comes to learning how to draw using a drawing tablet as it is quite different from the traditional pencil and paper.

Why Should I Use a Drawing Tablet for Learning How to Draw?

Now that you have a good idea of the capability of a drawing tablet to help you as a beginner it would be a good idea to look into what the pros and cons are of using a drawing tablet.

ProsCons
Pressure sensitivityLearning curve
Tilt sensitivityCostly
Programmable buttonsNot suitable for general use
Durable

Benefits of Using a Drawing Tablet

A drawing tablet can make your workflow much more efficient through multiple features exclusively offered by most tablet manufacturers.

  • Pressure sensitivity – Modern drawing tablets come with pressure-sensitive pens which give you larger strokes when pressed down hard and lighter strokes with softer pressure. The pressure sensitivity gives you much more professional looking strokes and a great control over your drawings.
  • Tilt sensitivity – Tilt functionality has enabled drawing tablets to detect the amount of tilt the person adds into his pen to give you angled strokes. This will allow you to vary the angle and pressure of your lines.
  • Programmable buttons – Even the cheapest drawing tablets nowadays come with buttons that you can modify to make your workflow more efficient. These buttons act as hot keys so other than pressing CTRL+Z to undo a mistake you can just press a button.

Drawbacks of Using a Drawing Tablet

However, drawing with a tablet isn’t all that glamourous otherwise everyone would use them. Below are some drawbacks to using a drawing tablet.

  • Learning curve – A drawing tablet would take a lot of getting used before you are actually able to draw on it. Although many tablet manufacturers are trying to make their tablets feel more natural it still is pretty far from using pencil and paper.
  • Costly – Buying a drawing tablet compared to pencil and paper is expensive especially as you start learning more advanced techniques you might feel the need to buy a higher quality Wacom display drawing tablet.
  • Not suitable for general use – Even though it is possible to use your graphics tablet as a mouse it’s not as natural to navigate through the web or point and click stuff.

Which Beginner Drawing Tablet Should I Buy?

Since you’re just starting out I would suggest going for a cheap option to get a feel of the drawing tablet and how it works.

The Wacom Intuos or Huion’s H610 Pro V2. Both are cheap budget tablets that are great for beginner use and get the job done. These are graphic tablets, meaning they don’t have a screen and require good hand-eye coordination.

If you want a more detailed look at which tablet you should buy take a look at the below relevant articles:

Conclusion

When learning how to draw many argue that pencil and paper is the way to go. However, due to many technological advances drawing tablets are also a great alternative to learning how to draw despite what many might say.

Drawing tablets are much more convenient and provide an efficient workflow through pressure sensitivity, tilt functionality, and programmable buttons. However, it’s not suitable for general use and can get expensive if you plan on using a professional-grade tablet for your career.

If you have the money and are willing to learn how to draw using a drawing tablet then you should definitely get one but it doesn’t hurt to start with pencil and paper just to get a feel for it and decide if drawing is really for you.