This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration BradHallArt.com


Using Adobe Illustrator with a Wacom tablet

In combination with a Wacom graphics tablet (the one I just got is the absolutely cheapest bottom-of-the-line Wacom *Connect*) there are some pretty cool things that you can do with the brush in Adobe Illustrator. Mostly I was looking for a more *human* line that went from thick to thin.

Here is how you do it.

• Get, install and do the basic tutorial of the Wacom tablet. This took me about twenty minutes. Don't skip this step. In addition to showing you how it works, especially the pressure-sensitivity, which is how you get that thick-to-thin line, it shows if it's working at all. If it is, you can get it to work in Illustrator, it just takes a an extra step or two.

This is the Wacom tablet I just got at Staples for $79.99.
Don't bother spending more.

• In Illustrator, select the brush tool. There is a hidden step to make this work, but it's worth finding. Click on any of the brushes in the brush tool window. That opens up this box
It would be nice if there was a big flashing light that said *use with graphics tablet*
or
*Select this option to work with your Wacom*
or
well, anything. But it doesn't. It just says Pressure. And even that is hidden.

You will need to select *Pressure*. No, I couldn't find this in any documentation with Illustrator, or with Wacom, or on any help forums. It's cool, so please share! From there, you just fiddle with the diameter settings, and the variation (no I have no idea what it all means) until you find the pen doing what you want.

It works great, and like anything else, it takes practice. The cartoon above is my first attempt at *inking* with the Wacom tablet. In combination with Adobe Illustrator, it is absolutely wonderful.

How about that?