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


Using a Wacom tablet along with a mouse in Adobe Illustrator

I am really enjoying working with my new Wacom tablet and am now discovering that it works best in combination with a mouse in Adobe Illustrator. Because of that, I am re-thinking my setup from being mostly Wacom tablet, to being mouse, keyboard, and tablet. And I am starting with the mouse and keyboard.

There is no doubt that the Wacom in combination with Adobe Illustrator is giving beautiful, absolutely delicious cartoon lines. And that *thick to thin* is what using a pressure-sensitive tablet is all about. But certain things are just easier to draw with a mouse. And certain things will need just a small adjustment of the vector point, or direction handle. So, much of the lines that I will draw with be using the mouse, and I will make fine adjustments as I go. I am learning which are *mouse* lines and which are *pen* lines. The goal, of course, is to make them look exactly the same, which is what I am practicing now.

The advantage of using a mouse is that it just plain easier for me to go along a long line, such as an outline, by clicking and dragging than using the pen tool. The problem with using a mouse is that you don't get the *thick to thin*. But that is easily remedied by outlining the path and doing a little bit of adjustment to the shape. In fact, that's how I used to try to draw in Adobe Illustrator - draw a line, go to Object - Path - Outline Stroke and then mess with it using the Direct Select Tool. A little bit is fine, but before I got the tablet, it was very time-consuming. With the new tablet, I can draw in nice cartoony lines for his beard, the wrinkles in his coat and pants, that sort of thing, that look great and go fast.

OK, back to cartooning now!
Wacom Bamboo Connect