Do you edit with a Pen and Tablet?

My first run-in with a pen and tablet for Photoshop was in 2008 with a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet.  I can still remember getting it.  It felt awesome to use but was also very difficult to get used to.  At first, I used it for everything because, well, I could!  After a while, I realized the pen and tablet are just tools for post-production and it doesn’t need to be used for everything.  There are two main tasks I use my pen for while I edit.

Before I discuss what I use them for, let’s take a look at WHY I use them.

The pen and tablet is kind of like a mouse with one very special characteristic that makes it stand out, pressure sensitivity.  When you are using a brush in Photoshop with a mouse what you click is what you get.  What I mean is, whatever brush presets you have set, the brush will respond with.  Sometimes that means you will get a harsh line and the only way to make it less abrasive is to lower the opacity.  However, you can only have one opacity set at a time, right?

Wit a pen and tablet things are a little different.  A Pen and Tablet will use your hand’s pressure on the tablet to respond with the appropriate opacity, flow, or size.  So, the softer you brush with your pen, the smaller or lighter the stroke will be.  The harder you press, the darker or larger the line will be.  Take a look at the image below to see what I mean.

As you can see in the photo above, with the mouse, what you click is what you get.  With the Pen and Tablet, you have a lot more versatility and all with the delicate stroke of the pen on the tablet.  This give you a ton of control when you are editing your images.

As I said above, I primarily use the pen and tablet for two things in Photoshop, Masking and Dodging & Burning.  

You may have heard of a pen and tablet before.  The term Wacom is almost synonymous with the pen and tablet.  However, I have had my fair share of frustration with Wacom products and have since started using the ZP-Pen Star G640.  In this tutorial, I will show you how to use a pen and tablet and why I prefer XP-Pen.

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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