Drawing Tablet?

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Stormstriker217's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 12/27/2016

I've heard of drawing tablets before, and I might be interested in purchasing one. Since I'll be losing my iPad, which is what I use to draw, in two months because of the ending of the school year, I do want to still be able to draw digitally, so I'm now considering a drawing tablet as an option.


Problem is, I know nothing about them, including how they work. Now forgive me for sounding like an idiot here, but I've kinda got a lot of questions, so just bear with me, alright?


Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

How do drawing programs work with these?

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?


I think that's it for now, but I'll probably come up with a lot more, sorry.

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Hi, I'm Stormstriker.
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Well, if you've kept going this far, then I guess that means I haven't bored you to death yet. Or maybe I have…
Anyway, now we get into some of the interesting stuff.
Copperblaze Freyhelm
(also known as ‘that former self-insert that somehow developed a personality’)
by Fireflash
Copperblaze grew up in the midst of the Dragon War, near-miraculously surviving and staying completely intact through the chaos of it. Not one for pessimism, she did her best to cheer the village up through something she learned early on: pranking. While certainly never able to rival the infamous twins, Copperblaze was soon regarded as one not to mess with unless that Viking wanted their best axe tied to the rear end of a particularly grumpy yak.
But don't get her wrong, she wasn't really a wild, raucous prankster. Well, okay, maybe a little. Or a lot, actually. Secretly a kind, quiet, and empathetic individual at heart, Copperblaze could often be found reading and drawing. Of course, that was when she wasn't doing her best to cause mayhem and laughter, which took up most of her time.
Then the chief’s son saved the village on a Night Fury, and the world turned upside down. Dragons… were the friends of Vikings now. Copperblaze could barely contain her excitement. So many new possibilities had opened up! And not just for pranking, either.
While her pranks had done their job to make the village an overall happier place, they sometimes ostracized her from others her age. Now, this was her chance: to form a strong, lasting bond, to have and give everlasting trust, to have real friends, for once in her life!
Sadly, dreams didn't always come true. Though Copperblaze was among the first to enroll at the newly-established Dragon Training Academy, no dragon there seemed… right for her. Nadders were too vain and flighty, and the Gronckles were too lazy and slow. Nightmares? Too fiery. And don't get her started on the Zipplebacks. That had not been a fun week. 
Even that time she'd been offered a Whispering Death egg, still nothing happened. No bond formed. No realization of ‘this is my best friend’. Well, she'd managed to develop a serious phobia of the species in general, but Copperblaze didn't like to talk about that. You know, at all.
Alone again, Copperblaze resigned herself to her grounded fate. Until one day, in an abandoned clearing in the middle of the woods, she encountered a young, purple Skrill… but that's another story...
...which can be found here!
Thanks so much, IrishMexicanViking! It's so awesome, I literally can't put it into words!
Seriously, read it. It's the best.
by Vanilia Viking
No one knows who Raika’s birth parents are, not even Raika herself. All she knows is that if the teal Stormcutter that raised her from the egg isn't her mother, then something's seriously wrong with the world.
An excitable hatchling, Raika was always bouncing from one thing to the next, curious about everything around her. Getting into all sorts of danger was her best skill, and she'd frequently ticked off older dragons in her frequent mischief.
Raika wasn't old enough to understand why her mother suddenly separated the pair from all contact with other dragons, but she certainly was old enough to understand that she didn't like it one bit. Chalking it up to Windchaser’s overprotectiveness, Raika did her best to convince her mother that the bigger dragons weren't going to harm her, but to no avail. Windchaser would not budge.
Then a Prickleboggle came across them one day, informing the pair excitedly that the War had ended and the Queen was dead. Raika was confused. Windchaser, wanting to shelter her from the terrible War, hadn't told her anything about it, other than Vikings should be avoided at all costs, and so should unfamiliar dragons.
Then, for the first time that Raika could remember, her mother willingly left her side, with instructions to stay put and to not go looking for trouble. But of course, Raika didn't follow that. Curious about what her mother was doing, she decided to secretly tail her. Windchaser knew her way through the thick fog that surrounded Dragon Island. The problem was, Raika didn't.
Lost and disoriented, the young Skrill landed on a Viking-inhabited island that she'd never seen before, needing to give her tired wings a rest. It was there that, in a clearing she thought was unoccupied, Raika met a young Viking girl- starting off a new generation of mischief-making that no one was prepared for.
by Vanilia Viking
The day Windchaser found an abandoned Skrill egg would change her life forever, but for better or for worse? Often, she wasn't quite sure.
Having escaped the rule of the tyrannical Queen, the Red Death, Windchaser had left behind everything she held dear, including her beloved mate and any chance for hatchlings of her own. So when one was given to her, out of the blue, the motherly Stormcutter couldn't have left it behind if she tried. 
She couldn't, no, she wouldn't, leave the egg to the horrible fate of growing up without a family. And small though the family was, Windchaser vowed to do her best to take care of the Skrill hatchling.
Unfortunately, that particular Skrill hatchling proven to be very hard to take care of. Raika was continually getting into trouble of all sorts, and it was all Windchaser could do to keep her at least marginally safe. And when the little dragon learned how to fly, all Helheim broke loose.
When word was received that the Queen was searching for her former subject back, a desperate Windchaser was forced to take them both into hiding, an act that she feared would crush her young daughter. While thankfully that was not the case, Raika’s naturally attention-seeking personality caused her to focus most of her attention to her mother. It was a good day when Windchaser didn't want to tear her wings off from the frustration, and those good days were rarely found.
When a Prickleboggle (generally trusted among dragons, no matter their loyalties) told Windchaser the news that the War was over and the Queen was dead, she was naturally shocked. The Queen was invincible, she couldn't have been killed- could she? Hopeful, but not willing to take the news for granted, she flew to see it for herself, ordering her daughter to stay behind and not get into any trouble.
Confirming the formerly wild statement, Windchaser was overjoyed. She couldn't wait to tell Raika that their self-imposed exile had ended, and went to tell her immediately.
So when Raika wasn't where she'd left her, Windchaser naturally flew into a panic. Frantically searching every empty island in the area, her search was turned toward some of the not-so-empty ones, eventually finding her wayward daughter- but in the company of a Viking? Windchaser’s motherly instincts kicked in. Who knew what that Viking would do to her hatchling?
Eventually, after much convincing from Raika, Windchaser was finally able to see Vikings as people just as much as dragons were. She was still protective of her daughter, but after warming up to some of the non-dragon inhabitants, was much more comfortable letting Raika spend time among them.
And of course, that Viking that Raika always hung around with was officially adopted into the family, too. With the amount of time those two troublemakers spent together- well. It'd be just silly not to.
More coming soon!
(in no particular order)
Thanks so much to everyone who's drawn anything for me! I love them all!
Copperblaze by TosiLohi
Raika by Okamisusi
Raika chibi by FloofQueen
Dustcloud by Dragonist Hellen
Valentine Dustcloud by FloofQueen
Glowspot, my Mythical Whale Shark by Wutend Bonfire
Find his story HERE!
Raincloud, my Shadow Hunter by ScarfyWings
Find her story HERE!
Sunburst, my Vesupa by Bavelly
Torchburn, my Ukrainian Mistus by Megaboltphoenix
Peanut, my Night Hunter by Bluemoon20523
Copperblaze by Lululu6161
(did I miss something? I feel like I missed something... tell me if I missed something...)
TosiLohi's picture
Berk's Power Player
Joined: 08/10/2016


Why do they need to connect to a computer?

- I mean.. you're gonna be drawing on that computer, right? Like the mouse and keyboard, it has to be connected. yay!


Are there any brands that might be recommended?

- Wacom has some cheap ones. They also have some very big prized ones... but u know... the cheap ones work just fine ^^


What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

- ... less than a hundred? ^^ You can go check prices anytime...


How do drawing programs work with these?

- Usually very well! But you usually need to search the settings to get pen pressure working. Google can always help you with that if you can't find it.


Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

- If a pad has a pen with pen pressure.. kinda? And the cheap ones.. u ain't drawing directly on the screen. The cheaper ones work like, u move your hand on this board and look at your computer screen. (I'm so bad at explaning things, I probaply leave you just more confused...)


Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

- Yes, with a laptop. And again... it's like the computer mouse. U ain't gonna do a lot with it without a screen.

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

How do drawing programs work with these?

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?






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Varku's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 06/14/2015

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

Because they're peripherals, like a mouse or a keyboard. You need to connect those to your pc as well. They connect via USB mainly, some via Bluetooth or a combination of USB and DVI/HDMI/VGA for digitiser tablets.


Are there any brands that might be recommended?

Most brands are fine. Wacom is the 'default' brand, but the tablet I currently own is a Yiynova due to Wacom's bad service and outrageous prices. Try finding something cheap and check out the online reviews.


What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

That's up to you and what you want. A digitiser monitor will cost you more than a tablet pad.

If you're starting out, go for a budget tablet, see if you like the general feel. No use spending over a thousand on something you're not sure you might even like.


How do drawing programs work with these?

Like with many special peripherals, tablets come with drivers and most art software is programmed to work with tablets per default.


Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

No. The cheaper tablets have no screen. Standalone OS tablets work like the OS that's installed on them. Digitiser monitors (tablets with screens) can be used as monitors for multiple monitor setups.


Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

A laptop is a computer, and you can use a tablet with your laptop. You can't use the majority without a computer, but some come as standalone tablets with an operating system.

You can also buy a tablet PC with graphic tablet-like features, like a Microsoft Surface Pro.


What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

High pressure levels and good customer reviews. Consider a tablet with a battery-powered pen if you like weighted pens, opt for no-battery otherwise. Pick a brand that still sells nibs and pens for the tablet you want, too. Go for something durable with a strong wire if you use a laptop.


Extra buttons, touch function, stuff like that are pure gimmicks. Don't go for a touch tablet or something with many 'handy buttons' because they're useless and only cost you extra money. Trust me, you won't be using the buttons if you can help it.







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Navlyn Fury's picture
Navlyn Fury
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Joined: 09/17/2016
Why do they need to connect

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

You can buy a drawing tablet with bluetooth so it doesn't have to be connected, but those are rather expensive. They need to connect to the computer so when you draw on the tablet what your drawing on the tablet will actually show up on the screen XD


Are there any brands that might be recommended?

I suggest Wacom. My sister has one and it works very well. 


What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

around $100 I think. Unless you're willing to go all out. 


How do drawing programs work with these?

They work very well. Nice and smooth unless connection between pad and computer is funky or the program is glitchy. 


Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

Kinda. But they're bigger and thinner (slightly thinner than a centimeter i think)


Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

I belive so. But they are much more costly than regular drawing tablets and I believe it's kinda like a normal tablet. 


What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

I'm honestly not sure. Might suggest a drawing stylus tho XD. I suggest you look for either good as new or new. 


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Stormstriker217's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 12/27/2016

Wow, thanks! That really helped, and answered a lot of my questions! 

(I'm a bit lost on the technical terms but eh. I'm hoping I'll pick it up somehow)


Anyway, just two more right now:


With the ones without a screen, how do you keep track of what you're doing? It just seems like drawing blind to me...

Is there anywhere that I could test it out somehow before deciding? Like Best Buy, electronic stores...?

Varku's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 06/14/2015

Screenless tablets require some hand-eye coordination. You move the cursor by hovering over the tablet with the stylus. Touching the pad counts as a click. You watch your screen while you do the thing, kind of like using the mouse or keyboard!


And yeah some electronic stores do tend to have show models you can take for a spin. Not many do, though!

Stormstriker217's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 12/27/2016

Oh, I think I get it now! That's what I missed earlier, whoops. So it's somewhat like a high-tech trackpad, designed for art?

Varku's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 06/14/2015

You could say so, yes! But instead of your fingers it'll only react to the stylus.

TosiLohi's picture
Berk's Power Player
Joined: 08/10/2016
*insert subject*

Alsoo, if it was unclear: u can see the mouse moving when you move the pen above the tablet. Just like moving a mouse around. It's not really that blind since you always see where the mouse is going, right? ^^ And it won't ofc draw untill you press it on the tablet. 


So it's just like a computer mouse, but in a pen shape, and that makes it so much easier to hold and draw with! ^^

(I hope I'm not confusing you just more or anything)

Stormstriker217's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 12/27/2016

Yes, thanks, that does make a lot more sense!

Thunderdrake Devastascia's picture
Thunderdrake De...
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 08/18/2015
I'm probably very late, but...

Why do they need to connect to a computer?

They act like a mouse or a keyboard, and as such, they need communication with the PC. Most pad tablets connect through a USB port, but some tablet monitors need VGA, HDMI, and any other ports I might be missing.

Are there any brands that might be recommended?

Currently, I have a Wacom pad tablet that I got for real cheap (around $60, I think...) I really like Wacom since they have great, high quality tablets, and the only thing I find a little off-putting are the prices. You don't even need customer service if you take good care of your tablet. However, there are some other good brands of tablets out there like Huion, but personally, I recommend Wacom tablets.

What should I be willing to spend on one of these?

For a pad tablet, you should spend around $40-$75. I found that as the sweet spot for tablets as you can find really good pad tablets in that price range. If you want a tablet monitor (which I wouldn't recommend if you're really new to graphic tablets), there are some really good alternative brands out there other than Wacom (Wacom has really high prices, from $699-$2000 in the monitor tablet price range) like Yiynova and Huion. You should spend around $200-$550 if you are looking a Wacom alternative.

How do drawing programs work with these?

Drawing programs (excluding MS Paint) work really nicely with most tablets. They have pen pressure, and there are some tools that can make drawing way easier.

Are they like iPads but just for drawing?

It depends on the tablet. If you are looking to spend on monitor tablets, yes. Pad tablets, no. However, both pad tablets and monitor tablets has pen pressure, while iPads do not. Pen pressure is really important (especially for artists who use and make lineart) because it gives the drawing a more dynamic atmosphere, unlike a drawing with the same line size all over it.

Can they be used without a computer? What about laptops?

You need a device to plug your tablet in for it to work. I personally own a laptop, and I use my tablet on it all the time. Tablets work well with both computers and laptops.

What features should I be looking for, and what should I not be looking for?

Pen pressure, good build quality, and lots of shortcut keys. Do not look for tablets made with cheap, weak materials.

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