In this article I will attempt to explain why I think the Wacom Intuos S is the best drawing tablet for beginners. Although I love the larger more expensive drawing tablets the price definitely was something that drove my purchasing decision. So I took action on a more affordable version for testing purposes since I have never tried a digital drawing tablet before.
The Wacom CTL4100 Intuos S Drawing Tablet
I really enjoyed testing this tablet and can see myself using this more often. You can tell that this specific tablet is geared toward the beginner not only by the affordability but also ease of use. You can quickly adapt this drawing tablet to the 3 drawing programs it comes with. I was not disappointed with this purchase at all. If you are new to drawing tablets then the Wacom Intuos S is one of your best options.
Best Drawing And Graphics Tablets By Comparison
- Wacom Intuos Pro PTH660 Medium – Best for Intermediates
- Wacom Intuos S with Bluetooth – Best Wireless for Beginners
- Wacom Cintiq 22 Graphics Tablet – Best for Professionals
I provided some mini reviews to these tablets at the end of this article if you want to know more. If you are new to graphics tablets then I highly recommend you read through this article as there is a full review of the Wacom Intuos S. This is one of the most affordable drawing tablets for beginners.
Best Drawing Tablet Q & A
1. Which Wacom Tablet Is Best For Beginners?
The Wacom Intuos S is the most recommended drawing tablet for beginners. Not only is it one of the most affordable drawing tablets, it also works with most art programs on the market today. Can also buy the bluetooth version for a little more money.
2. Can I use My IPad as a Drawing Tablet?
The answer is yes you can use the iPad as a drawing tablet. The iPad is capable of using some really powerful apps from popular brands like Adobe. The pens may not be capable of certain features that you might use on a professional graphics tablet but offer sensitivity and some other features that are very similar.
3. Which Tablet Is Best For Drawing?
The Wacom Cintiq 22 is a popular choice for professional artists. This is a digital display graphics tablet that supports most art programs on the market today. The Wacom can be somewhat expensive but you can find some comparably priced tablets from Huion at a more budget friendly price range.
4. Is Wacom Or Huion Better?
The Wacom is generally thought of a better than the Huion but that could depend on who you ask. Though the Wacom is higher priced it’s quality is better and is the go to drawing tablet for many professional concept and graphic artist. The Huion is more affordable and is a decent alternative to it’s higher priced counterpart.
5. Is A Drawing Tablet Better Than An iPad?
Drawing tablets are considered the preferred graphics tablet for drawing and art among graphic designers and concept artists. The iPad has many great features and is capable of producing high quality digital art pieces as well and is also a very popular choice as it comes with some art software.
Beginners Guide To The Drawing Tablet
One of the main benefits to having a drawing tablet is the ability to draw or write in a traditional style. You can also upload your own artwork through scanning or just by taking a picture and uploading into a art program.
When first starting out there is a learning curve to overcome when drawing with a tablet. So I tried tracing a picture by placing the paper on the surface of the tablet to see if that would help. This helped me to get the feel of the tablet and to see how the lines looked on screen.
If you are using a drawing tablet for graphic art you may find that in time you are able to produce a finished piece faster. The transition from paper to tablet seems to be a minor drawback that can be overcome rather quickly especially if you use a computer a lot.
Some tablets offer different functions like pressure sensitivity. This can help in creating bold lines and fine lines. I recommend a pressure sensitive drawing tablet for beginning in digital art just for that reason. Tablets without this sensitivity function can be good for just general writing and quick sketching for the artist on the go.
Software is a definite must to truly see the potential of a good drawing tablet. They are best suited for the artist looking to edit photos, digital drawing, painting, comics and manga artwork.
As there are many different types of drawing tablets out there that can range from $50 to $3000, caution should be taken before any purchase. Knowing the purpose of the tablet you are interested in can help in deciding which one is right for you and keep you within budget.
Wacom Intuos S Review
This is Wacom’s Intuos Small drawing tablet that is designed to be best suited for the beginner. If you are somewhat unsure about drawing tablets then this could be a good choice to start with.
This 3.7 inch by 6 inch tablet comes with a USB cord which is approximately 48 inches in length, a standard pen with 3 extra nibs, Corel Painter Essentials 7, Clip Studio and Corel After Shot 3.
I thought there would be an issue with the tablet moving around but the 4 little pads situated on the bottom four corners helped to hold it in place.
The horizontal style plug that goes into the back of the tablet was a pretty cool feature. The cord does not protrude away but lay’s parallel to the tablet which helps it to fit into a smaller space.
- 4 programmable hot keys
- Pressure Sensitive drawing surface
- 2 programmable buttons on the pen
- Easy to set up
- Battery free pen
- Horizontal USB plug
- Noticed a little scratchiness on upstrokes
- Buttons on top instead of left side of tablet
- Does not support tilt function
Battery Free Pen
Through electro-magnetic resonance technology Wacom pens do not need wires or batteries. This technology is similar to charge pads for your cell phone except it charges your pen and information is bounced back and forth from tablet to pen at a very fast rate. This helps in giving a more realistic writing or drawing experience.
Slower computers may see a slight delay when drawing but this is a minor issue and has nothing to do with the quality of the tablet.
The pen has 4k pressure sensitivity giving the ability to draw fine lines to bold lines. I noticed how the pen felt very similar to a real pencil.
The tablet can read the pen at 7mm above the surface which works like a mouse without touching the surface of the tablet itself.
Mac and Windows Compatible
The Wacom Intuos S driver software is compatible with Mac and Windows 7, 8 & 10. I currently have the windows version and have had no problems on Windows 10 with the drawing tablet so far.
As far as I could tell there are no real issues with Mac either. There could be some security settings that may need to be adjusted based from research 6 months ago.
The Wacom Intuos S will also run on android devices if you use a USB adapter to plug into.
Includes 3 Types of Software Downloads
Corel Essentials 7
This is Corel’s beginner version which will prepare the user for the full Corel Painter Software. Essentials 7 is still a very powerful piece of digital software and there is plenty of training material offered through the software itself on Corel’s website.
Clip Studio Paint Pro
I have got to say that I was very impressed with the free 2 year license that comes with this software. This program offers a lot in the way of Animation, Comics, Manga and even painting and line drawing. Even has 3D figure templates and poseable figures. This software also has plenty of training tutorials inside the software itself.
Corel After Shot 3
Corel has done a good job with their photo editing software and is fairly similar to Photoshop. It has simple photo management tools. Great if you like playing around with 1 photo or multiple photo’s all at once with batch editing tools. Also has many different presets for quick editing. This is not the Pro version of this software which means there are some features you will not have.
The software downloads do require you to register the tablet at the Wacom site. I found it is probably best to follow through with on screen prompts after plugging up the Wacom Intuos S to help speed up the installation process trouble free.
As I try these individual programs and learn some more I will be writing full reviews on each one so be sure to like Artanology.com on Facebook to be the first to get this content. Just click the Facebook button at the top of this page to be taken there.
But for now you can check out some of my pros and cons of some of the best digital art software to use with the Intuos S.
I have noticed the almost paper feel to this tablet with the exception of a little scratchiness on some but not all of my upstrokes. Overall it was no worse than hitting a scratchy spot with a colored pencil which seems to happen fairly often.
Some reviews say the drawing area smooths out through use. But until the pad smooths out expect the pen nib to wear out quicker.
4 Programmable Shortcut Keys
Located at the top of the tablet are 4 buttons that can be assigned to functions in the digital art software that comes with this tablet. This makes it easy to access the tools you need or use the most.
The hot key buttons being on the top can be somewhat of a nuisance as you have to reach over your drawing hand to access the button you need to press. I suggest using the 2 keys on the left for your more important tools.
The buttons are indented and double as a pen tray so that it does not roll off the work surface.
Wacom Intuos S Is For Beginners
Only having a few illustrations that show how to plug it up and where the extra nibs are stored there is not much in the way of instructions. Most of the instructions can be found on the Wacom website.
Wacom has specifically designed this tablet toward the beginner that may be unsure about digital art. This tablet comes in at around an 80 dollar price range but with the 3 software downloads it is more than worth it in my opinion especially since Corel Essentials 7 runs around 50 dollars if bought separately.
I used this tablet for the second lesson in my How To Draw Series. Check it out!
Wacom Intuos S Reviews By Customers
Here are some screenshots of some customer reviews on the Wacom Intuos S that I come across during my research.
Best Drawing Tablet Alternatives
Best Drawing Tablet For Intermediates – Wacom Intuos Pro PTH660 – Medium
I chose this as a possible alternative to show the difference between a pro and beginner drawing tablet. The Wacom PTH660 is larger and comes at a significant price increase.
- Good Drawing surface
- Tilt function stylus
- Pressure sensitivity
- Larger size
This tablet is recommended for someone who is serious about digital art. There are even higher quality tablets but this one will not break the bank and makes for a great comparison for the Wacom Intuos S.
Best Wireless Drawing Tablet for Beginners – Wacom Intuos S with Bluetoothe
This one is exactly the same as the one I wrote about in the review with the exception being wireless capabilities. You do get a USB wired plug also. It does cost around 20 dollars more but is more portable.
- Comes with wireless capabilities
- 3 free software downloads
- Same as the standard Wacom S
Not sure if being wireless is really worth the extra cash but it may be.
Best Graphics Tablet For Professionals – Wacom Cintiq 22
If money is not a factor and you are looking for a mid to high range tablet then you may want to check the Cintiq 22 out for size.
- 21.5 inch display screen
- 1920 by 1080 High Definition display screen
- Scratch resistant surface
- Anti Glare
- Free Clip Studio Paint Pro Download
This one has a lot of bells and whistles and is backed up with quite a few positive reviews. Comes with USB and HDMI cables, AC adapter, pro pen 2 with 3 nibs and an adjustable stand.
One other nice thing that I found was that I was able to trace smaller pictures straight into a paint program. This made the smaller drawing larger and was easy to start adding color to though it was somewhat tricky to get my subject work to fit the workspace of the tablet.
Although small the Wacom Intuos S is a pretty good choice for beginners. I found that it is a little awkward at first but with practice things became easier.
The software downloads come with their own free tutorials that can help to guide you along and have you drawing or painting digitally in no time.
It does not matter what you do so long as you have fun doing it. Thanks for reading.