How to use a tablet without hurting your wrist
This is a tutorial I’ve written two years ago. I still see a lot of people having problems with hand pains while using a tablet so I thought I might post in on tumblr where it should get to more people than on my LJ. If you use tablet you might want to look at it, if your friends use tablet you might want to show it to them.
Protect your hands and back before it’s too late~!!
Original text starts here:
I realized, that I’ve encountered many professional artists online that have problems with wrist that are caused by using tablet. No wonder: you can find tons of tutorials on graphic software, but you won’t find any on actual USING the tablet. Well, it is simple: you install the drivers, plug the tablet in, personalize the buttons, if you have any, and start drawing the same way as you did with the pencil, right?
That is why I decided to write this
entrytutorial. Please, read if whether you’re just a beginner, or a professional that has been painting for longer than I have lived; the issue is much too grave for people living of making art to simply be ignored.
How to hold a drawing pencil
The least frequently asked question about drawing is “How do you hold the pencil?”[…]The “scribe’s grip” that feels natural for most people is surely the worst grip for drawing: writing and drawing are fundamentally different activities. Writing Latin cursive or pica is done with minute motions of the hand and fingers, with the elbow fixed; for it, the grip at the pen’s tip provides the optimal range of motion. Drawing is done with broad movement of the whole arm, from hand to shoulderblade — for it, the scribe’s grip is a killer precisely because it requires fixation of the elbow. Trying to draw with a scribe’s grip is a frustration; a flowing line is impossible, hatching gets curved, the pencil pressure becomes too hard, and in the end you feel tired and cramped — yet that’s what many people do.
There are two basic drawing grips:
The Pen Grip
Hold the pencil like you would hold the writing pen, but much further from the tip. The closer to the tip your fingers are, the more control of the pencil goes to the fingers and wrist, and the range of motion becomes smaller. Finally, at about 2 inches (5 /cm/) from the tip the grip becomes suitable only for minute detailing, and less than that is impractical.This grip is good for detailing, and for small-size sketching on near-horizontal plane [….] It offers high control for smaller features, and works with propped elbow-–but it becomes progressively worse for larger motion. It is only good for working with the lead’s tip, but not with the side. An added problem is that the hand (or the little finger) usually must rest on the drawing, and you risk smudging it….
Violin bow gripHold the pencil with the thumb against all four fingers. This removes most control from the fingers, and emphasizes the wrist and especially the arm at elbow and shoulder.This grip is the preferable basic drawing grip. It does not need a propped arm, and the motion range is limited only by your arm span; it produces flowing, economical sweeping line and is ideal for rough sketching, hatching and tonal work with the side of lead. It works best on big page and a near-vertical plane (paper pinned to board), and is the preferred grip in academic drawing. It enables working with the lead’s side, for darker flowing lines and shading….
There are other grips, but they are basically variations of the pen and bow grips: