Boosting your productivtiy with a pen tablet | Prof. Marion Plank | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Boosting your productivtiy with a pen tablet

teacher avatar Prof. Marion Plank, Game Artist & Professor

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction and WHY you want to take this class


    • 2.

      Different types of tablets


    • 3.

      Using a Graphic Tablet


    • 4.

      Using a Display Tablet


    • 5.

      Using a Portable Tablet


    • 6.

      Customization Buttons


    • 7.

      Customization TouchRing


    • 8.

      Customization Pen


    • 9.



    • 10.

      FAQ (Frequently asked questions)


    • 11.

      Your class project and painting demonstration


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Digital painting, designing, drawing or animating are huge challenges for artists, and for anybody who works with a standard computer mouse it can be even more complicated than it has to be.

In this class I will show how you as a creative person can improve your productivity and boost your efficiency when it comes to your artwork - with a pen tablet!

I present to you the three major types of tablets and describe my workflow with each of them, as well as useful tips and tricks for your daily work routine if you are a professional and starter tips for those of you, who are just getting into working with a pen tablet.

The tablets I'm using for demo are:

- Wacom Intuos Pro M (My go to tablet)

- Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13

- Apple iPad 12 & Apple Pencil

- Wacom Cintiq 24 QHD

I'm using Wacom products not because I specifically want to advertise them, but simply because I want to show you what I use on a day-to-day basis in an authentic way. I will thoughout the class present alternative products!

As it is a widely used software, I will do my demo in Adobe Photoshop, but you can use any software you like!


A pen tablet! But if you are thinking about purchasing a tablet, this class might still be for you, since it might help you decide which one is for you.

It does not matter if you are a beginner or intermediate artist, if you mostly paint or draw - the information provided in this class can be applied to many types of software and various ways to use them.

I am an artist myself, so this class is focused on digital art and painting, so it’s perfect for concept artists, comic- or manga artists, character designers and illustrators.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Prof. Marion Plank

Game Artist & Professor


As a game artist with over 12 years of experience, I have created art and designs for various successful game titles. I am an expert in pixel art and animation, as well as 2D game graphics and concept art. Continuing my own education and research in the areas of storytelling, aesthetics and AI, I began teaching in 2015 as well as creating online tutorials for an audience of thousands of game art students. As an ambassador for "Women in Games" I am a mentor for young female game artists. Since July 2022 I am a full-time professor for game art.

Thank you for being interested in my classes and work!
Nice to meet you!

A few more things about me...:

?? I live and work in southern Germany with my cat Babu, husband and daughter.

?? I... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction and WHY you want to take this class: Hi, everyone. Welcome to this skill. Share Kloss about how to boost your productivity with pepper tablet. First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm marrying, and I have been working professionally as an artist for over six years Now. 10 tablets are a incredibly useful tool, and when used correctly, they can boost your productivity and improve your artwork, whether you are a beginner or an advanced artist, whether you are thinking about purchasing a tablet or already own one, but are unsure about how to use it, this class is absolutely perfect for you. If you're still not sure, I want to give you three reasons why using a pen tablet for your art is the right decision . Number one. Using a pen tablet is actually the industry standard for artists. So if you want to take your hobby to the next level and become a professional artist, learning how to use a tablet is really important for you to working long hours on your art . Using a computer mouse can actually put an intense strain on your hand and give you pain in your fingers or your arm. A pan tablet can release the stress on the hand because it goes back to what a traditional medium feels like. Three. The most important reason why to use a pen tablet is that a computer mouse does not have the pressure levels that are tablet house. Let me explain it like this. Ah, Pan tablet can actually imitate traditional media like paintbrushes, like pencils, and therefore it can improve your art greatly. We're switching from a monster tablet that all said, a pen tablet is just a tool like any other. It will not magically make your art better. You still have to practice each and every day, but it can when used correctly, boost your productivity and give you more freedom with your arch. If you're interested, please subscribe to my class. Let's grab our pen and our tablets. Let's do this. 2. Different types of tablets: before I start with the in depth explanation off how to use your tablet. I first have to explain what kind of tenants there are. If you are still undecided about which tablet to buy, this video lesson might help you with the decision. All pen tablets can be divided up into three basic categories. The first category is called a graphic tablets. This Talat is a flat sir face without a screen, and it, of course, comes with them. They are the most affordable off the pen tablets, with prices ranging from around 70 euros to 500 euros. The second category is called display tablets. These are tablets that you can use as a second or third screen on your computer and so paint directly onto the surface, making it feel even more like you paid on a canvas or paper. They are a little bit more expensive than the graphic tablets, starting from around 500 to 3000 euros. The third category is portable tablets. The difference to the other two categories is that these are actually tablet computers. But compared to a normal tablet computer, they also have the added feature off the pressure sensitivity and, of course, the pet. It's a little bit like a display tablet, but portable, so you can paint when you're on the go. These are, as expected, also the most expensive variation off the tablets, starting from around 1000 euros to up to 3500 more. Lastly, I want to talk about the petting or the stylist, as it's sometimes called. Each brand has their own type of stylus on their own technology behind it. When researching what tablet is perfect for you, make sure that you get all the information about depend also because this is basically the two of you working with. Make sure that when you buy your tablet, the pennant actually is included in the product for something. When you buy the iPad probe, you have to buy the apple pencil separately. Also, some pens have buttons on them, and some don't another huge factor when buying your tablet is color space. Some display tablets or part of a tablets are very, very cheap. But when you look into the color space, it's not as huge as with other tablets and some things that can be very important. For example, when you re church photos, you'd want to have the biggest color space available, So be mindful of these factors where you decide which tablet to buy. 3. Using a Graphic Tablet: a graphic tablet is very easily plucked in here by a U. S. B. C. Two USB port. Then you just have to down Lord or update the driver software, and you can already start with your drawing. I would highly recommend, though, that you check out the settings portion off your tablets affair and customize it to your needs, and we get around until it fits your own workflow perfectly. How you do that exactly, I will show you in the Persian off the cost that is called customization. Another thing to keep in mind is that in many software programs such as Photoshopped, you can directly within the brush settings decide how your tablet interacts with the color off the brush and the cameras and this way create your own unique and wonderful brushes. Many graphic tablets also have a touch function, which you can use to even further speed up your drawing or painting process like, for example, tep Three Fingers for Step Backward or TEP five Fingers for safe file alternatives to the tablet I used in this video, Thean Tourist Pro are the Who you're in 610 pro and the Welcome into a Straw, which also comes with its own drawing software 4. Using a Display Tablet: you connect your displayed have let like you would any other screen by using, for example, Asia I or a display port plus USB. To make the pen input work, I assume is a tablet mirrors your desktop scream. You should download the driver software for optimal use and then calibrate your tablet using the proprietary software. Make yourself familiar with the buttons on your tablet, which, of course, differ from brand to brand and product to product. You can start painting right away. I honestly almost never used a display tablet, but the industry standard is DiVall calms antique in sizes from 13 inch up to over 30 inches. The Huang commas is also getting more and more friends in the art community, so check it out. 5. Using a Portable Tablet: the best thing about a portable tablet IHS that you can use it not only for drawing and painting on the go, but have it basically replace your laptop computer as you can, browse the Web and check your emails and everything else the device like this allows you to do. Most tablets do not come with preinstalled software, either for painting or anything else, so you have to buy and install it first before you can work on your heart. The two portable tellers I use most are the iPad pro 12 inch with the Fo Pennsy and D Varco Mobile. Studio Pro also got this cheap stand on Amazon as well as a Bluetooth keyboard, to maximize the usability off the tablets to transfer the sketches or designs I did on my portable tablet back to my work PC I use on land storage, such as iCloud or Google Drive. Great alternative products are dealing Novo Yoga Book and the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. Customization Buttons: customizing your tablet is really the key to boosting your productivity. You can always use the default set up the tablet comes with when you first install it as a beginner. But as you progress and use it more, you will find setting up hot keys on your tablet buttons and touch ring as well as the pen itself can make all the difference in your workflow. What the buttons on your have led do is they execute a function on your computer like a short cut. For example, control Z for step backward or a tool like the brush tool or a click with your mouse. So how can you customize the buttons on your tablet? Simply open the software that comes with the tablet driver. I'm demonstrating it for my Wacom tablet, but it should work roughly the same for many talents. If you're not sure, refer back to use a menu. There's no shame in reading how your tablet works. This is not self explanatory at all. You don't have to be super tech savvy because I know I'm not. But this is not something total beginners with thing to do. That's why you are taking this class after Oh, you want to take you are to the next level. I'll show you just one example off how I create my buttons set up for painting and drawing in photo shop. What I always do first is make sure my tablet is Onley mapped to one off my monitors, and the proportions are forced or other voice. Your pen strokes will not come out accurate. My tablet has eight buttons, but this absolutely works on every tabard that has buttons or a button remote. My goal is always to maximize speed and accessibility off my most used tools. So when painting, it makes sense to map the brush tool to one of the buttons as well. Asti raise a tool, so let's do this first. Your first step is to check out what shortcuts are accessing the tools you want to have on your buttons. So I go into my shortcut menu inside myself where look for these tools and not them down. Just memorized them, switching, then over to my tablet software. I add my software to the list off applications in this case for the shop, then decide on a button. I'll take the 1st 1 off the lower for I at the shortcut. I just memorized be for Brush as a keystroke, telling my tablet to execute the keystroke every time I pushed the button. Same thing I do with E for a raisin. Then I quickly switched back to photo shop to see if it works. My next step is to customize the Upper four buttons. For those, I use the tools that come with the software here, mapping settings to the first button, which gives me an overlay with a reminder of what each button does. The second and third button I met with control and shift, since these are necessary to navigate around and for some tool functions, the fourth button on top. I met with the pan tool or hunt tool by going to navigate pan. 7. Customization TouchRing: Some tablets have this touch part not as a wheel but as a strip, which works practically the same way for mine. To us pro. I have the option to make four different functions to my touch ring. The most popular is to change the size off your current brush, which is super practical. Again. I go back to my software and access the keyboard shortcuts menu. We want to find out what our shortcuts for increase and decrease brush size are, and we find them here. I switch back over and at the keystrokes, just like with the buttons before through the ring. Now I can easily change the brush size well drawing. 8. Customization Pen: my pen has two buttons, both of which I used all the time. While drawing again, we go back into our tablets off where, looking for the pen. That should appear automatically and soon as you draw your first stroke with it. Here, you can also play with how sensitive you want depend to be. I preferred a little on the softer side, my lower button I used as a right click to quickly access menus not only in photo shop but everywhere else, too. My upper button I map to the old keystroke to quickly pick colors while painting. 9. CustomizationTouch: My tablet also has a touch function, as many newer models have. I only recently started to use it more as I am myself, always trying to find new ways to increase my productivity. With the tablet, you go into your touch gestion and you and find many default functions, which I found very useful. I now regularly use the three tap function to go a step backward as it is very similar to painting with appropriate on the iPad pro, as well as the quick say function with a five finger tap. But remember, you can customize your travel your own way, and if you want to heavily lean on gestures, you could use your fingers to access your tools or anything you want. It's all up to you. 10. FAQ (Frequently asked questions): welcome to the ethic US section off the class. He almost made it through congratulations. I will now try to answer the most frequently asked questions about Penn tablets. First of all, the most asked question is, What can I do? My child does not work before you freak out and think that you have spent hundreds off euros for nothing. Place. Take home and refer back to the user manual and see if you have plucked it in and installed it correctly. It may sound silly, but it happens to me, too. Sometimes you just plug it into the wrong USB port, and the tablet stops working also. Sometimes the driver software clashes with a Windows update and adrenal E stops working, and you have to reinstall a driver or revert back to an old version of the driver to make it work again. If you're using a Bluetooth connection, make sure you've looked with this actually turned on. It happens to me all the time with my pencil when I'm like Why doesn't this work and Bluetooth external? The second question is, how can I get new tips for my tablet stylists, and how do I exchange them so I know it's not possible for every brand off stylist to exchange their tips, but let me show you with my welcome propane to how to do it. Within the pen holder, you have not only the tips but a little tiny hole and a visual description off how to exchange the tip. You open the holder, look inside for 10. Select one that you like there some for, um, more hardest your face or for softness or face feel. Take your pen with the old tip, put it inside the hole and put the new one in dumb. There's also the silly rumor going around that you can use a spaghetti instead of a normal pensioner. I wanted to address its and 20 people have asked me, and I am saying No, you cannot. Spaghetti does not have the technology that apparent. Spaghetti are delicious, though Better eat years. Forget you don't use your spaghetti to paint. The third question that I get asked a lot is, Is there a painting software that isn't as costly as I don't before the shop, so I paint mostly Photoshopped, but I admit that I have been researching a lot of different software lately, and I like creature very much, but you can download for free, so please check that out. I also love clips. Did you paint and Autodesk sketchbook Pro on the iPad Pro? I adore procreate, which is also very, very a portable. So please check out these alternatives. Another question I get very, very often as working with a pinch of it is so hard, and I always revert back to using my mouth. What can I do to make it easier? And I always say it's not easy. It's an advanced skill that you have to practice like sports or drawing or anything else. I always recommend unplugging your mouse and forcing yourself for at least one week. Give yourself a little bit of tire and use the tablet. Consistently. Use it to browse the web. Use it to make your artwork. Use it for anything you do on your computer because your pen can do everything in my house care and better. Don't be too hard on yourself. It is not easy, but you will see your productivity will be boosted as soon as you learn how to use it correctly. Another question. I get from students sometimes is. I went three D artists. I don't want to do any two D or concept order anything like that. Can I also use a pan template for three D work? And I think it really depends on what you want to do. Especially sculpting and texturizing are the perfect opportunities to use your pen Tebbit. While I would say hard surface modelling, maybe rigging, maybe even animating are sometimes better done with a computer mouse. At least that's how I prefer it. Wacom just came out with a pen that is supposedly perfect for three D work. I have not tried it myself, but if you were interested in that and already own of Arkham talent, you could maybe give that a shot. 11. Your class project and painting demonstration: After all this theory, I want you to put all the new information you have about your tablet to practice. Andi, do a quick sketch with me to see how you can apply those tips and tricks for your class project I want you to do I character. The sign based on yourself like a self portrait. You don't have to copy exactly what I am doing. Just do it in your own style. Don't force yourself to create a crazy, complicated artwork here, focusing more on how you can really improve your productivity with your pen tablet. I start my sketch using my graphic tablet with a hard drum brush and pressure levels activated to get more off a loose and easy stroke rather than ah, hardline art. Because of the stage, I'm always changing things around the Lord. I'm erasing a lot, and I'm just experimenting with the design. In the next step, I refined the light art, give it a little more detail, a little more contrast, still using the same brush, but in a smaller size. Third step in this rough character design is the colors. I would put a layer beneath the Leinart and sketch block in the colors with a hard round brush where the pressure levels are turned off and for shading and highlights. I'm very in between brushes and turning the pressure levels back on again. Depending on how much time you want to invest, you can put in more or less detail. I kept it really, really rough. While you are doing your class project, please focus on the following customizes that things throughout the whole process. Changing things up until they fit your workflow. Use your tablet buttons and pan to navigate quickly pick up colors and resize your brush instead of your usual keyboard. If you have a huge displayed, how that work sumed out. Don't get lost in details and move your shoulder and arm while sketching rather than working from your wrist. Only try different angles off your tablet on your desk until you're comfortable. Unplug your computer mouse. Force yourself to really get used to the pet. The whole character design shouldn't take much longer than one hour to complete. Think of it rather as a color sketch than a fully rendered illustration. If you find yourself repeatedly using the same keeper, chart cuts off tools throughout the painting process. Think about methane, the shortcut to one off your tablet buttons or your pen button. Oh, maybe to a touch gesture so you can save time and focus fully on your drawing. Instead of grabbing tools and searching for the right tool within your software. I'm shamelessly using the last minute off this class to thank you all for attending for learning with me and spending all this time on improving your productivity with the pen tablet. I'm sure it pays off. If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to write me a message, and I would highly recommend for you to check out my YouTube channel, where make videos about art, games and technology very regularly. I'm reviewing art supplies, including a lot of tablets. I'm talking about my painting process a lot and tell stories about my daily life. It's a professional artists, so I'd love for you to check that out and maybe subscribe to me over there. As with all schools share classes, please always help out if full of students, when they have questions and when leaving a comment to another close project, be kind to one another so we can all benefit from this platform and experience in the best way possible. Thank you so much. And I'll see you in the next class. Good luck. And have fun with your tablet by