alias sketchbook pro/wacom tablet

Hi all,

I just got a Wacom Intruos3 tablet and am using Alias Sketchbook Pro…

In the top titled, “Sketch-Fu” … I noticed that a lot of renderings have really great lines that don’t appear to have been done by hand (i.e; french curves and rulers). I was wondering if any of you could give me some tips as to drawing lines more smoothly.

Thanks much! :wink:

I don’t use curves/rulers for my sketching work, but I’d imagine they do the sketch on real paper (!?) and scan in and use the lines as a layer in SBpro.

Sketchbook Pro does not let you “multiply” the layer like PS. If it was created in SBpro, the lines were create on the computer. I use a tablet PC for SBpro.

Also B, there is a chance the particular sketches you’re talking about were drawn on a Cintiq or tablet (like Blaster) and french curves and rulers placed directly on the screen.

Thanks guys.
So to be more specific, page 3 of “Sketch-Fu”, PLINUS posted a great sketch and I really like the style of it. The lines are so precise, I’m not sure if he used french curves directly on the screen… or placed them on a tablet… or if it is possible to actually make lines in Sketchbook Pro. What I like about the sketch is that it still has that artistic, real life sketch feel but is brought to life w/the coloring/shading.

Any thoughts on this would help. I tried to contact him but no go.


I think they are freehand, apart from his last posting on that page (…more lunch doodling)… the lines are very precise on that. Either he’s very well practiced on an intuos, or he’s rocking a cintiq/tablet pc with curves. He’s work is pretty sweet though, and even though he’s hitting some really simple lines, the fact is what you don’t see is probably 100 furiously drawn lines to get the shape he wants, which are cleaned up with an eraser…

Have a look at this tutorial and you’ll see what I mean…

Compare the final shot to the form sketch below it.

Some people just can pull off really really clean linework and inhuman hand control. I’ve tried to embrace my sloppyness. :laughing:

Okay. No laughing!! :wink:

I JUST got a Wacom tablet last night and am trying to modify my graphic skills and need lots of help (or a class…!). What I’m most curious about is how to keep minimal, natural looking lines while using minimal shading as well. My sketch below just looks like an over use of pencil, which in turn looks messy and unprofessional.

I generally don’t shade when doing shoe sketches, just usually flat Illustrator technical drawings. Although I do use color and gradients to shade. I’m also using Alias Sketchbook Pro, which is VERY new to me.

Oh, and I’m not concerned with proportions. My main concern is shading, texturing, coloring and presentation.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Here’s something I did a few years ago so you can see the extent of my “shading”…

Oh, and I’m not concerned with proportions. My main concern is shading, texturing, coloring and presentation.


wow. I’m not concerned with proportions BECAUSE I’m trying to get used to learning the tablet and Alias. I’ve been sketching for years, my proportions are fine. The sketch I posted for feedback regarding SHADING was purposely for that.

Snide comments not needed.

you have been on here long enough that I am surprised you took offense. Its the classic line people say when they try to jump right into rendering and skip the fundamentals. It was a joke, take it easy. Dont take it out on your wacom either! :cry:

…not necessarily took offense, just already specified that I’d like some advice on shading so that it looks cleaner, whatever the drawing may be. Not concerned with the actual object or perspective although specific shoe shading is helpful.

I saw your website and lamps and really like the renderings, that’s what I’m trying to achieve.

i use a intuos3 and most of those were drawn in sketchbook pro.
It really just comes down to broad strokes from me.

It seems to me like you may be keeping lines too tight in that shoe/slipper drawing. I am talking about broad lines for linework as well as shading.

That drawing should be your first layer. Make a new layer on top of that and refine it with smooth strokes. Gotta get that shoulder workin! Put each area of your drawing on a separate layer so that its easy for you to edit, erase, build-up, etc… Take advantage of the erase tool and maybe try to start off with those broad airbrush strokes and take them well out side the lines and then you can go back and erase as needed, just to get used to that smooth stroke.

I am not sure if that helps or not…

Thanks, so smooth strokes and long ones… I’ll keep focused on that. I’ve attached a sketch that I just did but am not sure where to go from here.

I’m not sure exactly how to shade the vamp and the counter. Thought maybe someone would have some tips on where to go next.

Thanks again for the input! :laughing:

Your lines are still really fuzzy and in short strokes.
I think part of what sells the image is the line work that defines the object.

I have never, ever drawn a shoe before, so i by no means am saying that I have any knowledge in footwear


I went over your first image and didn’t erase any lines so you can see my full strokes.

This would be my “layer 2”

Cool Bbarn, like the energy you have captured in it.

B - Just a quick one to say to notice on Bbarns alteration sketch that the heel shaded section of the heel is within two accurate vertical lines (hold down shift while sketching) which might help you a little as you’ll be referencing from there.

i am not sure that many get to the place you are trying to get…it probably isn’t worth it, it is a VERY unnatural way to sketch/draw(those that paint seem to better adjust). however a couple things that could be really helpful to become comfortable with the disconnect are:

start with just rendering scanned/b&w lineart 1st…sketching with the tablet in the beginning is almost like an exercise in futility, very fustrating! you will gettys habit of making shorter, less confident strokes; shading 1st allows to get used to making the long, loose, & smooth stroke you eventually want to make

the second thing is after you get more familiar, try tracing old sketches, random pics from the interweb, whatever; the goal being to trace said image(s) with the smooth confident lines

Bbarn- looks great!

…If I could just achieve those strokes. It would be easier for me to achieve them if I traced something. I guess I could sketch the shoe, trace it on a new layer and then hide the original.

When shading with color… any tips on that? Tools you use? That’s also equally challenging for me in this style of sketching.

thanks all :laughing:

the best part about a tablet… Ctrl + Z

no french curves needed

if I have a difficult, smooth, complex line that I’m trying to draw… I’ll “know” the exact line I want, it already exists on the screen/tablet/whatever, it’s just getting my wrist to follow the invisible line that is begging to be drawn…

do a swift but controlled pass, not perfect, Ctrl + Z, another swift controlled line, not perfect, Ctrl + Z, depending on how complex the line is, this can happen 30 or 40 times until the perfect line reveals itself and my wrist follows it perfectly

sometimes I wonder how long it will take until I can think about the line I want, and it will just be on the screen. not long I suppose.

long, smooth lines, paper or tablet, it’s all the same, except for the power of Undo