Sketchbook pro is awesome.

Just got sketchbook pro and after slugging through photoshop and corel painter this is going to be my go to software for sketching. Love the rulers/ellipse guides! Really not sure why I did not come to it sooner! Here is one of my first drawings on it I did for class.

Good start! Can you explain what you meant by “slugging through photoshop”? I’m planning on starting photoshop rendering and I wanted to hear your thoughts (I use SBPro as well).

Right on! I also enjoy the program. It is a very natural process for sketching. If you are interested, I have a few step by step demos in my coroflot link below.

You also have some curve guides on SBP 6. The results you can have with PS are better, but require much more effort; while SBP is more intuitive to use and faster, specially if you use a Cintiq with it. I specially enjoy how fluent it can be with the Zoom/Rotate/Drag tool and the Brush size/intensity, makes it much faster to get exactly what you want. On the other hand, I miss the splines and special brushes from SBD and the perspective tool from PS, but I can always switch to PS and make these things there.

Awjj - For me, photoshop is like how IDAL described it, you can get good results but it’s more time consuming. I have a friend who does some awesome photoshop renderings but I think the way he does them is less drawing and more gradients and whatnot using the pen tool and making selections. I think also if you are going for a more traditional media look, programs like photoshop or corel can be a little better because you can make brushes that look like the media you are trying to emulate. I have not gotten enough into SBP to know if these brush options are available.

Ive always been a fan of sketching in SBP and rendering in Photoshop. Never could get myself to render in SBP. I rely too heavily on dodge burn and the hue saturation to get my base shading/color down.

An important thing to note is that you can save your Sketchbook Pro file as a PSD file. This allows you to work in both programs as a native PSD file. Just watch the groups in PS, as they do not make the jump back.

You can only take full advantage of SketchBook Pro if you have a Cintiq tablet, getting the software is only the first step.

What is the best cheap alternative to a cintiq , i mean a not-so-bad cheap tablet?
I love sketching but can’t really justify the expense.

Search ebay. I was able to get a used 21UX for about around 450 shipped. Took a few months of bidding. Most go a for around $600, Ive seen them even go as low as $300!!! Although that one did have a few pressure marks on the screen but nothing you cant work around.

But a Cintiq is not that bad of an expense. Considering they hold there resell value pretty well.

Nice one I’ll keep my ebEyes peeled.
(I know, sorry, i’m tired)

Just had a thought, about SBP.

Back in college I had a drawing professor (not in the ID program, but the Art/painting track) who drew us a diagram, connecting the object/model, the eye/brain, and the hand. The idea was that all three need to be intertwined for the drawing process to work. The eye needs to give feedback millions of times/second on accuracy, and the eye needs to work on ‘seeing’ the object/model and translating that to the paper or pencil. The hand needs the coordination to deliver what the eye sees.

I’m wondering if Sketchbook Pro provides a ‘short-cut’ or quicker method to actually being able to draw better, not just on the Cintiq but in ‘real life’, by helping the artist/user to actually draw better, thus provoking better feedback and approval from the eye/brain. Or maybe just the sheer fun of being assisted in drawing better, leads the artist to do more of it, thus leading to improvement.

I want to understand what you are saying, it sounds interesting, but I’m not quite sure. Do you mean that things like the tools (guides, rulers, symmetry, etc.) help the user to know what a “correct” drawing looks like and that this will help train their eye/brain?

Yes, exactly. Not as a ‘crutch’, but more like training wheels. Thus, better drawing could maybe result faster from using the program, than with pen/paper…?


SBP ‘knows’ what a line should look like, and provides a way to make an artistic gesture in the linework, that is possibly better than what the beginning artist could do alone. The artist ‘wants’ to make the correct/beautiful line, and SBP helps them succeed. This positive feedback loop is amplified with the guides and symmetry tools. The end result, when the tools are taken away, is that the artist is now ‘better’ rather than ‘worse’. A crutch leads to atrophy…but training wheels lead to a new wonderful experience.

Has anyone tried Sketchbook 7 yet? I’ve been betatesting it for over a year and it’s been hard not to talk about it. But now it’s out for a while I think and I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything on here.

Anyway, the new perspective tools, the fill tools for color blocking, the gradient tools for core shadows are all amazing addition to the ID workflow. Flipbook is pretty cool too. You need to check it out. It’s $3 for 1 month.

Full disclosure: I’m not involved with Autodesk, I was only betatesting because I reported an issue with an older version and actually just purchased a year subscription because the beta expired.

I have to agree with you. As someone who’s just starting out with sketching, Sketchbook pro is a nice tool. I start my drawing with pencil on paper. From looking at the sketch, I can sort of feel where I went wrong but sketching proper line work as an overlay I can clearly see where I went wrong. For example for my last set of sketches, I realized that my idea of perspective isn’t too bad but my lines aren’t straight enough so everything looks off as the sketch progresses. It would be hard to get this kind of information without the tools. It’s also quite motivating to end up with a corrected version of your drawing.