Buying a cintiq in January but I’ve never used photoshop. Am I stupid?

  • I don’t want to be overwhelmed and have my art suffer because of it. Am I doing this backwards, and as a result, will my citiq most likely just gather dust? I really have no clue how complicated photoshop is or not.

  • SVS OG

    Photoshop is an incredibly robust program, BUT once you learn a few things you should get the hang of it. I've been using it for 20 years and still learn new stuff. I'd just take a week and get familiar with the brushes and layers. I'm sure there are some great beginner tutorials to start with, then branch off to whatever suits your needs. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

    I'm learning how to use Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio) the last couple weeks and am starting to feel comfortable with it. Mostly it's just practice, Googling stuff, and messing with the brush settings to find something you like!

  • They're not a requirement to go together. Plus you can always learn photoshop. If you're just starting off, try Krita, it's free! XD And I hope it doesn't gather dust. That is one expensive decoration for it to be.

  • @eric-castleman

    Hey, are you getting one of the new 24” or 32s”? Just curious. I don’t have any advice really. Just wanted to say I’m looking to get the new 24” with no tablet and very little photoshop experience. Gift from my husband. I’m super eager to start. I figure it’ll be a steep learning curve but well worth it.

    Wish you luck 🙂


  • @kali-williams I’m getting the 27 inch. I wish they had more locations to actually try them out and see if I think that size is too big, but for some reason they make it really hard to find places.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Photoshop is a software you never stop learning - there are always nooks and crannies you did not know about, and even after years of working with it daily, I feel there is a lot to learn still.
    The basics of doing art in Photoshop are however really simple. Get hold of a brush, learn how layers work (takes about half a minute) and then draw away! With a Cintiq is not much different than on paper. You just need one brush, one eraser and a layer to work on. Everything else can come after that.

  • @eric-castleman

    Yes, it would be really nice if there were more spots to try them out.

    You’ve probably done this already but if you haven’t, I’d suggest checking out YouTube reviews and uses, experiences etc. bc there are a lot of people who switch tablets, tablet sizes and all that but also software so if you’re nervous about photoshop you might find some guidance there.

    Artists reviews specifically were helpful to me as I was shopping for tablets. Tech Reviews tended to focus more on the specs than on user experience. I wanted the 27hd touch till I found the new 4K were rumored to come out early 2018 and could actually only find the 27 inch used anyway which makes my husband and I nervous for resale. (May be harder to find these in stores for the same reason. In fact I think I remember seeing they’re now discontinued.)

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman I just finished a photoshop class at the local CC. I had some challenges but I did well and it was pretty fun to be able to be creative in a new way. I am still way new at it. If I can learn it, you can 🙂 There are some great tutorials out there . Our instructor sent us all a list of links to the videos we used (it was a hybrid class-part online and part in person). I was looking for it last night and couldn't find it. I e-mailed him to see if he could re-send them. If he does, I'd be happy to pass them on. Some are clearer than others but I'm going to review them and try to apply them to GIMP because I'm going to have to switch over soon. Anyway, there are other tutorials out there and I just looked around when I had a problem and, for the most part, figured things out that way on my own.

    I haven't used my drawing tablet much at all. So, I still need to learn that so, I can't really help in that area.

  • @Eric-Castleman I'm also looking to buy one in the new year - im holding out for the new 24" too depending on the price in the uk if not i'll go for the older 27".

    Photoshop can be as complicated or a simple as you want - if your using it to paint then you only really need to learn how to use two or three of the tools - brush, colour picker and eraser which are super simple. Then when your more confident in it start learning the other tools that will help speed up your work flow. But as Amphailin said there are other software options out there that might even better for what you want.

    You could also try photoshop before you get your cintiq why not download a trial of photoshop first? Designs Tuts is a good site for some free tutorials, its not painting focused but should help with the learning the interface.

  • @eric-castleman I have the 27 active area. It ended up being 30 or 32" on my desk.

  • @smceccarelli the main things I need to figure out with photoshop are how to overlay like I do in procreate. I always use a watercolor texture scan and want to continue doing that with photoshop. I also use a lot of watercolor textures and color burn in procreate. I hope these are not too hidden.

  • @amphailin do you own an ergatron arm? I am super weird about how I hold my tablets so I am also adding that to the mix, but an only worried about it not holding well enough to get straight lights as I draw. The sort of desk I will need has me a bit worried because of the insane size of the tablet, but we shall see.

  • When looking at computer specs I will need to run a cintiq, I am assuming that much of those high end requirements have more to do with 3D modeling, than illustration. Have any of you made any mistakes on going cheaper computer wise?

  • @eric-castleman in that case you’ll have it down in 30mins. Just google whenever you want to do something, and use the same words as you woul in Procreate, about the only thing different at a basic level is the brush’s easier to understand!

  • Pro SVS OG

    @eric-castleman layer modes are the same in ProCreate and Photoshop. In PS you choose the layer mode from a drop down menu within the layer panel.
    Contrary to ProCreate, Photoshop can apply modes to brushes too. So you can have a brush behaving in multiply mode (or overlay, color burn or whichever other mode you need). Also better in PS than procreate is how you can manipulate textures by warping them (or liquefying them - but that is a different process) within the transform menu. That way you can have texture follow the form of the object you want to apply to.
    Be assured that Photoshop can do anything that ProCreate can do and much, much, much more. But you do not need to tackle everything at once - the basics are really simple.

  • @eric-castleman Yes I do. I have it propped up. Not sure how many degrees, it is pretty veriticle. I have a solid wood table. The set up is quite heavy, I hope you don't have glass desks. I used to have cheap Walmart table made of plywood. It started bowing. Also the full size is about 32 inches with 27 active area. So you'll need some space.

  • My only advice is be careful when you buy a big 27"or 32" display you can end up with quite a sore arm and shoulder if you are not used to drawing big-it is that stretch over to the Photoshop toolbar that does it.Also consider one of the cheaper brands XPS, Yinova,huion they really are very good.Make sure your graphics card supports 2 monitors( if that is your setup) I killed my Graphics card and computer a few months ago I suspect it was never meant to run 2 monitors.Clip paint studio is cheaper and just as good as Photoshop.

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