Three years ago I bought myself a digital illustrations tablet called "The Slate" from a company called ISKN. I had never heard of them before but their product kept popping up on my social media newsfeeds and it looked great. A drawing tablet which allowed you to draw using real pencils and real paper, with a small magnet around your pencil of choice which interacted with the tablet underneath your paper, instantly transforming your illustration into a digital piece of art. I ordered it and wasn't disappointed - it took a while to adjust to this new way of drawing and I found that it was actually easier to look at the screen whilst drawing rather than down at my paper. The first version wasn't always 100% accurate so this was the easiest way of making sure my digital illustration came out the way I wanted it. I later upgraded to "The Slate 2+" and earlier this year I upgraded to ISKN's newest product, the "Repaper" which is ultimately the best product they have designed yet! This new tablet not only incorporates everything The Slate had but is also pressure sensitive meaning that you can really get the detail into your illustration that you would by using a pencil on real paper - shading is easy as well as adding tone, shadows and texture!
One of the things I like the most about the Repaper, is that you can draw with a simple pen or pencil but on the digital version you can choose any colour you wish, from thousands of different shades and tones! If you need that colour again, you can use the eyedropper tool to get the exact shade again and again. Gone are the days of trying to mix paint over and over again only to find you have made a different shade of blue than you wanted. You also have the option of replicating this on your own paper illustration by changing over the magnetic ring onto any coloured pen or pencil you wish.
The Repaper also has a choice of different tools you can use, for example: pencil, felt tip, air brush, chalk etc. Each of these different tools also have different options within them, so you can select different types of pencil, softness, colour and more. It really is like having a huge selection of art tools all in one place but without having to purchase tonnes of art materials. I haven't actually used all of these different tools as I tend to stick to my favourites - the pencil and the felt pen - but the options are limitless, oh and of course there is an eraser for rubbing out mistakes, or you can just press the undo button if you go wrong! You can also use the tablet wirelessly, with your phone or tablet as well as wired with your laptop. There is also an option to use it on the go without a screen although I haven't tried this one out yet!
You also have the option to create art on different layers, as well as importing photos and drawing on top of them, opening so many different opportunities to create digital art in different mediums. You can zoom in close to focus on the tiniest bit of detail, or zoom out to view the whole piece of art at different sized scales. Once you have finished you can export the image as a JPEG, PNG, PSD and more, so your art can be instantly available as a digital artwork or further edited using other software. Having a digital version of your art gives you the option of getting your artwork printed onto cards, tea towels, coasters etc with very minimal or no editing work. You can also export the illustration as an MP4 file which is great if you want to watch the entire illustration being played back, hundreds of times faster than you actually took to draw it! I often share these mesmerising playbacks on my social media so make sure you follow me on Instagram and Facebook!
You can find out more about ISKN and their available products HERE
Jess from Silverpasta Crafts is a digital illustrator who is inspired by wildlife and the natural world. In her other job she works as an ecologist and sees British wildlife on a daily basis. She creates digital illustrations of wildlife which are then printed onto homeware and gifts, such as tea towels, aprons, coasters and greetings cards. These are all made in the UK and are sent in plastic-free packaging, as well as one tree being planted for every 10 items sold. You can view her entire range by visiting her shop: https://www.silverpasta.co.uk/shop