Some of the best drawings you can see today weren't created with a pencil, they were made purely on a computer. It's almost unbelievable to look at some of the drawings you can create without ever having to pick up a piece of paper.
By using a drawing tablet and computer program you can select from all sorts of different tools and settings. Choose from endless brushes including watercolour, calligraphy and even chalk. Then there are the limitless colour selections on offer.
Drawing tablets are also mostly inexpensive, so it's never been easier to pick up a tablet and start working on some art.
The freedom to not only draw with any pen, whether it's a fine fountain pen or a thick marker, but also edit your designs however you please, whether that's increasing their size, duplicating sections, or changing colours, the power to create the most amazing designs is at your fingertips.
They also don't require a ton of fancy programs or even the fastest computer to function; simply plug it into your device via a USB, choose one of the many free drawing software available (see below for our top recommendation), and get stuck in.
Of course, there are graphics tablets with screens available, however, it's significantly more expensive to pick up a great graphics tablet with a screen, so for a beginner we'd highly recommend avoiding the pricier options for now. Plus, for our money, we prefer the screenless options.
The best part is, that it's incredibly easy to learn how to use a drawing tablet. In no time you'll be drawing like an expert, especially if you choose one of our top picks perfect for beginners.
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Best drawing tablets for beginners
1. XP-PEN G960 USB Drawing Tablet
For an entry drawing tablet, you can't go wrong with what the XP-PEN G960 offers. It features a large 8.35 x 5.33-inch screen with tremendous pressure sensitivity, four shortcut buttons and a stylus that doesn't require batteries in an extremely well-priced package. It's an excellent way to start drawing on your computer.
Pros: Great value and specifications
Cons: The screen may become too small as your ability progresses
Review: "Absolutely brilliant! Really easy to use, really accurate as well. Works with Microsoft products fluently, no setting up issues or installs. Just plugin and use!"
2. Huion Inspiroy H1060P Graphics Drawing Tablet
If you want to take your digital art to the next level, then this option from Huion is perfect. Now compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, it's more advanced than ever and perfect for on-the-go. With a battery-free digital stylus and 12 custom buttons, alongside 16 user-defined soft keys for shortcut settings, this tablet makes it even easier for you to be productive. On a 10 x 6.25-inch drawing area, this drawing pad is the perfect way to draw great quality pictures and illustrations.
Pros: Super convenient and great for on-the-go
Cons: Some users found the tablets surface too smooth and polished
Review: "I have actually already recommended this product - very easy to set up - works first time it is connected (after installation of Huion driver) and it works like a charm. Very addictive in usage. I recommend it 100 per cent."
3. UGEE M708 Graphics Tablet
A large 10 x 6-inch option from UGEE, this drawing pad offers lots of accessories that'll make learning how to use a drawing tablet easy. Alongside the customisable buttons, this pack includes a battery-free stylus with eight replacement nibs and a stylish pen holder. It also has a drawing glove and a pair of white gloves to keep your screen clean.
Pros: Get a lot of kit and size for your money
Cons: Some report the stylus to be rather weak
Review: "A great product, worked perfectly out of the box. I use this for work in Photoshop and Lightroom and it's brilliant. It is comparable with those graphics' tablets with the top names but is a heck of a lot cheaper and comes with a full set of accessories. Highly recommended."
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4. WACOM Intuos CTL-4100K-N
Wacom is renowned for quality, and this five-inch option is great for a beginner. The stylus requires no batteries and offers good accuracy. The tablet even includes 90-day trials for either Corel Painter or Corel Aftershot so you can test out your art or photo-editing skills for free.
Pros: Free trial of software included
Cons: Expensive option for small tablet size
Review: "As a left-handed artist the smaller version allows me to not have to rest my hand on the tablet, perfect size/style."
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5. Apple Pencil Second Generation
If you already own a third-generation iPad Pro then you already have a great basis for a drawing pad. With one of these Apple pencils, learning to draw will be easy, with plenty of drawing apps to support the pencil. Being able to see the results on the same screen is a massive plus point, too.
Pros: Very simple to use. Can be used for more than just drawing
Cons: Requires an iPad Pro to work properly
Review: "Finally decided to purchase the Apple Pencil for my iPad, so pleased I did, connects instantly, easy to use and the nib is very precise!"
6. XP-Pen G430S Graphics Tablet
At only 4 x 3 inches, this drawing tablet is one of the smallest currently available. It's designed primarily for online gaming and e-learning, but it's still a compact drawing tablet perfect for beginners. The stylus doesn't require a battery and 10 replacement nibs are included.
Pros: Great value
Cons: Small screen size
Review: "Although this graphics tablet only has a relatively small working area, it's still very easy to get precise cursor control/position with it and it takes up far less desk space… For anyone who's never used a graphics tablet, this is the ideal entry-level product."
What's the best way to learn how to use one?
Learning how to use a drawing tablet sounds harder than it is. All the tablets listed above are very simple to use with even the most complex only featuring a couple of configurable buttons (you can even ignore these altogether). The best way we've discovered to learn is to practise as much as possible. Even if you're not very good to begin with, if you keep trying, you'll soon pick it up. There are lots of tutorials available online that can help, too.
What else will I need to start drawing?
You'll need a computer program that will allow you to start drawing properly. The majority of these programs are subscription-based, so you'll have to be paid monthly for access. There are some programs that are one-time purchases, however, like Affinity Designer. Adobe Photoshop is pretty well regarded as the definitive tool for graphical design, but it can be a little pricey.
If you're looking to test out your graphics tablet, but don't want to pay the monthly price for an expensive program, check out Krita; a free program that, while it doesn't have all of the exciting functionality of Photoshop, is great to start out with. When your artsy skills improve, we'd suggest upgrading to Photoshop.