Three Reasons To Still Draw On Paper

I’m seriously considering getting a Cintiq 22HD Touch. Thus far, I’ve resisted going completely digital. Though I’ll digitally paint my final illustration using a Wacom tablet, I insist on beginning every piece of art on my drawing board using graphite & paper. I’ve had three basic reasons for continuing to draw on paper.

1. Original Art – When I’m finished with my project, I have some kind of tangible, original art to keep. I don’t know about anyone else, but I like having original art. Since I’ve gone to working digitally, I no longer have a completed painting to show for any of my work. I figure that drawing on paper allows me to have tangible concept sketches and finished drawings, if nothing else.


2. Traditional Skills –Too many people have no grammar skills because they’ve become dependent on computer word processors to correct their mess. My fear is that if I become overly dependent on computers when going through the drawing process, it will make me less disciplined and/or lazy about maintaining good drawing skills.


3. The Feel – Tablets currently cannot replicate the feel of traditional media. Sure, there are pen nibs for styli which attempt to add some grit to the feel, but the feel of traditional media comes from both the pencil and the different textures of paper. Add to that that there always seems to be a slight gap between the stylus tip and the drawn image under the glass screen, so that there’s still some kind of disconnect.

I realize each of these reasons given are entirely predicated on my own subjective preferences. Some people may not care about keeping an original piece of art. Others find the benefits of digital tools to outweigh any need for proficiency with traditional media tools. And still others are perfectly comfortable with the feel of drawing on a glass screen.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that drawing, scanning, printing, redrawing, scanning, and so on certainly slows down my work flow. There are also projects which mean so little to me that I don’t really care about keeping the original art. In all honesty, I suppose I can make the move to a Cintiq without compromising on reasons #1 & #2 by simply continuing to use traditional media on select projects, or when I’m drawing just for fun and have no need for the most efficient workflow. As for the feel of drawing on glass, I guess it’s something I’d have to get used to. In other words, though my reasons for still drawing on paper are important to me, there might be ways to mitigate the move to a Cintiq.

So how many of you are still drawing on paper and scanning? And if so, what are your reasons? Is the cost of a Cintiq the only thing preventing you from using one?