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Stylus tips & exercises
This post is two fold.
First: I use an intuos4 tablet and was wondering if any other intuos users have any advice on knowing when it is best to change the tips out.
Mine develop these annoying flat spots that tend to show up when I am trying to carefully draw a curve, which results in a bit of a jog in the line which then has to be redone.
How often do you change tips? is there away to round the flat spots out?
What tips are most efficient for workflow?
Second: I want to get back to basics with exercises. Is it more productive for building muscle memory to trace over circles, curves, etc., or should I only look at reference when practicing?
I suspect you're tilting your stylus too much so it stops sending data to the tablet. Try tilting it less when you draw.
Also, exercises are not only a physical thing but a physical-visual thing. It's not so much an issue about the type of exercise done. Your eyes and mind must confirm what your muscles do, so unless you are very mentally engaged you won't benefit at all from exercises. Some exercises encourage you to be more mentally involved but this principle always remains the same.
Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er
I had an older Intous and I never had to change the tip but my newer Bamboo tablet's tip had to be changed out as it wore down. I changed the Bamboo tip with one of my spare Intous tips and haven't changed it yet. Btw, I had my Intuos for about 5 years and haven't had to change the tip on it all that time. The Bamboo- I guess about after a year or so the tip was changed. :\
Each of those exercises accomplishes different objectives, imo, and it wouldn't hurt you to do both. And I wouldn't recommend tracing over shapes. You're better off doing shape exercises freehand. At least, that way you can exercise your spatial sense instead of just focusing on following a line.