I've been having so much fun with my new Intuos Wacom tablet! Here's the very first illustration I did solely in Photoshop! (Well, I did some in high school with MS Paint... [cringes]). This is the Purple Striped Jellyfish - I love jellyfishes! This creature lends itself very well to the pressure sensitivity and sweeping lines that can be created using the Intuos. Last time, I was testing inking my comic pencil work, and it was harder to make the sweeping motions when tracing a line. But when drawing from scratch digitally, it's easier because your hand can just go where it wants to and isn't hindered by following lines.
Just for kicks, here are some colored pencil sketches I did of some Purple Striped Jellies when I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium years ago. Now, this aquarium has the largest most awesome collection of jellies I've ever seen! Like, entire rooms where you're surrounded by huge jellyfish everywhere! I liked the Purple Striped ones because they're very colorful and flowy. They really like swimming upside down as pictured above.
Comparing the two kinds of illustration, it's always great to have a mini travel sketchbook to capture what's in front of you fast, especially when traveling. But when I spent more time with the Wacom rendering of the jellyfish, I really got to capture the transparencies of it! Yay Photoshop layers! Watercolors by hand could also present transparencies, but with a different texture and feel. Even though the digital rendering has a more cartoony look, the smoothness is closer to how the animal is in reality.
I'll probably always draw with a mix of good ol' pencil & paper and the wacom, but it worries me a bit if I may get too reliant on technology. Like, I'm locked into Adobe's pay per month program, and after learning of some cheaper alternatives, I sometimes regret it. It's an industry standard, so it's good to know Adobe programs, but the fact that they can raise the price at any time makes me worry. I guess I could always export all my files to tiffs, but that's a LOT of files...