Wacom Cintiq

I've been using a Wacom Cintiq 21UX at work and a 4"x5" Intuos 3 at home. Well, I finally took the plunge and invested in the setup I needed. Just after getting a necessary laptop replacement I'm now the proud owner of a Wacom Cintiq 20WSX.

first piece done with the new toy - 30 minute digital painting

The 20WSX is a slight step down (in size only) to the 21UX. The resolution support seems quite similar. In my opinion there are actually some advantages to the 20" model:

  • There are a few more programmable buttons. These buttons even include the preset "display swap" function (much like the new 12" model), allowing me to easily use two monitors with my stylus. I am quickly getting used to this feature. While I enjoy keeping the Cintiq as my ONLY display at work, my new laptop works optimally at a higher resolution than the Wacom display supports, allowing me to run 3D applications and hold more menus on the screen. This is a huge convenience and could only be improved by a higher resolution on the Cintiq- but for now I won't complain.
  • The touch-scroll bar is set on the back of the display rather than the front (as on the 21UX). I found myself wanting to use the scroll function, keeping my mouse out of the equation for zooming in photoshop and scrolling on the web, but my hand kept bumping it while drawing on the screen, so I had to disable it. Now I can use it without the worry of zooming in and out while drawing with big curved motions. The only drawback is that when I'm using the programmable buttons on the side I tend to grip the edge of the display, occasionally bumping the scroll with my index finger. The excusable element here is that I am already adjusting my grip habits to get around that.
  • The widescreen format (16:10 ratio) allows my Photoshop menus to sit on the single display without crushing my workspace width. I always have adequate height and like keeping my menus close to the worspace while reference images sit even nearer my art. This was always a crunch with a typical 4:3 or similar, but the widescreen gives me the right amount of width to be comfortable.
  • $500 less than the 21". yes, $500 towards something else and I feel like I bought the "big boy". To be honest, New York apartments are small even if you get a "big place in Queens" like myself, so to fit my laptop and Cintiq on my desk in my studio or bedroom, I really can't afford the space or weight of the 21". This is perfectly oversized and any larger would create an uncomfortable desk or inadequate room. I also see the future need for the 12" Cintiq for travel, and that would psychologically price it at $500 less for me, should I choose to purchase one.

Overall I am in love. I can see myself getting more into the rabbit hole of the DIGITAL ART world, but if I'm having this much fun I don't really care. I'm sure I'll draw and paint, but when I do digital work now I know that I am at least drawing on the surface that my art is on, rather than staring at my laptop with a postcard sized workspace in my lap. That is a value that is worth the price of this great tool.


Anonymous said...

Cartoons are still for babies.


Craig Zablo said...

Either way, traditional or digital, you're art is amazing!

Not Just Some Drawing Broad said...

Yay! I can just imagine getting an even better Cintiq, Joe!

When I watched your perfect demonstration at the St Louis Convention, I thought of my own setup - I only have a mouse. Or real paints/canvas.

It's tempting to go on the tablet path like you are. Neat and successful. You deserve the best.

Mark Sinclair said...

Congrats man! You are going to love it. Only one problem - once you have your cintiq you can NEVER go back to the tablet!! For me it was like switching from a crayon to a pencil...

Matthew Masterson said...

Been a fan for some time now and I have found that your pod casts have been most helpful, thank you! Hopefully in the near future I’ll be a proud owner of a cintiq, right now I use a Toshiba satellite laptop in which the screen flips around into a notepad and then I can paint on the run. I use my wacom at work and at home very little now, very covenant for me.

Not Just Some Drawing Broad said...

Oh my goodness.
I gotta have one.

John Beatty said...

Heh...I just posted my thot's on the Cintiq setup at MegaCon...guess you got one there?

I didn't try the 20"WS after I used the 21"

And my desire for the small 12" sketch Cintiq got squashed using it at the show...

Good to hear you love your 20WS...yes the size and the savings is good!


Joe Bluhm said...

John- You're so right. I may still want a 12" for the road (why I saved the $500- in case I do, I'm half way there!), but I'm loving this one.

I didn't get it at Megacon, tho. I purchased one as soon as I got back to New York.

Mark- I'm afraid you're probably right.

Josh Spencer said...

Hey Joe,
I'm saving up for one of those things. It's on the list of really cool stuff.
I test drove one of those and there are so good. If they develop it to the point where it feels like you drawing or painting on paper, i probably wouldn't go back.

Sean (53AN) Gardner said...

You're a lucky man Joe,.. and you still break my heart

Not Just Some Drawing Broad said...

Sean wrote "you still break my heart". Now I'm sure glad to be coming to this blog. I already knew Joe's FanTastyK Artwork. But now it can really get interesting.

What do you mean, Sean? Tell us a story?

Joe Bluhm said...

Sean's referring to my canceled visit to Florida. We'll catch up soon, Sean.

Gabriel Hunt said...

Bring it with you when you come to San Diego.

Angie said...

Congrats Joe on your new Toy!
You will surely enjoy this and more doors will open for you!

Care to link with me, so I can visit your blog more often?
Thank you!

Jordan Lamarre-Wan said...

thanks, your post helps to decide on a tablet!

Tooninator said...

thanks for the insight Joe. I'll be getting one of these asap.

Jason Campbell said...

I am looking at the buy now button on the pages for the 20 and the 21 now that they are the same price. Since you have had the pleasure of using both can you tell me right now would you still press buy now on the 20 vs the 21 or do you have any regrets?

Joe Bluhm said...


If they are the same price and you've got the desk space, there is no reason to get the 20" - go big!

Jason Campbell said...

Thank you sir for your insight.

21 it is.


*giggle that sounds much too much like that of a 12 year old school girl*

Joe Bluhm said...

Congratulations! I'm sure you'll love it and create some stellar work with it. It's a great tool.

*and don't be ashamed; my giggles sounded like a 9 year old school girl*