I have been watching Ebay, and Craigslist for the past year to find a good deal on a Wacom Cintiq. And recently found a seller on Ebay that had a good reputation and wasn’t trying to rip everyone off. I was able to get a really good deal on a used CINTIQ 21UX.

I was amazed at how many Ebay auctions there are where sellers are selling Wacom Cintiqs as “not tested, AS-IS, no returns or refunds”, and people are are actually buying these monitors! I watched an auction for a Cintiq 21ux go for $400, and it didn’t come with a pen, stand , or power cord. It made me wonder “Are Wacom Cintiqs in such a high demand? Are people stupid?, and willing to pay hundreds of dollars on a chance that they may get a working Cintiq really cheap?  I love Ebay, I have been caught up in the bidding frenzy, but if I’m bidding on something, it better work!

I hate craigslist! I really do..  I was astounded on how many people on craigslist expect you to pay over $1000 on a device with only their word as proof that it works. I emailed a guy selling his Cintiq in the D.C. area, and he was only willing to meet me near a freeway off-ramp to sell me his cintiq?? He stated that he was afraid of getting robbed??   What about me? Every seller on Craigslist that I contacted, except one had their Cintiq connected to a computer in order for the buyers to test it. Too bad it was all the way in North Carolina.

I also noticed 75% of the Ebay auctions, and Craigslist adds stated that the artist purchased a Cintiq hoping that it would improve their art (magically make them a better artist) (SMILE)and this super expensive monitor end up collecting dust. I can’t imagine paying $3000 dollars on one of these and finding out you made a bad decision. I think this is a Wacom marketing ploy. The Wacom commercials make it look so easy, and as soon as you plug-in the Cintiq, you are magically transformed into a Disney artist.

The CINTIQ I purchased is my first piece of professional art equipment.   I was previously using a Monoprice 19″ monitor. A very cheap replacement for the CINTIQ. The Monoprice served it’s purpose, but the bad viewing angles started giving me headaches. It was also impossible to get any digital color work completed on it (due to the bad viewing angles). I was also never able to freely draw on that screen. It never felt right, whenever I tried, I would just go back to old-fashioned paper and pencil. I was limited to using it for inking only.  I sold it on Ebay..

I have been using my Cintiq for about two weeks now, and I am starting to get used to drawing on a screen. At first I was a little disappointed with it. I was expecting something magical to happen, like the CINTIQ Artists on Youtube, who can draw masterpieces freehand,  paint better than Normal Rockwell, and never use reference.  The magical CINTIQ did not improve my drawing ability at all, make my hand steadier, or allow me to sketch Princess Anna with my eyes closed.  I still draw better, and faster on paper. but, It the Cintiq does allow me to make corrections a lot faster, and in ways that are impossible on paper.

When I would draw a picture on paper in the past, I would start the initial drawing with a light pencil, and be very careful not to leave any dark lines that I could not erase. I labored over getting the drawing exactly right before darkening any of the lines. The Wacom allows me to take chances with my drawings, because I can undo anything that I am not happy with. This is not possible with paper and pencil. Erasing a section of a drawing may mean you will have to start over, or “Lightbox” the drawing, which can take hours. I have ruined many drawings by erasing and tearing the paper, or leaving rough or dark marks.

Using Manga Studio or Adobe Photoshop in conjunction with the Cintiq I can also stretch, rotate, scale, or invert any portion of a drawing. I would have so much trouble when drawing eyes. It is sometimes hard to get both eyes on a figure symmetrical, this is easily fixed with the copy and paste, flip horizontal feature in Manga studio, or Photoshop.

I sometimes feel like I am cheating, by using the WACOM, because drawing was such a labor in the past. I remember taking weeks to finish one piece of art and praying that I didn’t smudge the inks, or screw up colors.  That feeling is gone with digital art. I find myself experimenting a lot more.

The Wacom will not make you a better artist, but it will allow you experiment, and speed up your drawing process.

I love drawing on paper, but paper doesn’t have an undo button. 




After buying the CINTIQ, I currently use a hybrid (paper/computer) workflow;

  1. Initial sketch on paper
  2. Scan into Photoshop for resizing, and conversion to blue-line
  3. Adjust proportions and fixing errors in Manga Studio or Photoshop
  4. print out blue-line pencils on 11×17 art board (sometimes I skip this step and go directly to inking in manga studio)
  5. Complete final pencils on 11×17 art board (sometimes I skip this step and go directly to inking in manga studio)
  6. scan into Photoshop for resizing and contrast corrections (sometimes I skip this step and go directly to inking in manga studio)
  7. Digital inks with Manga Studio
  8. Coloring in Adobe Photoshop or Manga Studio


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By Corey

Location: Wash D.C Metro area