A few sketches as of late

Update on this WIP ~ busy between a lot of freelance right now.

Update on this WIP ~ busy between a lot of freelance right now.

My illustration of Ruffnut for the How to Train Your Dragon 2 art collab!!
This was so much fun to work on! :)

My illustration of Ruffnut for the How to Train Your Dragon 2 art collab!!

This was so much fun to work on! :)

Also wrapped up this today!  Pseudo color-key, I guess :) I had a lot of fun with the lighting in this.

Also wrapped up this today!  Pseudo color-key, I guess :) I had a lot of fun with the lighting in this.

Posted on
Sunday
reblog
WIP - quick 3/4 front and back I started tonight,

WIP - quick 3/4 front and back I started tonight,

Hey Guys!  I’m soft-launching a Society 6 store, with iphone cases, totes, prints, and more!

Use this promo to get free worldwide shipping, and $10 Off New Duvet Covers
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Update on this, getting closer to the finish line.  Happy with the lighting, but still need to clean up the details.

Update on this, getting closer to the finish line.  Happy with the lighting, but still need to clean up the details.

Yiynova MSP19U Review - One Year Later

Let me preface this by saying that there are already a fair amount of Yiynova and other alternative monitor reviews out there, and the majority of them are written by Frenden, whose insights I highly appreciate and admire. His reviews are what prompted me to make the Yiynova plunge in the first place, and I admire his dedication to sharing alternative hardware and software. This review is not meant to compete against his. Rather, it’s to address the one thing that his reviews do not - wear and tear.



Be you an amateur artist, student, or professional, I think we can agree that most of us intend for a hardware purchase to last a few years at leastand your main concern in buying a Cintiq alternative is the the life of the product. The intent of my review is to shed some light on a Yiynova model’s shelf life, after over a year of fairly punishing usage.  



I’ve been using a Yiynova MSP19U for over a year now, and have been a fairly vocal proponent of Yiynova hardware on my twitter account. However, here’s a fact that might surprise you all - I am not the original owner of my monitor. I bought my MSP19U second-hand, on - you guessed it - craigslist.



In May of 2013, I wanted to finally upgrade from the Intuos 3 tablet I’d had since 2005. A Cintiq was out of my price range, and I wasn’t really happy with how the newer Intuos tablets felt. Having read every review I could find, I decided that I wanted to take the chance of buying a Yiynova MSP19U. (At that time, the 22HD and the newer MSP19U+ were not out yet.)  However, just before I was about to put in an order to Amazon, feeling a bit anxious about making the purchase…I had the crazy idea to type “Yiynova” into the Los Angeles craigslist search bar.  Low and behold, one listing popped up - a shiny new Yiynova, barely used. It seemed too good to be true, and for once, this isn’t a craigslist horror story. The seller turned out to be a local graphic novelist (and super nice guy!) who bought the Yiynova to attempt to switch his workflow from traditional to digital. Long story short, his love for drawing on paper won out, and I picked up the device hardly used after a month or two of his ownership.



My husband carried the monitor out of the seller’s house, without a box, back to our car. Followed shortly by a 30 minute bumpy ride back to our side of town. Already, this piece of sensitive hardware had undergone shipping to his home, testing, ownership change, transported back to our apartment, and then hooking up to a completely different computer. Setting it up was fairly easily and I didn’t have too many hiccups. After tweaking with the settings slightly (the driver interface is quite basic, there isn’t much to tweak) I was drawing and painting on it for the first time that evening.  



This was June of 2013. Fast forward to now, and I’m still using this little wonder on a daily basis. It’s undergone at least an hour (and upwards of 14 hours) of use nearly every day since I bought it, and survived another apartment move as well. The screen has held up well - very well. No scratches, no dead pixels, no problems whatsoever. The pen, as you may already know, is battery operated. However, the pen’s battery life has turned out to be quite good, as I’ve only had to replace it twice. The pen’s plastic material and rubber grip are a bit cheap feeling, but it holds up just fine. The tip of the pen has hardly worn down at all (due the nature of the pen and the smooth surface of the screen, more on that in a bit) and while the buttons on the pen do not seem to have as much of a nice, satisfying physical “click” as when I bought it, they still function correctly and have caused no problems to my workflow. There is a little pen holder on the back of the monitor,where the pen slides into it like a cup holder, but I find it to be an awkward/difficult spot to reach. I’ve just been putting the pen into the pen stand leftover from my Intuos 3, and it fits just fine.



The Yiynova does feel different than a Cintiq, but whether or not you’ll like it is a matter of personal preference. My favorite Wacom pen tip is the spring-loaded one, so I was very pleased to discover that the Yiynova pen is a spring tip pen as well! It “gives” nicely when you press on it. The smooth glass surface takes some getting used as well, but I’ve come to like the feel of it. Your pen glides across smoothly, sort of like a brush pen on moleskin paper. It works well for me because I’m also the type that presses very lightly on a tablet/monitor when I work. The completely flat surface on the monitor also benefits your ability to draw with your entire arm - I can draw a long, broad stroke from one end of the monitor to the other, without my hand or arm hitting up against any edges.



The only drawback of the glass is that, especially during warmer months, the side of your hand can start to…kind of stick/rub against the glass. I use one of those smudge-guard gloves to prevent this. (I use this glove for cintiqs as well, so this wasn’t really an additional purchase or hindrance to my workflow.) My version does not have any programmable shortcut buttons on the monitor. I’ve gotten used to a button-less workflow, but the newer MSP19U+ does have buttons on the lefthand edge. The MSP19U’s monitor colors are passable but aren’t the best, and I’d recommend a second monitor if you don’t already have one.  And finally, something I hope they’ll address in a future version, the Yiynova lacks pen-tilt sensitivity. It’s a feature I rarely use, but if you like those faux-3D tilt brushes in Photoshop (I don’t) that will be a deal-killer for you.



Overall, here’s what I’m happy to report to you all: I’ve been using the MSP19U liberally for over a year, it’s changed hands twice and buildings thrice, and it’s still going strong with no signs of quitting. Buying this device was a gamble, and my primarily worry was that it would not hold up as long as a Wacom device would. A year in, I feel confident that this device has at least 2-3 more years of life in it. At some point I may have to replace the pen, but I have no concerns about the monitor itself. The smooth surface of the monitor combined with the springy pen make it virtually scratch proof, and it causes very little wear to the tip of the pen over time.



And, bear in mind an important note: for the most part, I’m not an at-home freelancer. I’m still going into an office most days and using a Cintiq there. I have had zero problems switching back and forth between the two devices, or working on the same projects and paintings between work and home. I freelanced off-site for an animation studio for 3-4 months earlier this year, using the Yiynova, and had no problems with it fitting into their on-site Cintiq + Flash workflow.  



Bottom line, I’m a person who uses a Cintiq on a daily basis and still finds the Yiynova to be a comparable and worthwhile product.  The current generation of full-size Cintiqs are a better product, yes - they’re also nearly three times as expensive. The Yiynova is a fantastic option for anyone who can’t afford a full-sized Cintiq, and a better option than a Cintiq13HD, in my opinion.  Many who distrust Wacom alternatives say that that you should simply save your money for the “real” thing.  I understand their argument, but the financial decision is a very personal one, and everyone’s situation will be different. I could have started to save up for the Cintiq by setting aside a certain amount of my pay every month, but one year later and I still wouldn’t have been ready to make that purchase. I made the choice that a year of being able to practice, improve, and work on the Yiynova was a more worthwhile use of my timenot just my money, than waiting to be able to afford a Cintiq. It was the right decision for me, and I’m glad I made it.



As for possible future purchases…?  I’m waiting for Yiynova to come out with a portable device to compete with the Companion.  Thanks for reading my review, friends, and I hope it will help you decide what product will work best for you!  Feel free to share this review.



-Megan
www.savanconcepts.com
Last page in this sketchbook!! Succulents. Now, onto the next book! #sketch #drawing #gesture #doodle #ink #copic #propdesign

Last page in this sketchbook!! Succulents. Now, onto the next book! #sketch #drawing #gesture #doodle #ink #copic #propdesign

Finished up those dog sketches I’ve been working on, exploring some ideas for the final character on my Laos-inspired project - a cute stray dog!

Finished up those dog sketches I’ve been working on, exploring some ideas for the final character on my Laos-inspired project - a cute stray dog!

Found time to wrap this up this evening…somehow.

Found time to wrap this up this evening…somehow.

Some more doodles and stuff.

Bit of an update from this weekend.  This painting has been challenging form me, for some reason…but I’m not going to give up. :)

Bit of an update from this weekend.  This painting has been challenging form me, for some reason…but I’m not going to give up. :)

…Puppies ❤

…Puppies

Kok (clay pestle and mortar), sticky rice basket, and fresh fruit and veggies. Yep, I’m really missing Laos right about now! :)

Kok (clay pestle and mortar), sticky rice basket, and fresh fruit and veggies. Yep, I’m really missing Laos right about now! :)