Artlines Media Blog

I have an Inkling (it might work?)


I have an Inkling (it might work?)

Wacom Inkling, first impression

After seeing the demand for the new Inkling outstripping the supply I ordered mine early. As it worked out it arrived 12 days later, a lot quicker than expected.

Reading the (sparse) instructions recommending a full first charge I put it on charge for 3 hours that evening. Took it to work the following day; plugged the extremely short USB cable in my iMac to find only one empty folder called “my sketches” – no software! Phoned the Customer Support (phone number on the back of the booklet) where they advised me to register the product on the Wacom website after which I could download the installer for Sketch Manager.

Initial tests where less than satisfactory, after some fiddling though I seem to get the results I expected. Just make sure the biro cartridge is pressed firmly in (by pushing it on some paper). Then it’s just a matter of getting used to the pen, which you have to hold a little higher up the barrel than you would normally with any sketching pencil or pen. This is to allow the head of the pen to stay in contact with the receiver; the other thing is to watch you don’t inadvertently block the signal from pen to receiver with your other hand. It is also a little top-heavy but after some use you tend to compensate for that without thinking. I found, being right-handed, that by clipping the device to the left margin of the paper it reduced the chance of interfering with the signal. Creating new layers is a doddle, very useful that once you sketched your first rough outline by creating the next layer you can draw over the outline to make your illustration and later decide whether you want to ditch the first layer or not. Or, even better, draw the initial sketch with pencil before switching the Inkling on; then when you’ve got some idea of composition switch it on and use the Inkling pen to record the sketch.

After the first few exercises the pen seemed to settle down and started picking up even light strokes (which at first it just missed out) and differentiate between various pressures. It has a tendency to create a small ‘hook’ at the end of a line when doing some hatching, this occurs when you’ve lifted the pen off the paper and as your pen is still moving (to go back) that movement is also caught by the device. More practice might reduce this feature?

Another feature is that when you come back to a line drawn previously it doesn’t always register exactly where you draw it. Again, it’s just worth knowing – it can be adjusted in Photoshop or Illustrator and it’s just part of the ‘sketchy’ feel of the final result.

The other thing to watch is making sure the receiver is switched to start recording – I do some sample lines outside the drawing area and watch the centre of the LED to make sure it reacts to the pen. Otherwise, as I found out to my cost, although the left part of the receiver’s LED was green when I started a detailed sketch it was not picking up the movement. I then pressed the centre of the button and – hey presto – it worked! Meanwhile it had not recorded the first quarter of my sketch. Being away from my computer when I did the sketch I could only find out later which part of the sketch was missing.

Inkling sketch test

Look at the scan of the ‘pig sketch’ and compare it with the Inkling version: where I went back over the eyes the positioning was out by several millimeters. The same applies where sketch lines are supposed to meet – like the jaw line and hind quarters. So, my advice is, sketch freely but don’t go over the same lines a second time!

By connecting the receiver to the iMac it automatically fires up Sketch Manager. You can then save the sketch file straight to Photoshop or Illustrator. Within the latter the vector can than be coloured in and the layers manipulated to suit.

Overall, once you get over the frustration of the minimal instructions and missing software it looks like it will be a useful extra tool in the box, just remember it does an approximate recording of your sketch.

Behind the scenes


Design and development is underway at the Artlines studio. Tom’s playing resident photographer snapping the latest products to be displayed on the website.

The Artlines Media Google+ Page


As you may or may not be aware, Google has started allowing businesses to set up their own pages on its new social network Google+.

As part of the process it is attaching your Google Places entry and verifying, owners, workers and other key information to tie all this data together.

With many major brands already creating a page it will be interesting to see how they develop the ongoing interaction between their online products and services.

Visit our Google+ page

It's all going on in the studio


It's all going on in the studio

Hope you all had a good Halloween and Fireworks night, we all had fun!

It’s been an active two weeks at Artlines, we’ve seen many battles of pool won and lost in humiliating ways.

With lots going on it’s hard to keep track of it all but here are a few sneak peeks of what’s been happening.

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