In the past century, tattoo artists have had a couple choices for creating tattoo designs. They've been able to either draw outlines onto clients' skin freehand with tattoo pens or use some combination of sketches, copies of graphics, light boxes, and tattoo thermal printers to create tattoo stencils. Both options can be cumbersome, and it's hard to create perfect tattoo art using such manual processes. Fortunately, times have changed. We're in the midst of a digital era that's finally offering better options for creating tattoo designs and stencils. Welcome to the age of Wacom tablets, the newest innovation to take the tattoo industry by storm!
What Are Wacom Tablets?
Wacom tablets are an amazing tool offered by brands like Cintiq and Intuos that have benefits for both tattoo artists and their clients. Never before have tattoo artists been able to simplify the stencil design and design approval process like they can with a Wacom tablet and pen in their hands. An artist can digitally create flawless designs with perfect geometrical proportions as desired, snap photos of the body part where a client wants a design applied, digitally overlay the tattoo design over the body part, edit it as necessary to make it look exactly the way a client wants, show a client what their finished tattoo will actually look like once completed, and then print out a stencil and get to work. When performed manually, all these steps can take many hours, but they take a fraction of the time when you're using a Wacom tablet.
Wacom tablets provide benefits for tattoo collectors, too. Instead of just getting a rough idea of what a tattoo will look like once completed, a client can see exactly how their tattoo will look before a stencil is ever even printed out. If a client thinks a design is too small or too large, they can ask their artist to change it in a matter of seconds on the Wacom digital interface. Instead of waiting hours or days for a tattoo artist to do a mock-up and make manual adjustments to a stencil design, clients and artists can work together on the fly to nail down the perfect tattoo graphic, size, and placement. At the end of the design session, the artist can print out the edited stencil, apply it and start tattooing with minimal downtime in between the start of the design process and the beginning of the tattooing process. Both parties will enjoy saving time, and clients will appreciate being able to see their tattoos come to life before ink and skin ever meet.
Watch the Painful Pleasures YouTube video below to see how tattoo artist Dillon Forte uses a Wacom tablet to create tattoo art and stencils. It will give you a fuller understanding of how using a Wacom tablet will benefit you and your tattoo clients:
Get Hands-on With Your Tattoo Art in a Whole New Way
Intuos and Cintiq both offer Wacom tablets in a variety of sizes so you can find the perfect one to help you jump feet first into the digital age of tattoo art. The functionality the two brands offer is similar in a lot of ways since they both utilize Wacom technology, but they each offer their own unique advantages. Whichever option you choose, you're sure to find that a Wacom tablet of any kind will help you get hands-on with your tattoo art in a new, and most definitely improved, way.
Intuos Wacom Tablets
We offer seven different Wacom tablets by Intuos and a Wacom Intuos creative stylus that you can purchase separately to give you a variety of options for digitally designing tattoos. Choose from a Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen Tablet with a 6” x 3.7” work space, a Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 6" x 3.7" digital work area, a Medium Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 8.5” x 5.3” work space, a Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 6.18” x 3.86” digital interface, a Medium Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 8.82” x 5.51” work area, a Medium Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Special Edition Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 8.80” x 5.50” digital interface, or a Large Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet with a 12.8” x 8” work area that lets you design with full range of motion. Let's take a look at the differences between each of these options:
Small 6” x 3.7” Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen Tablet
This is Intuos's most basic Wacom tablet and creative pen option. It will allow you to create digital tattoo art while maintaining the feel of working with traditional media. You can use this tablet to sketch or draw your tattoo designs, overlay those designs over photos of the body parts where clients want their tattoos placed, add color digitally, and edit your designs until they perfectly fit the body part where they'll be applied. The tablet's digital work space measures 6" x 3.7", giving you a compact canvas for designing tattoos electronically.
The Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen Tablet features four customizable Express Keys that let you save your favorite functions and keep them at your fingertips. Use them to personalize your Wacom tablet and create effective shortcuts that will allow you to work more efficiently. The tablet is slim and reversible so that both right- and left-hand users can navigate it comfortably.
Each of these Small Intuos Wacom tablets comes with a creative pen that you can use to draw directly on the tablet's screen. The tablet will recognize pen pressure, allowing you to create variations in line width, opacity, unique brush effects, and more when working in your favorite compatible software program. The stylus is ergonomic and battery-free, it features an eraser and two programmable switches that you can attach to your favorite shortcuts, and it comes with a pen holder and colored rings that can be exchanged to personalize your tablet accessories. This tablet and stylus set also comes with a USB cable, a quick-start guide, an installation CD with drivers, access to an online user manual, and product documentation. Learn more about this Intuos Wacom tablet and its software specifications by visiting our Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen Small Tablet – 6” X 3.7” page.
Small 6" x 3.7" Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
With the Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet, you can do everything you could with the Creative Pen Tablet and then some on the same size screen. For just a little more money, you'll be able to use a stylus as well as hand gestures to scroll, zoom, rotate, or flip through documents and photos via the tablet's multi-touch surface. You can set Express Keys to trigger your most frequently-used functions, too. As with the basic Creative Pen Tablet, this version is slim and reversible, so both right- and left-hand users can interface with it comfortably. Connect it to a computer via a USB cable, or purchase a Wireless Accessory Kit to connect your Wacom tablet and computer without the hassle of cables.
This Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet also comes with colored rings to personalize your tablet and its accessories, a pen holder, and a creative stylus that's ergonomic and battery-free. When used together, the pen and touch tablet recognize 1,024 levels of pressure, allowing you to create variations in lines and shading when using them with your favorite compatible software.
Medium 8.5” x 5.3” Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
Intuos's Medium 8.5" x 5.3" Wacom Creative Pen & Touch Tablet offers all the same advantages of the small Wacom Intuos Graphics Creative Pen & Touch Tablet, but with a larger work surface. You can use the included stylus and/or hand gestures to scroll, zoom, rotate images, review documents and photos, and more. Program your most-used functions in as Express Keys to work faster and more efficiently, and sketch freely knowing the tablet will recognize the amount of pressure you're applying and create lines and shading accordingly. When you need to connect the tablet to your PC, you can do so using a USB cord or a Wireless Accessory Kit (sold separately).
Each of these Medium Wacom Intuos Touch Tablets comes with an ergonomic, battery-free creative pen with an eraser and two programmable switches for your favorite functions, a stylus holder, interchangeable colored rings that you can use to personalize your tablet and accessories, a USB cable, a quick-start guide, an installation CD with drivers, access to an online user manual, and product documentation.
Small 6.18” x 3.86” Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
This Small Wacom Intuos Professional Creative Pen & Touch Tablet is the ideal size for professional tattoo artists that are always on the go, but you won't sacrifice capabilities if you select this size. This compact little tablet packs a lot of power into a small digital work space. It comes with Wacom's finest pressure-sensitive pen capabilities and can also interpret multi-touch gestures. You can use it to draw, sketch, edit photos, overlay tattoo designs over photos of the body parts where clients want tattoos placed, add color, and edit your designs quickly and easily.
The Small Pro Wacom Tablet by Intuos has a multi-touch surface that includes a finger-sensitive Touch Ring that provides intuitive control over functions like canvas rotation, brush size and scrolling. It features six Express Keys that you can program with your favorite functions so they're always at your fingertips. If you need help remembering what a function key does, just touch it lightly to get an on-screen reminder and stay focused on your work.
Each of these Small Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablets with 6.18" x 3.86" digital work spaces comes with a stylus that together with the tablet recognizes 2,048 levels of pen pressure, as well as the angle at which you're holding the pen when creating tattoo designs. This allows you to draw firm lines, shade lightly and more, and you'll see your design appear on screen just as if you'd been applying a pencil design to paper with varying degrees of pressure and angling.
In addition to an ergonomic, battery-free smart stylus with an eraser and two programmable shortcut switches, each of these Wacom tablets also comes with assorted replacement pen tips, a pen holder, colorful rings to customize your tablet accessories, a Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit, a USB cable for times when you need to connect your tablet to your computer manually, and all supporting documentation, including an installation CD with the drivers you'll need to get your Wacom tablet running.
Medium 8.82” x 5.51” Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
The Medium Wacom Intuos Graphics Professional Creative Pen & Touch Tablet is the most popular choice among creative professionals, and it's no wonder since it's also one of the most versatile options they offer. The tablet's medium-sized screen provides ample room for tattoo artists to design, sketch, fill, retouch, and make other edits with ease. It combines Wacom's finest pressure-sensitive stylus capabilities with intuitive multi-touch gestures to allow tattooists to create and express themselves digitally and produce highly-professional results.
You can truly get hands-on with your artwork when using a Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet. Its finger-sensitive Wacom Touch Technology senses your fingers, allowing you to use Mac or Windows gestures to create your own multi-touch shortcuts. Use the Touch Ring to control canvas rotation, brush size, scrolling, and a variety of other functions. You can also program up to eight Express Keys to keep your most frequently-used functions ever at your fingertips, which means you can personalize this Wacom tablet to a greater degree than you could with the Intuos tablet options detailed above. If you forget which function is attached to which Express Key, just lightly rest a finger on the key to see an on-screen reminder of what it does without getting too distracted from your work.
The Medium Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet comes with a stylus which combined with the tablet recognizes 2,048 levels of pen pressure right down to the angle at which you're holding the pen. Create variations in your designs simply by applying varying degrees of pressure to the stylus and tilting the pen at different angles. The stylus is ergonomic and battery-free, it includes an eraser and two programmable switches for your favorite shortcuts, and it comes with a pen holder and interchangeable colored rings that you can use to personalize your tablet accessories.
This Pro Tablet also comes with Wacom's Wireless Accessory Kit for easy, cable-free tablet-to-computer connection capabilities, a USB cable for times you want to connect manually, assorted replacement pen tips, a quick-start guide, an installation CD with drivers, access to an online user manual, and product documentation.
Medium 8.80” x 5.50” Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Special Edition Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
Intuos Graphics' Medium Wacom Pro Special Edition Creative Pen & Touch Tablet has all the elegance and sophistication of a Mac accessory, but combined with Wacom's most versatile tablet technology and a medium-sized digital work space. The tablet's design is sleek, with a black profile and silver accents, and it's ergonomically-designed to be comfortable for both right- and left-handed people to use. Its powerful brain automatically detects the software you're using and offers you optimal selections and shortcuts based on that information.
You can use this Medium Pro Special Edition Wacom Tablet by Intuos to create tattoo designs, overlay them on photos of the body parts where clients want their tattoos placed, make adjustments, add color, and more with ease. Use multi-touch gestures and/or the included ergonomic, battery-free, pressure-sensitive stylus to shade, create fine or heavier lines, fill in solid-colored areas, and much more. In addition to sensing your fingertips, the tablet's Touch Ring allows you to intuitively control functions like canvas rotation and scrolling. Like the medium Pro version, this tablet also allows you to program up to eight Express Keys, so you can implement the changes you make most frequently with a quick touch.
This Special Edition Wacom Tablet and Pen Set recognizes 2,048 levels of pen-pressure as well as the angle at which you're holding your stylus. It comes with the same type of stylus that the Intuos options above come with, as well as a pen holder, colorful rings you can use to customize your accessories, a Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit, a back-up USB cable, assorted replacement pen tips, an installation CD with drivers, and all other important paperwork.
Large 12.8” x 8” Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet
The Large Wacom Intuos Graphics Pro Creative Pen & Touch Tablet offers the largest digital work space of all the Intuos Wacom tablets we carry. The multi-touch interface offers you a 12.8" x 8" area to draw, sketch or paint on, allowing you to use a full range of motion when designing tattoos. The tablet combines Wacom's finest pressure-sensitive pen capabilities and multi-touch gestures so you can intuitively create professional tattoo art. When you're working between multiple monitors, this tablet's larger screen comes in especially handy.
This tablet incorporates Wacom's Touch Technology, so it's finger sensitive. You can utilize Mac or Windows gestures with it, or you can create your own multi-touch shortcuts. Use the tablet's Touch Ring to rotate your canvas, change brush sizes, scroll, and more. You can also program eight Express Keys with the functions you use regularly to save time when you're designing tattoos. If you forget what a function does, rest a finger lightly on its Express Key to read a reminder of its function without getting distracted from your work.
Like Intuos's other professional tablets, this Large Pro Wacom Tablet and Stylus Set will recognize 2,048 levels of pen pressure and the angle at which you hold your pen. The ergonomic, battery-free stylus with an eraser and two programmable switches is just one of several extras that come with the set. You'll also get colored rings to personalize your tablet accessories, a stylus holder, a Wacom Wireless Accessory Kit, a back-up USB cable, a quick-start guide, an installation CD with drivers, an online user manual, and product documentation, in addition to a larger digital work space than any of Intuos's other tablets offer.
Cintiq Wacom Tablets
In addition to the seven Intuos Wacom tablets we carry, we also offer several larger, more versatile options made by Cintiq. You can choose from the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Pen & Tablet with 11.57” x 6.50” digital work space, the Wacom Cintiq 13HD Dual Platform Touch & Pen Display with an 11.57” x 6.50” work area, the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Graphic Tablet with an 11.5” x 19.5” display, and the Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch Graphic Tablet with an 18.90” x 10.70” display. Each subsequent Cintiq Wacom tablet offers additional benefits for tattoo artists. Learn about the differences between these four Cintiq Wacom tablets below.
11.57” x 6.50” Wacom Cintiq 13HD Pen & Tablet
Cintiq's 13.3" Wacom display offers tattoo artists the clarity and depth needed to create detailed, professional tattoo art. Each tablet comes with a Pro Pen that allows you to dynamically change brush size and line weight. You can also use the tablet's Express Keys and Rocker Ring for fast access to your most frequently-used functions. Pair this device with the included display stand to prop your Cintiq Wacom Tablet at one of three different angles on any counter, desk top or table, or use it flat on your lap or desktop. You can use it by itself or as a second monitor. This tablet is conveniently reversible, so it will adjust automatically for left- and right-handed users.
The Cintiq 13HD Wacom Tablet features a high-resolution screen with a 1920x 1080 display that can render 16.7 million different colors. When you use it, you'll enjoy a vivid pen-on-screen experience. You'll also benefit from the device's ability to recognize both your pen pressure (up to 2,048 levels) and the pen's angle against the screen, which result in varying line thicknesses for creating hard and soft lines, shading and other effects. The included stylus has an ergonomic design and a latex-free silicone rubber grip that makes it comfortable to hold and easy to control. It comes with a carrying case, colorful rings that you can use to personalize your stylus, and nine extra pen nibs.
This Cintiq Wacom Tablet also comes with a three-in-one connection cable that allows you to hook your tablet up to a Mac or PC via HDMI and USB 2.0 ports on one end and an AC power outlet on the other end. If you want to connect to other video ports, like DVI or Mac mini display ports, you'll find compatible HDMI video adapters on websites like Amazon.com.
The Cintiq 13HD Pen and Tablet Set is compatible with Windows Vista SP3, 8, and 7 (32- or 64-bit), as well as Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later (with Intel processor). In addition to the tablet and accessories listed above, you'll receive a quick-start guide, a CD containing driver software, and an installation CD, if you choose this Wacom tablet set.
11.57” x 6.50” Wacom Cintiq 13HD Dual Platform Touch & Pen Display
In addition to all of the benefits of Cintiq's Wacom 13HD Pen & Tablet Set, their Dual Platform Touch & Pen Display offers a smart multi-touch control that makes it easy to pan, zoom, rotate, and navigate with one hand while retouching tattoo designs with the other. Its touch gestures are supported in practically every creative application, including Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Adobe Illustrator® CC, Corel® Painter™, and Autodesk® SketchBook®. Additionally, the tablet's four customizable Express Keys, Rocker Ring and on-screen controls provide easy access to time-saving function shortcuts.
Each of these powerful Cintiq 13HD Dual Platform Wacom Tablets comes with a three-in-one connection cable that you can use to power your tablet and connect it to your computer's HDMI and USB 2.0 ports. A Pro Pen stylus is also included, along with nine replacement nibs, a nib removal tool, a pen stand, an installation CD, a CD with drivers, and a quick-start guide. Use this tablet with Windows Vista SP3, 8 or 7 (32- or 64-bit), or Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later (with Intel processor). You can use it by itself or as a second monitor.
11.5” x 19.5” Wacom Cintiq 22HD Graphic Tablet
The Cintiq 22HD Graphic Wacom Tablet combines a 21.5” HD, wide-format LCD screen with industry-leading stylus input capabilities, all in a traditional desktop display. This Wacom tablet is intended for tattoo artists who want to work naturally and intuitively, directly on the display's surface. With this tablet, you'll enjoy all of the benefits inherent in Cintiq's 13HD Pen & Tablet Set, but via a larger digital work space.
In addition to its 11.5" x 19.5" active area and wide-format LCD, this tablet set comes with an adjustable stand and all the other accoutrements that Cintiq's other tablet sets include.
18.90” x 10.70” Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch Graphic Tablet
Tattoo artists who want to be able to work with both pen and touch on a larger high-resolution screen will love Cintiq's 22HD Touch Graphic Wacom Tablet. It features 21.5" HD, full HD 1920x1080 resolution, multi-finger touch capabilities, Wacom's patented cordless, battery-free pen technology, and more. It provides a new level of interactivity, flexibility and productivity when you work directly on the screen by allowing you to switch between using the included pressure-sensitive pen and multi-touch gestures to zoom, pan, rotate, navigate, and edit your tattoo artwork. When you use this Wacom tablet, it will feel like a natural extension of your senses.
The Cintiq 22HD Touch Graphic Tablet features a pair of rear-mounted Touch Strips and accompanying Touch Strip Toggle buttons. Each button controls up to four application-specific functions, like brush size, zooming, scrolling, and on-screen canvas rotation. Sixteen Express Keys (eight on each side of the display) will boost your productivity by providing you with quick access to the keyboard shortcuts you use most. The tablet comes with an ergonomic stand that allows you to adjust your preferred working position; you can rotate from landscape to portrait or easily recline the tablet until it's in the best position for you, so you can design tattoos in complete comfort.
This Cintiq Wacom Tablet also comes with a comfort grip pen, a stylus stand, ten replacement pen nibs, a nib removal tool, a DVI-I to DVI-D cable adapter, a USB cable, an AC power adapter, a quick-start guide, a user manual, an installation CD with drivers and an electronic copy of the manual, and a software download key.
Learn more about why Cintiq Wacom tablets are a superior option for professional tattoo artists by watching the Painful Pleasures YouTube video below:
Wacom Tablet Accessories
In addition to the Intuos and Cintiq Wacom tablets detailed above, we currently offer two Wacom stylus pens that you can purchase as supplements to those that come with the tablets, to replace a defunct stylus, or to use with other devices like more recently-released iPads. Choose between the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 Black Pen and the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fine-Line Grey Pen.
The Bamboo Stylus Fine-Line Grey Pen by Wacom works with the iPad 3 and later versions. It features an ultra-fine tip, embedded Bluetooth Smart technology, and high-quality brushed aluminum casing. You can use it to capture hand-written notes and sketches made in the Bamboo Stylus Paper App on your iPad, to navigate between iPad apps, to share your tattoo design ideas, and more. When you use one of these battery-free Wacom pens with your iPad, you can also forget about the hassles associated with accidentally resting your hand on the touch screen by taking advantage of the pen's unique palm-rejection technology.
The Intuos Creative Stylus Black Pen 2 by Wacom lets you turn your iPad Mini, iPad 3, iPad Air, or later iPad model into a digital canvas. It features 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, Bluetooth Smart technology, an ergonomic design, and a thin pressure-sensitive tip. When you use this stylus with your iPad, you'll get the same kind of results you would when putting pen to paper, which means you can sketch detailed designs, use it to write notes, and more. It comes with a micro USB charger cable and a carrying case that safely tucks into a backpack or purse for easy transport along with your iPad.
Check our Wacom Pens & Tablets section periodically to see what other new Wacom tablets and accessories we've added to our selection as progressively more tattoo artists adopt this awesome time-saving technology and join the digital age of tattoo art.