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Review of the Yiynova MSP19U tablet monitor

I love it.

Last week I purchased a Yiynova MSP19U, a 19″ pressure-sensitive tablet monitor. After the fantastic review by Frenden this tablet monitor has gotten a lot of internet attention. Wacom has utterly dominated the field, leaving little room for competitors. But there’s a new kid on the block.

The MSP19U is a worthy competitor. It’s not perfect. But it’s darn good.

Noah Bradley using the Yiynova MSP19U

Presentation

It’s not the greatest presentation. If you’re looking for a slick, Apple-like packaging… look elsewhere. All you’ll get here is simple instructions with more Engrish than you can shake a stick at.

Hardware

The device itself is great. It’s sturdy, well-constructed and has a nice screen on it. It’s more lightweight and portable than any Cintiq I’ve used. I was quite comfortable sitting on my bed with this thing in my lap. I’m pretty sure a Cintiq would have crushed my pelvis.

I like the colors better than any Cintiq I’ve used. I’ve found Cintiqs to have unusually dull colors (even when calibrated). The MSP19U is bright and vibrant. It leans a bit cool in color (and a tad light) out of the box, but nothing a little calibration can’t fix.

The surface is glassy smooth. Personally, I like this better than the faux-grit that a lot of current Wacom tablets have. If you really want to put some grit on the screen, you can always add a screen protector.

There are no buttons on the device. Word has it that the next generation device they’re producing will have them, but this one didn’t. I’m ok with that. I’ve never used the buttons on my Intuos and I don’t have any need to start. I prefer key commands on my keyboard—they’re faster and more reliable.

The viewing angles aren’t great. But I find when working on a tablet monitor you’re more likely to be looking directly at it than at a traditional monitor.

Software

The drivers are a bit problematic and the software interface is kinda ugly. But not a big deal. I was able to get it working quickly. And once you get it working there’s little need to touch the software again. I do wish I had more customization on the pressure-sensitivity, but I’m sure that will come as the company improves their software.

Summary

It’s not a flawless piece of hardware, but I absolutely love this thing. And I haven’t even mentioned the price: at $600, this is a steal. To get a Wacom product of similar quality, you’d be looking at 2-4x that price.

I’m not going to tell you that the Yiynova MSP19U is better than a Wacom Cintiq. But I will tell you that it’s every bit as good. If you’re in the market for a tablet monitor and prefer to not spend money for the sake of spending money, buy one of these. You won’t regret it.

Purchase a Yiynova MSP19U

4.5/5 stars

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Photo courtesy of A Muse Photography

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More sketches

Sorry for the lack of writing lately—I’ve been devoting my mornings to sketching rather than writing. I’ll find a balance between the two sometime or another, but as it stands I’m having almost too much fun with these sketches. Hope you enjoy.

Process for Noah Bradley's painting, Our Grasp of Heaven

Process for Our Grasp of Heaven

Wanted to show off some of the steps for my new painting, Our Grasp of Heaven, that I posted yesterday.

Top left you can see my initial block-in. I played a lot with the colors early on to hit a certain look that I had in mind. I try to establish all of the colors, lighting, and mood early on so I have a better idea of how the image is going to evolve.

From there, you can see in the top right image how I work in the background. The nebulae were painted by hand with a technique of brush tool, smudge tool, and a fair bit of dodge tool. Took a lot of patience, but there was something extremely relaxing about such abstract work.

Then I shot reference of myself to use for the foreground figures. Set the timer on my camera and took a whole ton of shots. Picked out the best poses and composited them into the painting itself so I could get a feel for how the end result would look. I did a lot of moving around, tweaking, and scaling to get a grouping I was pleased with. Then I began blocking in the figures and painting them. A whole lot of rendering later (and then a pass of full-body tattoos at the end), I ended up with this.

If you want a copy of this piece, it’s now available in my print store. Buy a print here.

The Day God Died by Noah Bradley

The Day God Died

The Day God Died by Noah Bradley

Just finished up this new personal painting. I had some time off from work and felt like having some fun. I wanted to play with abstract shapes and colors and lighting. And just go crazy with it.

Livestream sketch by Noah Bradley

How to Start a Painting

A good start is always better than a mediocre finish.

By learning to start well, you’re setting yourself up for making much better paintings down the road. You can render something till the end of the time, but if it didn’t start well it’s likely not going to finish well.

In this 2 hour, 30 minute video I create 6 different sketches in Photoshop while answering a wide range of audience-contributed questions. From theoretical topics to more technical details, we cover it all.

And you know the best part? It’s free! That’s right, I’m giving this video away. All you have to do is click the button below, share it on Twitter or Facebook, and the download is all yours. I’ve even included the original, high-res file so you can zoom in and check out exactly what I was doing on each of the pieces.

To follow my work or find out when I release more free content, please check out my Facebook page or Twitter profile.

Albert Bierstadt master study by Noah Bradley

Master Study after Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt master study by Noah Bradley

Today on Awesome Horse Studios I painted a master study of an Albert Bierstadt piece. I had a bit less than 2 hours to work on it, but I learned a ton. Bierstadt is exceptional at achieving immense depth and scale in his work. And all with such subtle colors. There’s a lot worth emulating here. You can see an insanely high-resolution image of the original painting on Google Art Project.

Click here to watch the whole video of me painting this.

South River by Noah Bradley

Into the Open Air

South River by Noah Bradley

South of Elkton by Noah Bradley

A couple days ago I went outside. Bit of a rarity for an artist, I know. But I went out with artist & friend Armand Cabrera to do some plein air painting. I had been out of the swing of it for a few years and was aching to get back to it. Armand, on the other hand, does it professionally.

We went out for the better part of the day and each managed to do three paintings. Finding another artist that paints at about the same speed is something of a rarity, so I think we were both pleased by that discovery.

All in all the day was a success and my new gear (a topic for another post) performed splendidly. Expect to see a lot more little oil paintings from me in the coming days. If you’re interested in owning any of my originals, I’ll be selling them on my new online store. Go here to check out the originals I currently have available.

Volcanic Island by Noah Bradley

Volcanic Island

Volcanic Island by Noah Bradley

Did a bit of hunting on the internet and discovered that a couple of my images were already floating around out there. So I thought now would be a great time to post ’em. So here’s another of my Magic: The Gathering cards. Thanks for looking!

Kjeldoran Outpost by Noah Bradley

Kjeldoran Outpost

Kjeldoran Outpost by Noah Bradley

I started working on Magic: The Gathering nearly a year ago, and today I can finally share some of that work! There will be many, many more to come.