One of my favorite things to do is draw, I started when I was a child and to be honest it was pretty bad. But then I remember the first time when I was praised for my art work and it was the best thing in the world.
I used to draw in traditional media only because that was pretty easy to get started in. You can buy the material anywhere and often you don’t need anything but a pencil and some paper. But as I got more into drawing, I realized that the cost of painting materials would be extremely expensive. Usually your first six cheap acrylics colors will be about $15 for one pack. After that the costs would mount up if you needed individual colors like burnt sienna or ultramarine blue. And believe me, you will.
So I decided to buy a graphics tablet with photoshop CS4 and it has been the best decision I ever made. Using a digital platform means that you can make a painting in oil, acrylic, watercolor or any other style you like. You can do gradients and cel shading that would be very difficult and time consuming to do with regular paint.
Right now I am drawing with an intuos 4 but I wish I had a better electronic drawing pad.
The intuos is nice because it has 2048 levels of control which give you almost as many levels as your hand is capable of. However, it does take getting used to. Both photoshop and the tablet surface itself was a learning challenge for me. The surface is a but slicker than paper which makes your pen tip slip slightly and your hand must learn which pressures correspond to which line. The absence of tilt control was a bit hard to accept, as a lot of control rests on rotating the pencil or gaining momentum through taking advantage of the pencil shape. Your stylus will always be the same shape and you cannot count on this to help you draw.
The disconnect might be solved if I had a Cintiq, a very expensive model that allows you to draw directly on the screen itself.