I've been drawing on a Wacom tablet for over fifteen years, the kind without the screen like the one here. To draw digitally, I would look at my computer screen while my hand drew on the tablet outside of my field of vision. I usually held it in my lap. I can't remember when I first got a Wacom tablet whether I struggled to learn that skill, but it became natural for me to draw that way.
When I got an iPad a couple years ago, I began to play around with some art apps. I bought a professional stylus that would give me the pressure sensitive control I was used to on my Wacom tablet. Because it's a more natural way to draw digitally, I started to prefer working directly on the screen. I've even done many professional illustrations on my iPad. But the iPad has limitations in terms of resolution and other factors for professional imagery.
Eventually, it became time for me to get the mother of all Wacom products, a Cintiq. I've used one before but had only doodled on them at a friend's house. I hadn't done any professional work on one. In moving to Los Angeles to return to animation, it was the right time. When I left animation in 2002, most production work was still paper based. No more. I needed a Cintiq to draw the freelance backgrounds I've been doing for Cartoon Network.
Not only do I use the Cintiq for my animation work, I now do my freelance illustration on it. Furthermore, it offers an array of new options for digital art that weren't available to me before. While I've done plenty of illustration in Photoshop, I'm really discovering the power of digital painting in creative new ways. It's amazing!
A wolf drawing I did to experiment with natural pencil lines and textured brushes in Photoshop.