Do you need an Art Glove

A rant today, did you miss those already?? I lost my art glove the other day. Good news, I found it after a few days, but in the meantime I was forced to work glove-less. And even though I panicked at first, it was an interesting experience.

What is an art glove by the way? It is a glove-like garment that digital artists swear by. Palm rejection, sweat protection and stain prevention are a few of its many advantages. But is it really necessary?

Art glove. I had to cut mine, because my hands are probably the smallest adult hands in the world. Typically there are no finger holes.

Generally, I love to act like a pissed teenager girl who questions everything all the time. And as such, I am very skeptical when it comes to new products. In fact, I am pissed with society that “creates” a particular “need” and convinces us that we … well, need it! Take for example makeup, we are convinced that we need serums, primers, contouring creams, foundations and highlighters, just to get started. It is absurd. (And that comes from a person who loves makeup!) The art world is no different. As long as a product hits the market, a series of additional “essential” byproducts emerges. Yep, the force that rules the world is marketing. Let’s not forget the infamous iPad screen protector, you basically place a membrane on top of the world’s best monitor, to … make it worse! I mean … seriously?!

Is it the same with an art-glove? Short answer, no. (So that you can skip the rest of the article if you are in a hurry!) If you are a professional digital artist, a glove will save you from a lot of trouble. Not that you CAN’T live without one. But having been glove-less for a while, I can guarantee that it will make your life a lot easier.

Let’s break down the most common benefits.

Palm Rejection

When drawing on a design tablet, sometimes when you lay your palm on the screen, the device “thinks” it is actually your finger making gestures. As a result, your tablet seems like it is misbehaving. When you are wearing a glove, the palm doesn’t touch the screen, so no such problems whatsoever.

However, (I am exclusively an iPad user, so I am gonna talk for the iPad only) technology progresses so fast, and in the latest devices palm rejection is an inherent thing. To be completely honest I never had any issues with palm rejection, glove or not.

Stain Prevention

This is a good one. Your hands naturally release oils that can stain your screen, leave marks, and make the whole experience least pleasant. Sure, hand hygiene is mandatory, artists should clean their hands thoroughly before every drawing session, and in-between breaks when hands begin to sweat. But we are humans after all, sometimes we might forget, sometimes we might get lazy. Sometimes we might eat something quick at the office, while working. Wearing a glove is the easiest way to protect your screen from your own laziness.

Stains and dirt on my old iPad. I was developing a piano app at that time. You can see the stains forming a keyboard.

Protection against Sweat

If you have sweaty hands or if you live in a warm climate, you know what I am talking about. Sweat is your tablet’s worst enemy. It can smear your screen, causing stains, it can make your hand struggle moving smoothly and finally a sweaty hand might “hiccup” across the screen, eventually causing your artwork to suffer (Here in Greece when it’s close to 40 degrees Celsius in the summer, I cannot imagine life without a glove at that time)

An Unexpected Benefit

You don’t have to be a digital artist to wear an art glove. Many traditional artists complain that the palm smears graphite and charcoal everywhere on their artworks. As a former traditional artist I totally agree. Unfortunately I do not have a photo to show what I am talking about. When I prepared my work for the internet I make sure it is clean! So you have to take my word for it. An art glove will ensure that everything stays in place. Just make sure to wash it thoroughly after each use!

To sum things up, if you spend a lot of time drawing/creating on your tablet, an art-glove is a must. Once again, you don’t strictly NEED it in order to create great art, but it is an affordable luxury worth having.

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