We have two drawing tablets, and boy, are they fun.

What makes them fun is the software: ArtRage 2. This is a full graphics program, capable of very professional looking work. In fact, a New York subway artist who calls himself “Velandria,” uses his laptopVelandria computer, a “Bamboo” tablet, and the ArtRage software to draw portraits of fellow passengers as he rides between home in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan. He has about 500 sketches on display at “” This is one the biggest image-sharing sites on the web.

Art Rage 2, for Windows or Mac, sells for $25 at The small Bamboo tablet is by Wacom and sells for around $63 from The ArtRage software worked just as well with our other larger drawing tablet, the G-Pen M609, from GeniusNet; we found it at Amazon for $75. (You can get a smaller version for only $37.) The tablet comes with Ulead’s PhotoImpact software. This is a great program, though not directly a drawing program like ArtRage. We’ve used PhotoImpact for many years for photo editing, and it has some drawing tools as well.

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