The consensus tends to be to stay fairly small for retouching. I don't know what sizes Intuos5 comes in, but the Intuos4 9"X6" (approx 23cmx15cm) is perfect for me.
Some people who do expressive artwork prefer the larger tablets which give them more elbow room for gestural mark-making, but for retouching, a larger tablet can require a lot of unnecessary and tiring arm movement. A smaller tablet takes up less space on your tabletop too.
AKMac wrote: Peano, why do you use a large tablet mapped down to a smaller size?
It isn't a large tablet. It's the smallest one I could buy at the time (4 x 5 in.), which I then mapped down to an even smaller size. My preference is purely subjective. That's why I was cautioning the OP about taking people's advice about the "right" size or a "good" size. What's right or good is whatever works for you.
Six square inches! That IS small. Mind you, I could see a big market for mini-tablets if touchscreen technology hadn't changed all that.
I think the main problem for a new user is the Catch22 of not being able try before buying, and so some sort of guidance is looked for. I agree that it's an individual thing, but I still get the impression that the majority of retouchers are happier with smaller tablets. Apart from which, for a first-time buyer its a safer bet financially to go smaller first if you're not sure.
I have a medium Intuos and find it the perfect size for me. I also draw digitally though, which usually requires a larger working area than retouching. It ultimately boils down to what range of motion you're used to. I know some artists who like to use long, sweeping strokes and find even the large size to be too small; others tend to draw with their fingers and wrists and are more comfortable on a small tablet. Pay attention to your movements with your current tablet to see how much space you're comfortable with. Also remember that large tablets have huge footprints and get very unwieldy. I don't use other tablet sizes but from what I've seen from fellow artists the size doesn't make much difference in the actual use of Photoshop, Painter, etc.
Thanks AKMac , Peano amd Platinum Dust.
I've 8"x6" i-ball tablet, as for my exprience I get bothered with my wrist moving for work in large area...
in the real life with my Pencil in drawing book I don't make long stroke to draw the line... I make shot stroke each time. I think as per your opinions I would select Small 6"x4" intuous5 pen and touch tablet with wireless connectivity.....
Platinum I would like to ask you a question... you are an digital artist... do you see any usage for Wacom Art Pen / Wacom Airsbrush in your work ? please guide me...
Thank you all and waiting again for your inputs about Art pen and Airbush from wacom.
I'm just a photographer who does most of my own retouching. I used to have a Wacom 12 X 12 and recently upgraded to the large Intuos.
I generally work at 400 to 500 %, so the area I'm working on is still relatively small and requires not much in the way of movement of my arm. I'm often zooming in and out, so it's pretty easy to move from one end of the image to the other.
I use the tablet sitting on my lap and am happy with this arrangement.
Hard to say how helpful the art pen and airbrush will be. It really depends from person to person so the only way to tell if it's worth it for you is to try it, but the majority of people I know just use the regular stylus. Photoshop is powerful enough to simulate a lot of effects fairly decently.