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using iPad for drawing

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Do you use your iPad for drawing? If so, what apps do you use/like? Do you use a stylus with your iPad? Which one(s)? Is it easy to bring the files into Photoshop or another program on your computer later? Is there anything you've had problems with or wish you would've known beforehand?

I'm asking, because I'm thinking of getting an iPad so I have an option for digital drawing while traveling. It would make it easier to have a sketch I could take right into Photoshop, without having to scan, etc. Plus I could do quick color studies too. Right now it would be for sketches, not finished art. I've got art deadlines coming up, and having that option would make it easier to get my art done on time.

Is there anything else I should know before I jump into drawing on the iPad?

Thanks so much!!!

* edited to add: I've heard good things about the Bamboo Stylus from Wacom, and also that Sketchbook Pro is a good app. I haven't tried them though, because I don't have an iPad yet.
#1 - May 29, 2012, 09:29 PM
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 09:38 PM by Ani Louise »
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I do everything by hand (old school holdout, tho I used to do lots in Illustrator back when I did design), but I have a couple of friends who use the wacom tablet with a stylus (they are both members here so maybe they'll chime in?)...but I hadn't heard of drawing with an iPad!

I wonder sometimes if I should get with the program and do some digital stuff...but I just enjoy the paint so much! but I could totally get on board with doing sketch storyboards on a tablet!

I hope someone knows about this and comments!
#2 - May 29, 2012, 09:39 PM
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Thanks Arty! Right now I do my sketching with pencil and paper, but then I scan and do finished art in Photoshop. I also use my Wacom tablet. I was hoping that maybe I could do some sketching with the iPad while traveling or when I'm out running errands, though I'm sure there will be a learning curve! I've even wondered if it would work to sketch on paper, then take a picture with the iPad and bring it into an illustration program.

Ooh, and sketching storyboards on the iPad would be another excellent way to use it. I have several dummies that I need to work on.

BTW, I like paint too. I wish I could do everything in paint, but kidlit people seem to like my digital style better.
#3 - May 29, 2012, 10:06 PM
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I've got an iPad, sketchbook pro, as well as Auryn Ink a watercolor app. And a stylus. I've found the stylus disappointing. I thought it would be like using a pencil but you have to press/push quite hard and the tip isn't fine enough somehow. It's difficult to describe without showing you.

I would strongly recommend going to the Apple store and asking to play with it with a stylus before you buy. As for apps you can download 'lite' versions of most art apps (sketchbook xpress, for eg) and if you like that buy the pro one, although even those are very cheap.

I love sketchbook pro, it's quite amazing. But for now I find using my finger more satisfying than the stylus. ( I got the Bamboo stylus)
#4 - May 30, 2012, 06:29 AM

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Thanks Franzilla! I did notice that the Bamboo stylus has a wide tip (I'm used to the Wacom pen, which has a finer tip). I found some reviews of stylus pens. Looks like there are other options that might be good too:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1156560/touchscreen_stylus_roundup.html

Good suggestion on the Apple store. I am planning to go before I buy. I've tried the iPad in the store before, but not for drawing, or with a stylus. Will have to ask if they have a stylus I can try with it. If I remember right, the sales people have a stylus pen they use for receipts and things. Maybe that will work on the iPad too.
#5 - May 30, 2012, 08:19 AM
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I too have been seriously contemplating trying out a sketch/painting app and a stylus for my iPad. Thanks Franzilla, bummer to hear the stylus wasn't all that satisfactory (didn't want to use my finger:(
For all my "real" work I use my Cintiq, with PS exclusively now. I have packed up all my paints, pens, paper. I was hoping the iPad app would be more of a fun/fast sketching tool. I believe Debbie Ohi is a member here, she has a whole blog devoted to using her iPad for drawing/painting. I believe the blog is called "iPad Girl" or "Inky Girl"???
#6 - May 31, 2012, 01:22 AM
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Ani Louise, thanks for that Macworld link, very helpful to see the pens in action and hear the pro's and con's.
#7 - May 31, 2012, 01:39 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
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"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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I wanted to add too, that I've got a Wacom tablet (I'm a non-professional who likes to dabble!) but the stylus/ipad experience is very different. The tip of the style I have (Bamboo, highly recommended) is rubbery in a way that my stylus for my tablet isn't. It's like drawing with an eraser if you can imagine that. Obviously some people get their heads around it - it's simply a case of learning to use a different medium, after all, but I've found myself going back to my tablet even though the ipad feels more intuitive (given that you're drawing directly on the 'paper').

I read the Macworld reviews before I bought my stylus. They give it four stars. I think my issue is that I'm expecting either a pen/pencil-like experience or a tablet experience and it's not like either of those. As I said above I'm sure a versatile artist will find it a breeze. For me, it isn't. I prefer using my finger! But I suspect that a silicone stylus would work better for me - mine is the Wacom Bamboo one, which is rubber based so it doesn't glide across the screen.

I follow Debbie's blog too. She's awesome. I wonder what stylus she uses... if any.
#8 - May 31, 2012, 07:49 AM

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Franzilla, I think that has been my hesitation. The Cintiq pen is, literally, a pen, while these others look more like a "marker", which I have never been comfortable using. I'm worried a little too, about the lag time but if I keep saying to myself it's just for fast sketching, maybe it won't bother me so much?
It's not too expensive to try, at least:)
#9 - May 31, 2012, 01:00 PM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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I have an ipad & have a bamboo stylus. I use Sketchbook pro, among others.

I like the stylus a lot so far. I wish it were pressure sensitive though.

You just need to remember that anything you do on the ipad will be 72 dpi.

But sketchbook pro can import photos, and you can work on up to (I believe) 7 layers. It will export a .psd. It really is very amazing!

For pure sketching I really like the Paper by 53 app.
#10 - June 25, 2012, 06:58 PM

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Here's my opinion on the subject.
I was very excited when I got my Ipad and actually bought it due to some videos I'd seen on youtube of people doing illustration on one.
I was soon disappointed. For me anyway. The lack of any pressure sensitivity is a major deal breaker! I tired to paint with my finger but it smudged the screen and I couldn't get use to it. Then I bought one of those rubber tipped pens to use. And it wasn't much better the rubber has too much drag against the screen for my taste. Long story short my wife has a new Ipad and I bit the bullet and bought a Wacom cintiq yes, it was expensive but well, well, worth every penny. For an illustrator I'd suggest saving the money you where going to spend on the Ipad and go for the cintiq.
#11 - July 20, 2012, 06:29 PM

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I'm chiming in late here (maybe too late). I'm not a professional illustrator, but I love to dabble. I do have a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet that I love, but when I got my iPad 3, I fell in love with it. I use the ArtRage program for my tablet and also for my iPad and have thoroughly enjoyed the program on both. I did find drawing on my iPad with my finger awkward and started hunting for a stylus. Hubby had a rubber ended (Bamboo type) stylus for his iPad and I tried it. It worked okay, but I was used to the thinner tip of my Wacom stylus and found the large rubber tip not fine enough for my purposes. I found a tutorial online to make my own iPad stylus. It worked well (I used a potato chip bag and an old mechanical pencil that couldn't be refilled and had run out of lead) for a while, but wasn't always accurate.

After some research, I came across the Jot Pro by Adonit (http://adonit.net/product/jot-pro/ . . . you can also buy it on Amazon). I love the finer tip and it works great! Several apps are "Jot Ready" (including ArtRage and Sketchbook Pro) and work great with this particular stylus.

Hope that helps! And even if you don't draw on the iPad, it's still great! I also use the Onlive Desktop program/App and the bluetooth keyboard to do quite a bit of my writing and editing (it's easier to take with me when I'm traveling than my laptop is).

#12 - July 26, 2012, 11:31 AM
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No ipad here - yet. I'm still using a Wacom or plain old paper and pencils.
But are you familiar with Will Terry's work? He uses his ipad, his finger, and some program called "Brushes". I think he does preliminary work on the ipad, then takes it into Photoshop (don't quote me on that). He does beautiful work.

I'm curious about the comment above (sorry, forgot to cut and paste) about the ipad images being 72dpi. Really? I didn't know that. But the newer ipad has super duper resolution, yes? So maybe its higher on that one? Or is it always 72dpi for created images?

Inquiring minds ...
#13 - July 26, 2012, 05:38 PM

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I'm curious about the comment above (sorry, forgot to cut and paste) about the ipad images being 72dpi. Really? I didn't know that. But the newer ipad has super duper resolution, yes? So maybe its higher on that one? Or is it always 72dpi for created images?

I checked some of the images I'd emailed from my iPad 3 to my laptop (saved them as JPEG images). The dpi is 96. Better than 72, but not much, I guess. I do have one of the images that I vectorized and it's 288 dpi. So I guess you can alter the dpi by vectorizing the image? As I said, I'm not a pro so I don't know much about these things.

Maybe saving it in a different format (other than JPEG) makes the dpi increase?

Okay, I just found out that since I have the ArtRage program on both my iPad 3 and laptop, I can send files from my iPad to the laptop program and increase the resolution by editing the iPad ArtRage image on my laptop ArtRage program. So I guess there are ways to get around the low resolution issue.
#14 - July 27, 2012, 09:37 AM
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 10:11 AM by justjoan »
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Certain programs will record your work stroke by stoke. Then you can play it back on the desktop version of the program and it will recreate your image stroke for stroke at a higher resolution. If you can hold off a bit. A year or so you may want to hold off.....I did an interview with a certain company...I had to sign a non disclosure form but lets just say that all artists who work digital will be very very happy about what's coming around the corner when it comes to mobile sketching and drawing. It will blow your mind.
#15 - July 27, 2012, 03:38 PM
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 03:43 PM by evilrobot »

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I use my iPad for sketching quite a bit. I have way too many art apps but my favourite so far is Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro. There's a small learning curve at the beginning, but now (esp with all the shortcuts) it feels perfectly natural.

I tried Autodesk's newest sketch app (Sketchbook Ink) but am not as crazy about it -- it's still an early iteration, though, so I'm waiting to see how it improves. I also like the watercolor brush in the Artrage app.

I've tried different types of styluses but keep coming back to the Pogo Sketch stylus. I've tried some of the more expensive styluses but don't see much different, and am always worried that I'll lose them.

Franzilla & Christripp: Thanks for the kind words! :-)

My main Twitter is @inkyelbows (mainly writing & illustrating for young people) but post about drawing on the ipad from @iPadGirl.

Debbie

Do you use your iPad for drawing? If so, what apps do you use/like? Do you use a stylus with your iPad? Which one(s)? Is it easy to bring the files into Photoshop or another program on your computer later? Is there anything you've had problems with or wish you would've known beforehand?

I'm asking, because I'm thinking of getting an iPad so I have an option for digital drawing while traveling. It would make it easier to have a sketch I could take right into Photoshop, without having to scan, etc. Plus I could do quick color studies too. Right now it would be for sketches, not finished art. I've got art deadlines coming up, and having that option would make it easier to get my art done on time.

Is there anything else I should know before I jump into drawing on the iPad?

Thanks so much!!!

* edited to add: I've heard good things about the Bamboo Stylus from Wacom, and also that Sketchbook Pro is a good app. I haven't tried them though, because I don't have an iPad yet.
#16 - July 29, 2012, 07:42 AM
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I've never tried the Bamboo stylus but have been wanting to try one for ages.

OH! Forgot to mention that as much as I love using my iPad for sketching & drawing, I find that  I can't really use it for final work re: children's books because the resolution is way too small. It's good for quickie sketches and roughs, though.

For my children's book illo work, I use Photoshop and a Intuos Wacom tablet.

Debbie

I wanted to add too, that I've got a Wacom tablet (I'm a non-professional who likes to dabble!) but the stylus/ipad experience is very different. The tip of the style I have (Bamboo, highly recommended) is rubbery in a way that my stylus for my tablet isn't. It's like drawing with an eraser if you can imagine that. Obviously some people get their heads around it - it's simply a case of learning to use a different medium, after all, but I've found myself going back to my tablet even though the ipad feels more intuitive (given that you're drawing directly on the 'paper').

I read the Macworld reviews before I bought my stylus. They give it four stars. I think my issue is that I'm expecting either a pen/pencil-like experience or a tablet experience and it's not like either of those. As I said above I'm sure a versatile artist will find it a breeze. For me, it isn't. I prefer using my finger! But I suspect that a silicone stylus would work better for me - mine is the Wacom Bamboo one, which is rubber based so it doesn't glide across the screen.

I follow Debbie's blog too. She's awesome. I wonder what stylus she uses... if any.
#17 - July 29, 2012, 07:44 AM
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this is really interesting as im about to get an ipad and a wacom tablet.. not sure if its the bamboo yet. alot of talk about the dpi and i was just wondering was what is the choice dpi to save work for publishing ? i will be using photoshop with my hubby and i know you can tinker a bit in that . nother of us have used apple before though...
#18 - August 14, 2012, 09:35 AM

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Just adding on to this thread as I have been trying out sketchbook pro app and a stylus my apple guy recommended, "Jot Pro". Debbie, I am sure you have tried this pen, you have tired them all:) Carbon Computing had 4 stylus's in stock and I played around with the 4. This one seemed to have the best feel but for most of the first few days of playing at home on the iPad with it, I had such problems getting the right pressure to result in line. The app program is amazing though, what a great price for such features... the world is changing so fast, such fun to try and keep up with it all. I think as a sketch pad, to take with you on holiday, trips, to a convention say or even the coffee shop, it's terrific! I still don't know enough about it, I'm wondering if the sketches from the iPad can be transferred to my iMac and then worked on, finished up, on my Cintiq??? I don't know. Anyone?

Debbie, have you tried Painter yet?
#19 - October 12, 2012, 05:04 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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My husband uses his Lenova tablet (much cheaper than the iPad) for drawing with the Sketchbook Pro app and loves it.
#20 - October 12, 2012, 07:34 AM
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I find drawing on my ipad like fingerpainting with armored motorcycle gloves on.   Other than artrage where you can save a script to replay in hirez on your desktop I find most of the apps and the finger/stylus interaction lacking.  I'm sticking to my desktop and my wacom for doing real work.  The next tablet I get will have a proper wacom style screen.

 
#21 - October 13, 2012, 07:01 PM
« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 10:12 PM by MichaelBlackbourn »

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The next tablet I get will have a proper wacom style screen.

Michael, the next wacom you get should be the Cintiq, you will never look back, I promise you that:)

I've seen the youtubes and blogs featuring amazing Illustration being produced on the iPad with apps like sketchpro but oooooh I am not that talented (nor patient) It's  such a small screen to work on, a lot of scrolling involved. I think for sketches on the go, it's great. Doodling up ideas (also a cool way to show a dummy book at a conference or even your portfolio but I doubt I would ever attempt to do work from start to finish on it.
#22 - October 14, 2012, 03:18 AM
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 03:19 AM by christripp »
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

I've used a cintiq before and I have mixed feelings about them.   It's great if all your doing is applying brush to canvas.  As soon as you want to go into a menu to select a tool or an option or do anything else I find it's benefit is reduced with your hand covering what your trying to find.  The intuos seems like a better all purpose device (I use one at work all day).  Maybe if I find myself drawing 99% of the time I'll look into cintiq again

#23 - October 14, 2012, 05:00 PM

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I'm not sure what you mean Michael (are you a lefty by chance?:)
I have photoshop laid out on the cintiq monitor so I just click whatever tool needed (pencil/brushes or laso or save or crop or... etc) I use the 21" and if I EVER program all the buttons to the left and right side of the monitor it will be even that much easier. I've been using the thing a year and STILL haven't used the toggles etc:)
I see the newest version has a marvelous weight to the stand, so you can actually pull out and angle the monitor to be sitting almost on your lap, for those that like that.
You can SORT of see how PS appears on the screen in these photo's of me working.

http://www.christinetripp.com/ChristineTripp/About_Me_%26_Contact.html
#24 - October 15, 2012, 01:46 AM
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 01:51 AM by christripp »
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Ah hah.  Maybe it's cause I'm left handed.  To be honest I might just have to give it another try.
#25 - October 15, 2012, 11:00 AM

this is really interesting as im about to get an ipad and a wacom tablet.. not sure if its the bamboo yet. alot of talk about the dpi and i was just wondering was what is the choice dpi to save work for publishing ? i will be using photoshop with my hubby and i know you can tinker a bit in that . nother of us have used apple before though...

For printing purposes, you have to work in at least 300 dpi with your artwork at 100% of the size.
#26 - October 16, 2012, 10:39 AM

For printing purposes, you have to work in at least 300 dpi with your artwork at 100% of the size.

Most e-readers are getting close to that DPI as well (PPI actually).  The Kindle Paperwhite is 212 ppi, Kindle fire 264 and the ipad is 254.

So if even if you plan on doing ebook only, you need to still work at around 300 dpi.
#27 - October 19, 2012, 10:25 PM

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Apologies for taking this long to notice that I didn't reply to your question! No, I haven't yet tried "Jot Pro." Hm...I must seek out this stylus!

re: Painter. I switched from Painter to Photoshop because it got too crashy and didn't work in CMYK, but now I'm trying to re-educated myself on the latest version.

Debbie

Just adding on to this thread as I have been trying out sketchbook pro app and a stylus my apple guy recommended, "Jot Pro". Debbie, I am sure you have tried this pen, you have tired them all:) Carbon Computing had 4 stylus's in stock and I played around with the 4. This one seemed to have the best feel but for most of the first few days of playing at home on the iPad with it, I had such problems getting the right pressure to result in line. The app program is amazing though, what a great price for such features... the world is changing so fast, such fun to try and keep up with it all. I think as a sketch pad, to take with you on holiday, trips, to a convention say or even the coffee shop, it's terrific! I still don't know enough about it, I'm wondering if the sketches from the iPad can be transferred to my iMac and then worked on, finished up, on my Cintiq??? I don't know. Anyone?

Debbie, have you tried Painter yet?
#28 - December 27, 2012, 08:22 PM
DebbieOhi.com - Twitter: @inkyelbows - Instagram: @inkygirl

I just posted some of my doodles from using Artrage on the ipad on my blog.  Getting fine details even with a stylus is difficult unless you do a lot of zooming and paint in close up.  I like it better for doing color experiments than for real painting.

check them out:  http://www.cindercast.com
#29 - December 29, 2012, 08:46 PM

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