How do I spend a typical Sunday afternoon in the fall? I take a picture of my Sunday Morning Sermon Notes with the camera on my Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16, pull that picture into Photoshop CC, plop down in a recliner with the tablet on my lap, lean back, get my feet up, turn on a football game and then I contemplate, ponder and meditate on my sermon notes… mainly during the commercials.
Once a year I seem to go on a rant about the iPad and how I wish it were a better device for mobile digital painting. All I’m wanting to do is collapse into a chair in my living room in front of a football game on tv, press a button and instantly be able to digitally paint during the commercials… is that too much to ask?
I do my professional studio work on a Wacom Cintiq hooked up to an iMac with Adobe Photoshop and I’m a huge fan of all these products. I have a smaller 12 inch Cintiq (which is great) to work with on the road, but it has to be powered by a laptop computer, has six kazillion cords to hook it up with and you have to be next to an electrical socket to make it all work… not exactly the spontaneous mobile painting experience I’m looking for in a portable device…
…so I keep trying to make the iPad fill this need, and while Apple’s not doing a whole lot to help me out with this (other than to provide the most fabulous, ground breaking, magical device ever) outside developers are quickly filling the digital painting void. I’m currently using a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2. It has a finer point than a typical stylus, links to the iPad via wifi and delivers faux pressure sensitivity. The product I cannot say enough about is a painting app called ProCreate. It honestly has almost every Photoshop tool I typically use to paint with plus a few… like saving video of your work process.
This was my latest experiment to see how well an iPad could work as a mobile digital painting studio.
First of all, a traditional sketchbook, mechanical pencil, iPad and Wacom stylus are all extremely portable. I still prefer to draw with a pencil and paper, so I snapped a photo of a drawing in my sketchbook using the camera on the iPad and imported it into the ProCreate app. Because I am just wanting to have fun (and don’t want to paint a background) I fire up the iPad internet browser, find an image and import it into ProCreate to paint on top of. You can see my painting process in the short video (exported out of ProCreate) below.
My conclusion: I was able to plop down in a chair, fire up my iPad instantly with the press of a button, snap a photo, surf the web, paint a picture, export video of it and when all was said and done, the most important part of the whole thing was …it was really fun.
Over the years, I have purchased several types of styluses in a futile attempt to turn my Ipad into a fabulous, portable, mini Wacom Cintiq. I have finally come to the conclusion, (sadly)… that’s just never going to happen… but Wacom is making the Ipad a more viable artist tool with their new Intuos Creative Stylus 2.
It comes in a sharp carrying case with a usb charging cable. The main selling point for me was the thinner drawing point. (I never knew what was going on under those old fat styluses.)
ProCreate is my art app of choice, but it currently does not support this stylus, so I fired up an app that does (Sketchbook Pro) and created this picture.
At this point in time, drawing and painting on an Ipad is just going to be a limited proposition, but in my humble opinion, at least Wacom’s new stylus gives you a fighting chance at it.
A few years ago when Apple came out with this newfangled device called an iPad, I acquired one just months after it was released. My hope was that it would work as a portable digital sketch pad, and it did… well, sorta… but with no pressure sensitivity on the screen and the somewhat clunky painting apps that were available at the time, I quickly lost interest in painting on an iPad.
I work everyday on a Wacom Cintiq which is a fabulous tool to make art on. I have been hoping for several years that Wacom would jump into the portable device market with some sort of portable Cintiq, and they finally did… and while I have not had a chance to demo the new Wacom Companion, it looks like everything I had hoped and dreamed for…
…unfortunately, then there is the price tag… $2500.00 …ouch. If the Companion was going to be my primary art making device I could easily justify the steep price tag, but for me, I already have a Cintiq, I’m just wanting something to make pictures on during the commercials of an NFL football game… so now I’m thinking iPad again…
Developers have been working overtime trying to come up with an art stylus for the iPad that has some sort of faux pressure sensitivity and I am seeing new ones hit the market every day. The latest one I’ve seen is the JaJa Hex3, and while I have not tried it personally, it looks pretty great in this video…
Additionally, developers have been hard at work improving their products and I have been especially impressed with the retooled ProCreate painting app.
All that to say, Wacom finally created the portable digital art pad I have always wanted. Unfortunately, with that steep price tag, I cant justify getting one just so I can occasionally grab it and make a nice picture. On the other hand, I use my iPad every day for everything… so my current plan is to upgrade my iPad (I still have the 1st generation dinosaur), get a fancy new pressure sensitive stylus, and give the iPad one more chance to be my portable digital art tablet.
Ok, I think this is probably what digital artists everywhere have been waiting for. Modbook has combined a MacBook Pro base system with a Wacom digitizer that delivers 512 levels of pen pressure sensitivity to create a truly portable digital tablet… the ModBook Pro. There is no price on this right now and I’m sure it will be expensive but at this point I would be willing to sell my firstborn son for one… (he’s in Seattle right now, I don’t think he’ll even notice).