We flew out to see our Denver kids last weekend. I fired up my Surface Pro 4 on the plane and painted a picture of the stewardess. JUST KIDDING… that was a JOKE… really… well, kinda… anyway… that tablet is a really legitimate option for digital painting on the go.
Several years ago I did a job for Mission Hockey and as part of the payment process I received a bunch of their latest hockey gear. For some reason my wife is not fond of this sort of compensation package (she seems to be a big fan of hard cold cash) but I loved it …and I’m STILL using those Mission hockey gloves!
I just finished another job that had a unique payout at the end. This time I got one of those new Surface Pro 4 Tablets. For years I’ve been looking for SOMETHING PORTABLE that I can digitally paint with and the Surface Pro 4 claims it can fill that bill… so I gave it a test drive to see.
Because I use an older version of Photoshop (CS6) I had to jump through a couple of hoops, but basically got it loaded onto the tablet with no problem. The Surface Pro 4 comes ready to use out of the box with a pen and screen sensitivity, so using the 8 megapixel camera on the device, I snapped a picture of a crumpled up sermon note that was in the trash can, opened it in Photoshop and got busy. To make a long story short, it worked great. (I write really short reviews) I can now sit in front of the tv with a full blown version of Photoshop on my lap and make goofy pictures with it. I’m really impressed…
…and oh, did I mention it’s also a pretty slick little gaming computer. It runs Steam games really well to boot.
Last Sunday the pastor’s sermon was entitled “RELEASE THE HURT” so I immediately started my sermon notes with a pixie and a viking getting ready to “release the hurt” on somebody. Much to my surprise, the sermon went in a totally different direction than I had envisioned.
The pixie painting (and video) was done on my iPad using ProCreate.
…so I’m guessing the humidity OUTSIDE on Sunday afternoon was somewhere in the 600 bazillion percent range… so I made the smart decision and stayed INSIDE in the air conditioning and colored up this quick little picture on my iPad using the ProCreate app.
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.