Another quick picture (and video) I made on the iPad. I just discovered an option that lets you see the brush cursor as you paint in the ProCreate App… which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me was a game changer. Being able to see exactly what size your brush is on the picture is huge.
…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.
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.