We can't talk about iPad Pro drawing without praising the all new iPad Pro and raving about its awesome partner in artistic crime --the Apple Pencil. Together they offer the best digital sketching tool, giving rise to unprecedented creative freedom. Today, the iPad Pro is considered an artist's best friend. It can be yours, too.
If you're looking to be the next Leonardo da Vinci (or you simply want to move on from your stick figures), the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are perfectly good tools to start with, and we have a few tips to kick off your budding pursuit.
But first, let's get the low-down on this magical stylus that lets you skilfully sketch like an expert. Just from the looks of it, you already know that you're holding no ordinary stylus. The Apple pencil can easily be distinguished from the rest with its slim cylindrical body. But its real genius is in its rubberized tip that's loaded with sensors. This allows you to write or draw as though you're actually using graphite pencil. The angle you use and pressure you exert will bring about different results.
That being said, here are some tips, techniques, websites and apps that will help you master your awesome new drawing tool.
LET'S BEGIN WITH THE BASICS
GET A GRIP
No, I'm not telling you to get a hold of yourself. Just the way you hold your pencil. Many avoid resting their hand on the iPad, thinking their palm would somehow leave a mark on the screen. This results in an awkward grip and therefore a klutzy piece of art. News flash: you don't have to hover your hand above the screen! The iPad Pro boasts palm-rejection technology, so you don’t have to worry about ''blotting'' your digital canvas. A good iPad Pro drawing begins with a good grip. Besides, you don’t want your 4-year-old niece teaching you how to hold a pencil, do you?
TEST THE PRESSURE
If graphite pencils have a numeric grading scale, the Apple pencil has a highly responsive pressure-sensitive tip, so each stroke can be different depending on how much pressure you apply. Try drawing a couple of vertical lines, applying different levels of pressure on each. This will help you get comfortable with the tool and give you an idea of how thin or thick a stroke can get.
Don't underestimate the power of familiarization. An artist is only as good as his knowledge of the given tool. So, obviously, I made that up. But, it makes sense, right? It's the same with iPad Pro drawing. By doing some calibration tests, you'll get a better sense of how to control your pencil.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE SIDES
All too often, people forget that it's not just the tip of the Apple Pencil that can do wonders. The entire cone of the Pencil's nib is just as responsive. So, put those sides to work. They do a pretty good job at shading and creating shadow effects. To be able to fully enjoy and maximise the shading feature of your Apple Pencil, we recommend using some apps. The Adobe Photoshop Sketch is particularly an expert on shading. But we'll get into the apps in a bit.
TAKE IT UP A NOTCH
IT'S ALL ABOUT TEXTURE
You can create different kinds of textures and layers on your piece by the way you hold your pencil. Built-into the tip of the Apple Pencil are two tilt sensors that can detect the exact angle of your hand and identifies if you're trying to create a thicker brush stroke. With this, you can mimic and play with different digital textures, such as a piece of charcoal or a felt pen.
Say, you’re trying to sketch weathered wood. Use the tip of the Apple Pencil to draw in the lines and darker details of the wood, then tilt the pencil to fill in those lines. Building immersive layers and texture-rich pieces will keep your drawings interesting and realistic.
ZOOM IN TO PERFECTION
This is an iPad Pro drawing advantage you'll never get with a pen and paper –unless a magnifying glass is part of your drawing paraphernalia. With digital drawing, you can easily zoom in on an area of your work with a quick pinch. This allows you to enhance every detail of your piece and work on every bit of imperfection as you please. Just don't get too obsessed with those isolated details. You're working on a whole piece after all. So, if you're going to obsess about a certain portion, be prepared to give the same attention to the rest of your drawing.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
''Practice makes perfect'', is a saying that all generations have heard for a reason. There's no way around it. Doing something constantly is the only way to get better. So, go ahead, keep drawing and have fun while you’re at it.
There are also some drawing sites and apps that can help you cultivate your new hobby. Check these out:
DrawSpace is one of the most popular drawing tutorial sites, offering diverse lessons categorised into skill level (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced). True to its tagline ''now everyone can draw'', DrawSpace offers basic, step-by-step techniques for individuals who are completely clueless on how to move on from their first-grade drawing skills to more sophisticated figures. If you're already confident in your talent and are just looking to develop it, you can also just jump right in to your level, be it intermediate or advanced. You can also get inspiration from the Gallery or learn from other aspiring artists on the discussion board.
How to Draw It
How to Draw it specializes on people and animals, but they also have tutorials on how to draw cartoons and other objects. The 'drawing people' category is particularly interesting and very specific because it includes tips on how you can effectively show age, character and emotions. The 'drawing animal' tutorial is also very detailed and easy to follow, perfect for children and beginners.
Rate My Drawings
Rate My Drawings is a site that allows you to learn, share and be part of an online drawing community. Users can draw using the Flash based or Java based software tool, where you can collaborate with other users. This is a good tool for an online one-on-one or group tutorial session. You can also allow other people to rate your piece, if you're feeling confident –or brave.
GO PRO WITH THE HELP OF APPS
The Pixelmator is a powerful Photoshop-like drawing and image-editing app. This popular full-featured image-editor lets you edit or retouch your drawings, paintings and photos and allows you to add text, effects and more.
Its painting tools are also beyond complete, with over 100 realistic and artist-designed brushes to choose from. You can decide on the brush size, tip strength and stroke style and you can even smudge and blend colors. Pixelmator boasts a “near-natural wetness effect” and texture brush technology, so you get a feel of the real thing.
Download Pixelmator to fully enjoy iPad Pro drawing.
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP SKETCH
This is one of the more simpler apps for iPad Pro drawing, but nevertheless, feature-packed. Adobe Photoshop Sketch offers a variety of preset pencils, brushes, and markers, which allow you to create realistic drawings and watercolor paintings. Shading is particularly easier with Adobe Photoshop Sketch because of its brush settings, where you can change the pressure sensitivity and velocity. There are also 14 tools that allow you to edit opacity, blend colors, adjust size and more.
Download Adobe Photoshop Sketch to fully enjoy iPad Pro drawing.
Procreate is probably the most downloaded app for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, and for good reason. It's a definite must-have for iPad Pro drawing primarily because of Silica, which is the fastest 64-bit painting engine built for iPad. Procreate offers realistic fluid painting and allows you to create detailed pieces of art with its 64-bit color and 64-bit smudge sampling. You can also create your own brush or simply choose from128 customizable brushes. Made a mistake? Don't worry, Procreate offers 250 levels of undo and redo.
Need more proof that this app is monumental? Procreate is listed as an App Store Essential and is a recipient of an Apple Design Award. That should say something, right?
Download Procreate to fully enjoy iPad Pro drawing.
The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are the best digital tools you can work with as a beginning artist. Is it better than actual canvas and charcoal or graphite pencil? You be the judge. But, the iPad Pro certainly has one undeniable advantage that permit endless practice minus the recurring expense: a back button.