Category Archives: digital

iPad drawing/painting apps so far

Every week, seems like there’s some new awesome tool to make the iPad a tool for creative outlet.

I just picked up ArtRage for the iPad, and it’s pretty awesome. I’ve already been on a major cat-drawing kick lately, so when this new natural-media style drawing/painting app became available, I dove right in with this:

Brushes app is another great tool for drawing/painting on the iPad. Here’s an example, although you’ll find another piece I did further down in my posts of some orchids that also show off what brushes app can do.

So far, there are some really great apps out there for the iPad that have one or two great features that make them useful. I think there’s still a perfect storm of features that I want to see.

1. Natural media synthesis/mimicking — artrage
2. record all brush strokes and actions for playback for either movie or high res render on a desktop machine –
3. remote palette with ipad, iphone, or desktop.. one of them anyway. I have all three, let me use one of them that I’m not drawing with to be the utility space so I can focus on drawing on the drawing space. Remote Palette

These apps are fun to use, and I’m going to keep using them. The reality is that these are great apps to use for illustrations and for fine art if you’re going to display them online. Prints from digital art just don’t have the marketability like actual paintings, so the destination for these pieces has to be different. When you see covers of magazines being done with these types of apps, yes, that’s exactly where you can make some money being an expert at using iPad painting apps. Doing live portraiture using an iPad, yes. Using the iPad with a painting app to do a plein air sketch to use as reference back in your studio… perfect. The utility of using the iPad for fine art is there. No question in my mind. It’s just not a straight A to B type of path. Chances are good that you’re just not going to make a living as a fine artist using digital tools exclusively… so you need to figure out where the career path is using digital tools, AND/or keep using traditional media. “AND”… as in… do both. These digital tools are really cool. And so is having an actual painting that you painted without a computer. Do both.

orchid painting

I wanted to make a piece of art for my anniversary card to my wife, so this year I used on my iPad to paint (?) this set of orchids. I really like the reasonable limitations and extremely flexible set of tools. I went through the tutorial a while back and started remembering the color blending a ways into this piece. I’d done several pieces of abstract work as per my normal mode in, so doing something representational was something new for me. I guess. I do some representational works; mostly seascapes… so this turned out pretty ok given that it’s just not what I normally do. :)

orchid digital painting from stevecooley on Vimeo.

I had a hell of a time with this so-called-free epson printer, wasting a precious hour on changing ink and reading about how lame that is given the amount of ink left in the “empty” cartridge. Sigh. I have another “Free” canon printer/scanner sitting right next to the epson, and not only did it fire up right away, but it had full ink carts, zero clogged nozzles, and printed out a *beautiful* 4×6 glossy print for me on the first try. Whew. Anniversary card project successful.