Andsmile Studio | Illustration

iPad pro + apple Pencil

Process and art supplies, freelanceViktorija1 Comment

I've been using iPad pro + apple pencil since January and hada few people ask me questions about my experience.. so here is a very long answer! :) Hope you find it interesting or useful.

There are a lot of things I absolutely love about iPad pro but I do have to say that I use both my wacom and photoshop + computer and my iPad pro + apple pencil. I use them for slightly different things and they both have pros and cons but today I want to talk about iPad pro! :)

I've been using it since January to draw commissions/portraits & some new designs for prints, business cards and just for fun.

It's PORTABLE! First and very important thing about iPad pro is that you can take it with you everywhere! Comparing it to my wacom cintique with numerous wires, computer, ports, need to be plugged into the socket of course it's a huge benefit and was very important for me to be able to work from my sofa, library or a coffee shop if needed.

Ability to draw directly onto the iPad. Never before I was able to draw directly with a tablet, I would usually start with a paper sketch and then go from there. Maybe it's their amazing screen technology which is so smooth and doesn't feel too glassy, maybe it's the fact that you can put the iPad on your lap or table and turn and tilt as much as you like (the same as you would do with your sketchbook & paper) or everything together. But if feels very nice to use apple pencil on iPad pro. It glides smoothly and very naturally, it imitates the feel of drawing on paper, it's hard to imagine or explain but it's a pleasure to use and it's possible to create a drawing from start to finish on iPad & even sketch!  Apple pencil is a thing of beauty too, perfect lenght and weight, not too thick, just perfect. It feels so good in your hand, muuuuuuch MUCH nicer than any other tablet pen (which are usually rubbery and very thick).

It is possible to finish a drawing/portrait/illustration on iPad pro but all the apps give you an opportunity to export the file in your preferred format (my would be .psd) and you can do any tweaking, prepping files for print or anything else in photoshop (or just back up your files!).

I use Procreate app for iPad. Adobe Draw is also an amazing app (vector drawing app, great fun!) and Adobe Sketch is very very good too! A lot of these apps get frequent updates and get better and better everyday. Both Procreate and Adobe Sketch allow you to use layers, so it gives you room to play and of course export files to photoshop later on.

Procreate have a great selection of brushes, they work perfectly for my style. And people often sell or offer a lot of their own brushes on Procreate forum. As I mentioned before you can export files in any format. Now the app lets you choose your DPI and any size you like. It works really fast too. At the moment you can't import multi layered .psd files but you can import flat images. Also if you save your file as .png with one transparent layer (or flat layer) you can import that too (like if you have a very nice line work, you can scan it in and then work on it in Procreate!) :) One nifty feature is that you can export a video of your work automatically, I'm really in love with this one, Procreate! :) I blogged about it here.

If you are planning to use iPad pro + apple pencil as a replacement for any tablet than you can do it with the help of astropad app. I know a few people are using it that way. However it didn't work for me. I understand I am spoiled and biased with my amazing access to wacom cintique but astropad is not fast enough and does not replace the actual tablet. It doesn't give you the speed the ipad pro gives on it's own or when you use wacom in photoshop. Buuut saying that astropad + ipad pro + apple pencil work for tweaking things in photoshop & doing some basic design work, I did see some amazing illustrators using it that way to draw too (with a bit of lagging but it does work! :). And hopefully things will get better in the future, that would be simply awesome! :)

Wacom tablet + photoshop + Kyle's Brushes is my laptop set up for drawing and it's pretty amazing but iPad Pro + apple pencil + procreate are completely different. Both can be used to draw, just you know.. in different ways! :) My dream set up would be to have some of the amazing Kyle's brushes for iPad pro apps (pro create or any of the adobe apps), hope that will happen some time in the future! ;)  

So to sum it up.. It's portable, pleasure to use, great apps, good fun + if needed files can be exported and finished off in Photoshop. But just imagine the picture, you grab your iPad pro + apple pencil, go to a caffee, grab a seat & a cup of coffee and do some work. Or another scenario, you are tired, it's raining outside and you just walk over to your sofa, snuggle under the blanket and do some commercial work.. cool, huh? I'm a huge fan of iPad pro + apple Pencil and procreate app and it's absolutely worth the investment, AMAZING tools (and not just because you can work from your sofa under a blanket.. promise!)

Here are some things I drew in Procreate app with iPad pro + apple pencil.