‘I often start out using the roller brush and try to create interesting textures, colors as ground for my painting. Sometimes I will set down a gold or other background roughly in ArtRage and then take it to iColorama to change its texture and reimport it to ArtRage. That allows me to create images that remind me of medieval or Japanese paintings on gold leaf. Sometimes I experiment with using the water color brush on an oil painting. It creates a whole new medium that’s not possible in the same way with physical paints.
Often when I paint, I’ll start with a mental impression of an artist I like. I don’t try to copy them, but I will incorporate some aspect that intrigues me. I’ll look at the calligraphic lines in Kline, use of gold leaf in Klimt, or depiction of sunlight in Turner and work it into my painting.
Brushes was one of the very first drawing and painting apps for iPhone and iPad and has been used to create pieces of art by fine artists including David Hockney (see David Hockney’s description of the App in his iPad work on iPad and iPhone).
As an early Ap it was very simple, and used fingers or very basic stylus as this was before the days of pressure sensitivity.
- Can produce a range of textures with the preset brushes
The preset brushes within the app allow you to easily create different effects and textures. Plus you can create your own brushes and tweak the existing ones to get exactly the kind of effect you want.
- It’s easy to select the colour you want
The app includes a colour wheel so you can easily find the right shade you’re after. Plus you can also set the transparency of your chosen colour to help create blending and give the impression of a lighter touch.
- Can undo and redo your actions
If you make a mistake or decide against your latest stroke you can quickly and easily undo or redo actions without having to paint over and recreate whole sections of your piece.
- Watch your painting in action
Once you’re done you can re-watch how you painted your picture and see the creative process in action. It’s not a particularly useful feature but it is fun.
- Easily share your masterpieces
You can easily tweet, email, save or print your finished work from the app. This means everyone will get to enjoy your latest piece of art.
New Brushes Redux
This is the most recent version after change of management. But it remains very basic, does not respond well to pressure sensitivity, and is no longer at the cutting edge. Not recommended – unless it us substantially improved in any future update.
iPad review so far
Adobe Illustrator Draw is a vector drawing app designed for quickly sketching out ideas and concepts. Zoom up to 64x to apply fine details and customise your toolbar and brushes. You can draw perfectly straight lines and geometric shapes, rename layers, and use shapes from Adobe Capture CC. An enhanced perspective grid also lets you map shapes to a perspective plane. Has 13 tools, a digital ruler, and graph guides. You can import your own images or stock photos to work on and for tracing and collage. Using the Creative Cloud connection, you can send a file to Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC on your PC or share your art with the Behance creative community.
AKSketch is a black & white charcoal drawing app. It’s a simple app designed to make you forget about the tools and just draw, using intuitive multi-touch gestures to help you achieve the desired result. It opens straight to a blank canvas. You can start sketching immediately, using the pinch to zoom gesture to get a bigger or smaller line. Tapping at the bottom of the canvas will bring up the tools menu, which is very basic. You can choose between a smooth or rough brush, and you’ll also get an eraser. The undo and redo tool is handy, and you can also access your other sketches from there.
Artrage: variety of canvas presets and paper options, plus a wide array of brushes, pencils, crayons, rollers, and pastels. You can paint directly onto the screen or apply a glob of paint with one tool and smear it around with another. ArtRage also features a dedicated watercolour brush option, which can produce some striking effects. Experiment with the ArtRage digital canvas by smearing, blending oils and watercolour. The app is smart enough to detect the roughness of your paper so your pencils can be used for soft shading. Add layers to your work without damaging others with a range of Layer Blend Modes, import photos and convert them to oil for smearing or use as reference images, or trace over images. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the interface, it’s easy to change brush sizes, bring up the colour picker, work with layers and blend/smudge different elements together.The main idea of Artrage is to make painting as real as possible on the iPad. You can mix paints with one another as though you were manipulating them on a real canvas. This app works with layers, and if you’re already familiar with Photoshop, you’ll feel right at home with the blend modes. Artrage also allows you to record your drawing for later viewing on the desktop.
ArtStudio: over 20 different brushes, various different canvas sizes and options that include layers, layer masks, filters and effects. ArtStudio also includes step-by-step drawing lessons/tutorials plus the handy ability to export your artwork to Photoshop for further fiddling.
Auryn Ink: for watercolour painting. You can pick different tip shapes for the brushes and specify different bristle effects. You can also adjust the texture of the canvas and the amount of water on your brush.
Brushes Redux: used by David Hockney. Using a basic toolbar at the bottom of the screen, you can bring up a colour wheel/picker, work with layers and switch between various brushes. Brushes is fast and responsive to the touch so it’s easy to work quickly. Can record brush strokes. You can only create up to 10 layers.
Comic Draw: by plasq, enables you to build an entire comic narrative inside the app – from concept sketches to colour and lettering. It has a digital sketchpad for original ideas, and also inking and colouring with a variety of brushes to finish your concepts. Lay out different panels on your page and use layers to build your drawings. Add as many pages as you want to create a comic strip, books or even graphic novel. To finish off, add words with Comic Draw’s lettering suite made up of different typefaces, balloons and design tools. Comics can be shared on the on-line community Comic Connect.
Inkist: by Tai Shimizue is a painting app with a range of simple, customisable brushes with support for pressure-sensitive styluses.The interface is simple, with minimal taps required to switch between tools, The apps features three layers with blend modes, opacity, and opacity-locking settings. You can then export your work as a PNG, PSD, proprietary ISImage file format and as individual layer files.
Inspire Pro: from Canada-based SnowCanoe’s has 60 high-quality brushes to choose from, divided into six sets: oil paint, airbrushes, basic shapes, graphite pencils, wax crayons and markers. And these can all be used as a wet or dry brush or eraser to create fast and realistic painting, drawing and sketches. Dynamic colour picker Adjusting the paint load and customising brushes (by rotating the bristle pattern) becomes second nature. Add a subtle blur, use Canvas Playback to watch your paintings unfold, use dual textured brushes, customise your canvas size.
MediBang Paint includes many different creative tools for illustrators and comic book artists. Some of these include, numerous brushes, screentones and backgrounds, cloud fonts and comic creation tools. Finally registering on MediBang’s site for free gives users access to cloud storage so they can easily manage, backup and share their work.
Paper 53: quick sketches for a selection of virtual journals, with pages to thumb through for easy viewing. Has diagramming and note-taking tools in addition to the standard creative tool suite it’s always had. Tools are a watercolor brush, calligraphy pen, pencil, marker, ballpoint pen, eraser, paint roller, scissors, and a ruler. You can import or take pictures, and mark them up with text or drawings. Upload to FiftyThree’s creative community Mix.
Photoshop Sketch: features 14 tools, including a graphite pencil, ink pen and watercolour brushes, with adjustable size, colour, opacity and blending settings. You can layer and rearrange your images, use perspective and graph grids to help align your creations. Export your work to Illustrator or Photoshop CC.
Pixelmator: to enhance or touch up photography, paint detailed, layered images from scratch. It has more than 90 brushes (including double-texture brushes), watercolours, and the pixel brush. Graphic design features include using blending layers, shapes and text, whilst adding features like shadows, outlines and gradient fills and a range of effects including kaleidoscope.
Procreate: professional software from Savage Interactive won the Apple Design Award and the App Store Essential. It has a built-in brush editor for creating custom brushes, which enable you to define brush shape and grain. On the Pro, it can go up to 16K resolution with 64-bit color, and you can export your artwork as PSD, PNG, JPG, or Procreate files. The app also lets you record videos of your art and helps you build a portfolio and share your work, if you so desire.
SketchBook (Autodesk) combines raster and vector features. It has a wide range of digital pencils, pens, markers, and airbrushes with ability to pin toolbars to the screen for easy access. It has text , distort and shape features together with image import and video export.
SketchBook Ink preset brushes aren’t editable apart from their size, and there are no layers (besides the option to add a photo as a background layer). very high output resolution. You can export images to iTunes at up to 101.5 megapixels (8727 pixels x 11636 pixels) or your Photo app at up to 4096 pixels x 3072 pixels. Although exported files are flat PNGs, not editable vector files, the images are still very high quality.
Sketch Club has a community of artists with whom you can share your art. You’ll also be able to comment on everyone’s work and get inspiration. Lets you create 64 layers in total, and canvases that are up to 4K in resolution. Wide selection of brushes and vector tools, this is a full-fledged drawing app. It has full support for the Apple Pencil and the ability to record in 1080p.
Tayasui Sketches Pro eight brushes along the left-hand side, with pencil, rotring, watercolor brush, felt pen, and eraser for free and more brushes and size, shape and blend controls and paper types to buy. You can import photos, too, if you want. You can organize your sketches and creations into different notebooks in the app.
Zen Brush: traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes. Gallery feature that enables you to save your work in progress, as well as an ink dispersion effect to give your drawings an added feeling of depth. Uses black and red ink.
Dutch illustrator who works a lot in Procreate.
Children’s story book produced in Procreate, then developed into e-book and animation.
He has produced a lot of very useful tutorials on using Procreate. Though his style is not very innovative I find.
Enhancing existing artwork and working over photos
Recommends taking RAW photo, not scanning to get better colour and texture for watercolour.
Do colouring in multiply and highlights in overlay mode
!!To do a thorough review in autumn when Aps have been upgraded for iOS 11. Digital watercolour is a key feature for upgrade with faster processing speeds.
Currently my attempts are pretty crude. These will be explored for Assignment 4 on Aldeburgh.
Currently digital watercolour depends on transparency effects, edge effects, and deletion with water brushes to vary transparency.
Good at very detailed drawings that build up gradually in textured layers using a combination of water brush shapes (including drips) and water eraser. Use alpha lock for edge effects. Has the most control over brush shape. Bleeds have to be simulated through smudge or eraser tool and edge effects. Due for significant upgrade in the autumn.
For the most beautiful effects I have found:
Can get interesting effects with the canvas variants. Mainly focuses on edge effects.
Watercolour brush is the only brush I would really use from the built-in toolset. It has really nice bleed effects that are fascinating to watch. Good for atmospheric abstract effects. But difficult to get real subtlety. Upgrade due?
Dedicated watercolour for more complex combined techniques. Has 3 layers that dry at different rates that can be controlled. But quite slow at higher resolution.
Can get nice Japanese watercolour effects with vector gradients for beautiful anime type effects. But not watercolour as such.
To be explored more for the natural oil painting. But from a brief trial I am not sure this is anything special compared to procreate or ArtRage. But it has been recently upgraded.
Inspire Pro is for natural art painting from Canada-based SnowCanoe’.
The best here I think are the oil painting and the very quick User Interface for this type of painting. The charcoal and other brushes were not as good as Procreate.
Canvas: High quality. Sizes and resolution customisable. Up to 8192 pixels and file size 33.6 mp.
Stylus: Apple pencil, sensui or fingers.
Layers: No. Builds up like a painting on canvas.
Brushes: 60 high-quality customisable brushes, divided into six sets: oil paint, airbrushes, basic shapes, graphite pencils, wax crayons and markers. dual textured brushes. These can all be used as a wet or dry brush (blender) or eraser. Paintload can be adjusted, bristle patterns rotated and subtle blur added. Opacity/pressure and size tools are easy to access.
Colour: Easy big colour wheel. Can pick colours from canvas
Video: Yes. 30fps
Gallery of paintings. No folders.
Both Photorealistic and dreamy Fantasy.
Tutorials and reviews
I have only experimented very briefly with this App – its rivals are Procreate – with forthcoming improvements to the waterbrush system, Adobe Sketch and ArtRage, all of which have interesting watercolour effects. See Digital Watercolour.
Dedicated App for watercolour painting.
The Auryn Ink website: http://www,auryn.ink has images of art gallery-size paintings as well as manual, tutorials and FAQ.
The whole experience is rather more random than real watercolour happy accidents. But some really beautiful effects can be achieved, including layering and erasing that cannot be achieved on paper.
Canvas: There is a choice of low, high and superhigh resolution. Rough or smooth papers with different textures that affect their ways of interacting with paint. It is also possible to control run and splatter.
Stylus: Apple Pencil uses tilt and velocity for size. For quick washes the Sensui brush stylus is good. Fingers also work well.
Layers: There are 3 layers: wet, dry and fixed layers in one image that simulate the way watercolour layers and paper interact. It is possible to control evaporation, dry and fix layers to build up images.
An image layer can be inserted at the bottom for reference/deletion.
No blend modes.
Undo: is on a timer and has to be done before layer dries. Otherwise use eraser and paint over.
Brushes: four types of tip to combine with a range of ‘footprints’ and a variable eraser to get mask effects. There is a paint flow and size control. Using the Apple pencil size is also affected by tilt and velocity.
Colour: There is a central colour picker dialogue, with customisable palette for each painting. Holding down the brush brings up an eyedropper. Then as you paint you control interaction between water and pigment on the brush for transparency.
Output: as PNG only to iPhoto. Can send into the website to enlarge to large A1+ art gallery prints.
Text: No. They recommend theTypedrawing app.
Social network: Link to Auryn Ink website and Auryn Ink Facebook page.
Tutorials and reviews
Procreate as a digital medium with its brushes, layering, distortions, transparency and blend modes to do things not easy or even possible in analogue media
Procreate is probably the most used painting app – developed in 2013.
Its key features include:
- fully customisable brushes with pressure and tilt sensitivity, including possibility to completely create one’s own brushes.
- good selection tools
- alpha-lock and fill features
- effects and blend modes
- perspective grid and perspective assist
It is not though so easy and intuitive to use for basic sketching as the colour palette is not as accessible
Issues for my style
- Colour palette is slow to access for sketching unless working from an already existing image
- Some of the brushes eg ink brushes need quite a lot of customisation to produce interesting lines like those of Sketches or Sketchbook.
- There are so many brush options it takes quite some time to get used to how they work enough to work quickly.
- There are lots of hidden tips and tricks rthat take a long time to discover – need to study a lot of videos on You Tube to find these out.
Ilya Tyljakov really beautiful atmospheric landscapes and concept art, using his specially modified brushes.
It is possible to create really beautiful watercolour and painting effects using modified brushes. Below are what I found to be the most atmospheric and innovative.
Realistic painting tends to use the round brush and/or airbrush, building things up slowly with transparency to create very photorealistic effects.
Below: The subject matter is pretty cliche. But interesting use of underlying tonal drawing, then overlaying colour with blend modes.
Drawing and inking
Architectural illustration from a photo
Manga and cartooning
These all tend to use a similar soft fantasy style
Stefan de Groot Dutch illustrator produces a lot of good tutorials, particularly on basic illustration and realistic painting, though I do not find his work as atmospheric and innovative.
James Julier realistic pencil sketches, fantasy art and landscape
Danny Glasgow landscape and fantasy
Austin Bachelor colours over line art.