View Full Version : Your experience using an Ipad (Apple Tablet) for Digital Art?

10-11-2016, 06:02 PM
Hi, all!

I've brainstormed every avenue of tools to use for creating Digital Art or finishing something penciled in digital.

I concluded that using my existing Ipad is the best bet. It is my concluded most convenient, cheaper, and easier tool to use. Other avenues I've seen are a screenless tablet (hooks to PC and what you are drawing appears on the computer screen and not the tablet screen), a graphics tablet (specifically for art and not an Ipad or Samsung tablet), and the new ISKN Slate coming to market (converts what you are drawing on paper instantly into digital format).

Believe it or not, I use the Ipad Mini, and right now as a beginner the size does not matter to me. Price was also very right for me. I've had it more than half a year, and it cost me $200 brand new from the store. I use it for more than art obviously, so it's a good multi-purpose device.

*I want to know what others' experience is using an Ipad for digital art production, so I can see various insights. Especially, if you do Cartoon & Comic art, as that is my primary focus right now. I am a beginner.

I find traditional formats (pen, paper, etc.) to have by far the best feel, and to be the quickest way to create something. However, digital is faster only when doing something repetitive (like for example if you were creating repeating textures like brick, etc.). I find digital overall more time consuming because I can't get pen lines as clean as I can with traditional methods. I often have to go back and clean up lines. Everything shows up better digitally than on paper it seems.

I also find I can't yet get myself to sufficiently pencil sketch digitally. It looks more sloppy than when I pencil sketch on regular paper. The slippery feel of the glass screen does not feel good. The natural resistance of paper feels nicer to me. Scanning artwork doesn't always come out as well as taking a photo for some reason. Maybe I should proactively activate the palm rejection in the software so I can get my hand in a more natural position! I also find that a stylus is not as perfectly accurate as a regular pencil is.

So, my current methods of art in regards to digital is:
*Keep in mind I am practicing Cartoon and Comic art right now. So, when I'm not doing standard sketching for fun, I do the method of penciling in, then inking, then coloring.

-I always pencil sketch on paper first.
-I take a picture of the pencil sketch with my IPhone (however, when I do a much larger piece, I most likely have to scan it with my printer). Snapping a picture is fastest with my IPhone, since I will be using my Ipad for digital.
-I digitally ink the imported picture of the pencil sketch digitally on the Ipad. I can resize and move everything around as I want.
-After that, I do everything else like coloring.

*Right now, because I'm doing cartoons/comic art, and am a beginner, I find myself mostly flat-coloring everything with the "Procreate" Ipad app. I haven't explored imported brushes for gradients and other fill-effects yet. I only use the painting if it looks good like for fire and other objects that need special textures.

I still use artmarkers, colored pencils, and crayons (no watercolors) to color in if I do all traditional methods. It still gives a nice look you can't get with digital.

Right now as I have it planned in my head, I would do quicker smaller pieces of art via traditional methods mainly, but do much bigger pieces digitally.

Talk to you all later! Thanks for the advice!

10-12-2016, 11:32 AM
No easy answer here. The world of digital art is so diverse, it takes a lot of research and experimenting to figure out what works best for you.

Yes, I do find digital painting will often take longer than natural media, for me being acrylic. And I can't do any decent line work with a stylus.

I started with a Wacom tablet connected to my pc and it takes a little time to get used to drawing in one place and looking at another, but in time you become comfortable with it.

I later started painting on my iPad. I do like Procreate the best. However, sometimes I miss the precision of working on the pc. And when transferring the image to the pc I would find it was a lot darker than it was on the iPad. An iPad can't be adjusted like a monitor can and I wouldn't rely on iPad only.

I'm more into traditional painting though. You might want to try other apps. Artstudio is pretty good. I haven't seen anything really good for line work but I haven't looked lately.

I used to start with a pencil sketch as well. But then one day after erasing everything a couple of times I decided it was time to get used to beginning a sketch on the pc. So much easier to change things.

10-18-2016, 12:34 PM
I am also a beginner when it comes to digital art. I browse this forum on occasion but it seems very much PC oriented to me. I have the new iPad and Apple pencil plus a small assortment of styli. I have several apps but Procreate is the one I keep going back to. Others are Art Rage, Paper, Paintstorm, Moleskine and Sketchbook Pro.
I use the iPad mostly to sketch I have only ever done one finished piece (a still life) on the iPad. I try to sketch daily so I join most of the Scavenger Hunts in the Art from Life Forum. I use various mediums but for sketching my 'go to' is graphite. Most of my finished art is color pencil.
I think the features I like most in using iPad are undo, scaling and 'straight line' as well as its portability. I have downloaded a few brushes from the Procreate website, but mostly I use the embedded HB, 6B, Technical Pencil, and Shading Graphite brushes. I guess you can see even with digital I lean towards graphite.
There are a couple of others in the Hunt Group who also, like me, dabble with sketching on iPad. I know one of them, who is a watercolor artist, prefers Art Rage.
I guess the bottom line to me is that it is fun, portable, and easy to use without a lot of setup.
Keep Sketching

10-18-2016, 07:49 PM
Thanks for the replies so far. I still find sketching in "pencil" on traditional paper better than digital. But I guess digital pencil sketching takes practice. I find 'powered-styluses' to be less accurate for some reason. A regular unpowered stylus seems to be easier to get more accurate results. If I don't do pencil on digital, I do it on paper first, then bring it over to digital. My main thing is line work digitally because I'm doing cartoon/comic variety of drawing and not life-drawing.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a powered-stylus seems best for illustrators and people doing life-drawing. Since I'm doing line-art (and pencil-sketching digitally if I can get comfortable with it as it doesn't seem as accurate as the real thing) - the regular unpowered stylus has been best. Cost money to figure out the personal fit for everything, but at least I know exactly what I am going for so I can concentrate on getting better at specific drawing practices (I'm doing cartoon/comic style).

10-19-2016, 05:46 PM
I personally don't care for a tablet. I just as soon use my laptop. The software I use, art rage is more limited for the iPad version. It seems like a big investment for something I would only use to draw, when I already have my laptop.
I did try Sketchbook recently, and I thought it handled the fine lines better than art rage. I could be wrong. I didn't have the time to take much advantage of my 2 week trial. But I didn't want to try them back to back and see.
People have told me, that the trouble with drawing on the wacom, is that it is more slippery than paper, so you can slip a piece of paper over your wacom to make it feel more like the feel of a pencil on paper.
The other thing is to start your drawings in pencil and paper, scan them, and then add the color in layers. That way, you can make changes easier than if you added color to your paper.

10-22-2016, 03:43 PM
The iPad Pro 12" with the Apple pencil is the tool I've been waiting for ten years.
The software I use in the iPad is Procreate.
The drawing experience is VERY close to real, sensitivity and accuracy is awesome (and I've used Wacom Intuos, Wacom Cintiq, etc).
For sure some very particular options are not available in Procreate, so I export to Photoshop, work the layers or whatever I need and then import back to Procreate. there are very few things that Procreate cannot do.

12-30-2016, 02:01 PM
There is a program called Affinity that works in both mac and windows- it's supposed to be a 'photoshop killer', and from what I've seen of it- I really wish i hadn't bought photoshop back when- Affinity just looks awesome- My question is, will this program work in an ipad? Also will an ipad hook up to a windows or linux computer via usb to transfer the work to it? Also- does it have things like stroke taper and change opacity by pen pressure? thsoe are the two main concerns for me

I've never owned a pad before- i do own a wacom pro-i like it but would love somethign portable to sketch and paint at locations aroudn town/lake and oceans etc-

12-30-2016, 06:30 PM
I've used the iPad for creating mobile/digital art for several years. I don't really like, or seem to be good at, doing representational art, but I know many who do.

Mostly I use an app called iColorama, though I often create 'something' as a starting point in Procreate. iColorama is a painting app, but also a very powerful app for distortion, colorization, textures, brushes, blending, and much more. It has a learning curve.

There is a FaceBook group called iColorama where the work of many talented artists can be seen.

I've posted in the Digital Showcase if you're interested, or if you'd like more info maybe I could help.

What type of art do you prefer ?


12-30-2016, 08:35 PM
You're getting a lot of good thoughts and opinions. I work both traditionally but now mostly digitally. I have worked with a wacom 5, cintiq and IPad Pro. ON the iPad Pro I work mostly in Procreate and Paintstorm studio. PAintstorm need the ipad pro though. BUt I find Procreate very responsive and I really enjoy using it. I just posted one or two painting and am about to post another done on Procreate. I got used to the glass but I have a screen protector which has a wonderful feel to it. GIves a little resistance and is great to paint on. WOrking on the iPad does take more practice and it took me quite a while before I did anything other than play. NOw I go back and forth between the desktop and the ipad quite frequently. IT just depends on the mood and what my schedule is. IMlove the fact that I can take my iPad and go.

01-08-2017, 03:09 AM
The iPad Pro 12" with the Apple pencil is the tool I've been waiting for ten years.
The software I use in the iPad is Procreate.
The drawing experience is VERY close to real, sensitivity and accuracy is awesome (and I've used Wacom Intuos, Wacom Cintiq, etc).
For sure some very particular options are not available in Procreate, so I export to Photoshop, work the layers or whatever I need and then import back to Procreate. there are very few things that Procreate cannot do.

I want to buy the Ipad Pro 12.9". Should I get 32gb, 128gb, or 256gb?
I don't mind paying for the 256gb as long as that extra memory is useful. Is it really helpful to have it? Is the 12.9" size really helpful or is it too bulky and should I get a smaller one?

01-16-2017, 07:14 AM
I've had 2x Wacom tablets with my laptop and an Asus Vivotab 8, and I just LOVE my giant iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. I also use Procreate, in a mix of cartoony and painty style. I find my lineart is actually much better on the iPad, my sketches worse, and my colour mixing worse.

But I love undo and how easy it is to clean up ;).

I want to buy the Ipad Pro 12.9". Should I get 32gb, 128gb, or 256gb?
I don't mind paying for the 256gb as long as that extra memory is useful. Is it really helpful to have it? Is the 12.9" size really helpful or is it too bulky and should I get a smaller one?

I have the 128GB and I'm really glad I did... my Procreate documents take up a lot of space, it wouldn't fit on the 32GB model. I don't need 256GB because I don't do video (editing or storing a lot for offline viewing) but if you do then I'd get the biggest.

01-17-2017, 03:39 PM
I've been using the iPad Pro 12.9 and Pencil for over a year. In my opinion it's the best digital painting experience on the market.

I've tried Wacom's tech and Microsoft's tech but their pen experience just doesn't fit my drawing style. I use lots of quick, flicking type strokes when I draw and the Apple tech easily keeps up with my rapid strokes. Unfortunately, the other tech just seems to choke when I get my hands on it.

My preference is the iPad Pro and Pencil combination.

11-04-2017, 11:48 PM
I love using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. My favorite apps are: iPastels,
hue paint,and colored pencils.Their blenders are awesome plus so many other features I like. I like art rage too
but it is so hard to blend using it. Sometimes I photograph my paintings on canvas and paper and put them on my iPad and touch them up or have a digital painting by adding to my canvas etc. painting. If I have a canvas ,etc. painting in progress, I can use the iPad to experiment with what I can do next to my painting.

11-18-2017, 08:28 PM
The original poster expressed problems with drawing on glass. It does take some getting used to, but as others have pointed out, the iPad Pro with Apple pencil gives you a lot of options for pressure sensitivity. If you have your pressure sensitivity set correctly (for you), the "drawing on glass" aspect becomes much less of an issue.

I find that a lot of people who use the iPad for art, don't explore pressure sensitivity and brushes enough, and so their art tends to have a very airbrushed "digital" feel. But that doesn't have to be so. You can get surprisingly "analog" results that are difficult to tell apart from physical media, if you use the right brushes and get creative with your methods.

11-20-2017, 10:44 AM
In keeping with Floka’s comments, one of the first tips I received using Procreate was to go to Preference and adjust the pressure sensitivity to my style/liking.

A recent tip I found was to use the Shading Graphite brush with size at 1% for a sketch that looks very much like graphite when printed.


12-01-2017, 09:10 PM
I love my iPad Pro for art. I use it mostly as a sketchbook.

To address the concern of drawing on glass, you can put a matte screen protector on the surface to give it a more paper like texture. I did this and love, love the result.

01-02-2018, 05:21 PM
I absolutely love painting on my iPad Pro with my Apple Pencil. You can get
details hard to get with a stylus. I also use it as a tool,by scanning art on paper and canvas and experiment digitally with what to do next on my non digital paintings.