Here’s a finger painting I did with the iPad and the Sketchbook Pro app. This took about three weeks, but I didn’t spend many hours on it or anything. I was just painting 10 minutes here and there whenever I had a spare moment, while having coffee or watching TV. It was simply an exercise to get more familiar with the device and the software.
In previous posts, I mentioned the Dagi Stylus and how it left a few tiny (almost imperceptible, but not) scratches on the screen, so I stopped using that right away. I tried to apply a couple of screen protectors to the iPad, but neither of them worked the way I wanted them to, so I ditched those as well. I have an Apple case for my iPad, and since ditching the stylus, there have been no new scratches, so I don’t think a screen protector is required. While I had originally felt that I needed a stylus to get any real use out of the iPad as a sketching tool, I have since changed my mind.
Sketchbook Pro is a solid program. It supports layers, opacity (both brush and layers), has a small selection of layer blend modes, allows zooming in to work on detail, and is fun to draw with. It doesn’t support pressure sensitivity, but I don’t see that as a failing. It makes excellent use of what the hardware has to offer.
The problem with sketching with the iPad is not in the device, but in the people who use it. So many artists out there are expecting it to be a Wacom tablet, and that’s unrealistic. It just doesn’t have the processing power to do what a Cintiq does. The iPad is not a Wacom tablet, and it was never designed to be. To get the portability, battery life, and performance that the iPad currently offers, other features had to be sacrificed. I did not buy the iPad to replace my laptop. It fills a need somewhere between a desktop and a laptop, and I’m getting a LOT of use out of it.
I choose to view art with the iPad as simply another medium. Finger Painting is something I could easily get used to, because it’s nice to zone out, work on a sketch or painting and just enjoy the process. I will never achieve the level of detail on an iPad that I can get from painting in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. I’m perfectly OK with that. It’s a sketching tool, and that’s all I expected from it when I bought it.
All that being said, being able to plug my small Intuos4 tablet into my iPad would be very cool. Less fingerprints. 🙂