Digital Painting with Procreate on Ipad Pro

Week 9 - Digital painting on iPad Pro 12.9" with Apple Pencil using the Procreate app. I recently purchased a refurbished iPad Pro and Apple Pencil because I was having difficulty getting the level of pressure sensitivity and brush control using my iPad Mini with several different pressure sensitive stylus.

I had been creating cartoons using my iPad Mini and a Wacom Fineline stylus, which was working pretty well at first, but the Fineline stylus sometimes would get a little wonky and I could not get the type of linework I needed for the cartoons. I tried also a Pencil by 53, which worked nicely for sketches in the Paper by 53 app, but the stylus was a little too chunky for me to draw precisely in Procreate to make the cartoon linework. I finally decided to spring for the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil combo after seeing many YouTube demonstrations and reviews on how well the two worked together. I maybe should have waited for the newer iPads coming out sometime this year, but I needed the setup now, as I was getting pretty frustrated with my previous digital drawing tools.

I have a Wacom small drawing tablet that I have connected to my Macbook Pro, and it worked okay after I got used to drawing on a tablet and seeing it on the screen. That setup is not very portable though. I also received a pretty sweet drawing tablet that works with paper and your own pens for Christmas called The Slate, but it's not quite the right tool for what I needed. I really just liked being able to use my iPad, because it was usually with me, I could use it on my lunch hour and then continue what I was working on later at home on the couch after dinner. I know, not very motivated for me, relaxing on the couch instead of pouring over my drawing table in my studio every evening after working 8 hours and commuting for another 3.

I've had the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for a few weeks now and the pressure sensitivity in the Apple Pencil is truly amazing and has made a huge improvement in the line quality in my digital cartoons. This week I decided to try digital painting, but I didn't want it to be super realistic, I wanted more of a painterly look to the final piece. I found a nice landscape photo reference from to use, the site is really a great resource for creative projects.

I started my painting by choosing a ground color for the background and used a pencil brush with a darker brown for the inital sketch. The Apple Pencil produced lines that looked very much like pencil sketching, creating broader strokes when tilting the pencil on the side, like you would a traditional pencil. I then chose a free brush that I had downloaded that simulated wet brushstrokes and used that for most of the painting. I worked on it over lunch breaks at work and several evenings this week, adding layers as I went along. I'm happy with how it turned out and now feel inspired to try more digital painting and maybe even go outside and try en plein air painting again.

Next in Create-A-Thon 2017, I will be attempting the worldwide Urban Sketching challenge starting tomorrow and lasting for five days - draw 100 people in one week.