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Art on the iPad

Updated on January 31, 2013

Creating Art on an iPad.....Yes

For about three years now, I've wanted to own an iPad simply because of it's art capabilities. The idea of painting directly on a tablet has always appealed to me. I've been involved in computer graphics since 1980 and always felt there was something amiss with having to draw on a tablet and watch the screen for results. The iPad is definitely more direct and hands-on than that.

Well, about a month and a half ago I entered a contest on FaceBook and lo and behold, I won an iPad 2 (32 gigs). Since then I've been experimenting with different paint and draw apps and this lens will give you an idea of what's available and some examples of my art, using these apps.

I hope you enjoy looking through it..... John Stewart

See The Baltic Sea Scene...... - painted with the ArtRage app.....

This little abstract was painted using an app called ArtRage. It has some really nice natural painting tools, such as chalk, oil, watercolor, pen, pencil, roller etc. The nice thing about this app is the way it builds up textures and thickness. It also has metallic properties for added impact. You can select from different kinds of paper textures also.

Punjabi Mask - This was drawn with an app called "Sketch Club"

This is one of the first drawings that I did on my iPad 2. I was mostly experimenting with different brush tools in "Sketch Club". Along with the usual paint tools this app has the ability to record and playback your drawing process, which is a very nice feature.

A Triathlon Logo - Done with Paper 53

Last summer (2012) I was asked to do a logo for the first annual Lake California Triathlon. I consented to do it and decided to use a new iPad app called "Paper 53". It's a very simple app, purposely created that way, so that artist's could do quick sketches on the spot without getting bogged down in choices. I highly recommend your trying this one out. The ink pen has a way of putting down a smooth thick to thin line that reminds me of the penmanship in the 1800's. You can add enhancements to the app which gives you a few more tools and even a color mixer to get exactly the needed hue. You will definitely have fun with this one.

Which is Your Favorite iPad Art App:

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Mirror Image - Drawn with Sketch Book Pro by AutoDesk is famous for it's AutoCad program that has been around for decades. This is the highest rated all around art app for the iPad. It has a very well designed, easy to use interface and is capable of just about any kind of art or illustration. The image above is a very simple use of it's mirroring capabilities which can be either vertical or horizontal.

An Simulated Oil Portrait done with ArtRage.......

Here is a portrait that I did in an app called ArtRage. It can simulate oil paint or watercolor and a host of other mediums. This head was out of my imagination, I was just trying to learn the process. Each art app has it's own peculiarities.

Using Photo Reference

The Art Rage app gives you the option of importing a photo and then manipulating it - which has a lot of possibilities. Norman Rockwell would have loved this option since he used projected photos for all of his most famous works. I started with a photo and then just went over all of it with brush strokes in the same colors as the photo. Colors were selected by using the eydropper tool. By the way, Art Rage is also available for your desktop computer.

Old Manzanita Tree - Drawn with the "Sketch Club" app.....

I drew this one with the "Sketch Club" app. It was a view from my front window, depicting an old bare Manzanita tree. I used the Smooth drawing tool in several different brush widths for this one, and kept it in black, white and grey tonalities.

Another ArtRage Abstract

I started this one by playing around with the watercolor brush on ArtRage. Then I dipped into the oils and used one of the heavier textured brush strokes. There are many different types to choose from. You can come back in after you've painted and brush thinner over the paint and make it look like you've scraped some of it off. There's lots to play with here.....:)

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