Sketching or drawing with the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil

When the iPad Pro was first introduced with the Apple Pencil, there was so much excitement. I wanted one so badly but I have wait for about half a year before the gadget was launched in the market. When it launched the shipment was limited, and before long, everything out there was sold out. I waited till my trip to Taiwan when my wife bought the iPad Pro as my Christmas gift. The reason was we could enjoy a 7% discount at the airport. However I did not have an Apple Pencil yet so having the iPad Pro wasn't a big deal yet. In fact without Apple Pencil, the pro tablet is just another iPad with a 13" screen, like a Macbook without the keyboard. The wider and bigger screen makes it easier for reading though I felt that the iPad Air is sufficiently big enough. I waited another 2 weeks for my Apple Pencil to arrive and excitingly, it arrived aptly on Christmas Eve. 

This is the first drawing I did, with Procreate.



My main concern was how well the Pencil communicates with the tablet. All I need is a fast and immediate response whenever I draw a line. So far so good! I have difficulty "clicking" some tools on Procreate though. This I can ignore and just use my finger. Next was to check whether the line lags behind when I draw fast. No lag, and unlike the Cintiq, the glass surface doesn't look too thick, so the line and the Pencil tip seems to be quite close. That's a plus point!! But drawing on the glass surface with a plastic pen doesn't sync well with me yet. I actually like the resistance between the pen and the paper. Overcoming the resistance produces line characters that are always unpredictable and it is always a delight to see ink blotches, bleeds, and splatter. Drawing digitally is difficult to produces such effects.

I particularly like the pen tools, since I have always like drawing with fountain pen. When I need to fill in tones, I switched to the brush tools. The process is not much different from drawing with a fountain pen and then shading the line drawing with copic markers. The glass surface of the tablet makes it hard to draw precisely because the stylus tends to slip. This is something I need to get use to. But I do like the fact that every process of drawing is contained within a tablet.

There are some glitches here and there. For example, the UNDO function can be done by tapping the tablet with 2 fingers. Even though the palm rejection capability is perfect, sometimes UNDO was activated accidentally and unknowingly. But I am not discounting the tablet and the pencil for this reason. Hopefully it is a software glitch that can be patched.



The first drawings using the Pencil tools entirely making full use of the Tilt function of the Pencil. These are done 'live' with my wife and my cat as my life models. The TILT functions offers opacity and thickness variations with pressure sensitivity. It is therefore extremely easy to control line thickness and values like using a real pencil or charcoal, without having the mess the latter mediums produce. There are also brushes available out there that are able to mimic natural mediums like drawing on textured papers. It is also possible to change the background colour and texture too. As for now, I am still finding alternative ways to hold the tablet comfortably while drawing so my hand wouldn't get too tired.


 Drawing from reference images.


A minor problem that I encountered.

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