Drawing and Painting on the iPad

For a long time, I thought that drawing on the iPad (I have an iPad 4) was impractical.  I was using blunt styli and a Sensu brush pen during that time.  Painting on an iPad was much easier than painting with traditional media, but drawing took orders of magnitude longer.  Regular styli, with large, round, squishy tips, make precise drawing incredibly difficult.  Painting with a Sensu brush pen was somewhat nicer than painting with a blunt stylus because it approximated traditional painting.  However, just like the blunt-tipped styli, the Sensu was difficult to use for detailed drawings.

Sexy Eye

I created my first digital painting, shown above, on January 28, 2013 with a Sensu brush pen and ArtRage for iPad at the Living Room Coffeehouse in La Jolla, CA.  I looked at a reference photo while drawing/painting it.  The digital medium was exciting because I didn’t have to deal with the mess of charcoal on my hands, paint on my shirt or on the carpet, or having to clean up afterward.

For a long time afterward, I struggled with drawing on the iPad, which took several times longer than drawing with traditional media.  Painting, however, was a blast.  Here’s a detail from a painting I created with Procreate for iPad and with a Sensu brush pen:


I recently discovered the Adonit Jot Pro, which is an older model in the Adonit Jot series.  This stylus is excellent for detailed drawings!  Although more expensive, Bluetooth-enabled styluses exist on the market that have pressure-sensitivity, the relatively inexpensive Jot Pro is sufficient for drawing with precision and ease.  Here’s a recent digital painting I’ve been working on for a friend (this is a portrait-in-progress of his niece…click here to see the finished painting):


Although I still have a lot of work left, the going has been much quicker with the Jot Pro!

In conclusion, you can use an Adonit Jot Pro to draw and a blunt stylus or your finger (or even a Sensu capacitive brush pen) to paint on an iPad.


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