After a long time I’ve finally created a new digital painting. This one was done using Sketchbook on my iPad with Apple Pencil. I initially started with the tree and then expanded the countryside around it, purely from imagination. No references used.
Painted digitally using Sketchbook on my iPad.
This was done on my iPad with Sketchbook. This time I took a break from traditional watercolour and decided to go with digital painting. Sketchbook has decent watercolour brushes which somewhat emulate the medium. This was a simple piece just to get comfortable with these brushes and I feel reasonably happy with it. While Adobe Fresco has some good live brushes to emulate real watercolour flow on paper, it tended to crash on my iPad. So I went back to Sketchbook which is snappy and lightweight compared to Fresco.
Overall I would love to see Krita available on the iPad. Sadly I don’t think there will be a port available in the foreseeable future thanks to Apple’s licensing policy with regard to GNU GPL.
A portrait caricature of Tamil actor-political leader “Captain” Vijaykanth. Painted on iPad using Sketchbook and Adobe Fresco.
Adobe Fresco is a decent ipad painting app with enough free features and good brushes to get along. Yes, you can also export as PSD which is very useful. It does use cloud storage though  , so if you want a local copy of your creation it is better to export as a PSD file and store it somewhere.
I am also getting used to the Apple Pencil (1st gen) and feeling less rusty than before. I hope to continue drawing and painting more regularly now.
- There doesn’t seem a way to turn off cloud storage and use local storage exclusively. Yes I am a bit old school.
After a long time I’ve revived my artwork. This one is a fun caricature of veteran actor late Sivaji Ganesan created on my iPad with the Autodesk Sketchbook app.
Yes, I do feel a bit rusty after such a long gap. Also Sketchbook on the iPad is not nearly as good or feature complete as Krita and I’m not 100% happy with the brushes in Sketchbook. But drawing on the iPad with the Apple Pencil is just so convenient compared to the desktop setup with a screen tablet pen. Probably I will end up using a different painting app.
Apropos of my earlier article on alternate input methods on a touch screen device, what is the best method of typing text on an iPad or other touchscreen tablet without an external proprietary or generic Bluetooth keyboard? After some experimentation, I feel that using the onscreen keyboard combined with a cheap passive stylus pen is reasonably efficient and does not put too much pressure on the fingers. Typing purely with the fingers is a sure recipe for pain because there is no “give” on the screen’s glass surface and your fingers are slamming away relentlessly on them. The other benefit of using a stylus is that a passive stylus is cheap and have a smaller surface area than your average finger and it definitely improves accuracy.
The only drawback of this method is that you need to keep moving the stylus across the entire keypad. I have alleviated this issue by combining the right hand for the stylus movement with the left thumb covering the keys on the left side of the keypad. It feels faster and more accurate than typing with both hands so it’s definitely a better option. In fact this article was written entirely using the method described above.
- or vice versa, if you’re left handed