Sunday, 10 September 2017

iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Illustration

I decided to do a little write up about the iPad Pro and Apple pencil because its really changed my process of working. Before I start I want to stress that this isn't really a review of the iPad itself but more of my reasons for getting the iPad and Apple pencil and how its integrated with my illustration practice. So anybody looking for a reliable review on the pencil calibration or how it matches up to the Wacom or similar, Google is your friend :)

So for quite a while I felt as if I needed to make more of a switch to digital work, there's a number of reasons for this:
  1. The industry as a whole is progressively becoming more digital and I want to remain current
  2. It's cleaner. Working in collage is great but boy can it be really annoying when you're trying to get a flat colour and then you smear it with glue marks
  3. Mistakes, there's no backspace in real life guys
  4. Resolution, integrating digital elements means I can work on a much greater scale and ensure that my files are at the highest resolution. If anyone has ever scanned in a magazine print, then you'll see that even if its scanned to the highest quality, if the pixels aren't there then the image just becomes stripey and pixelated.
  5. Ease of use. Collage is so tricky to work with in different environments, going outside in the sunshine seems like a great idea to make work but then along comes a gust of wind and the idea suddenly become terrible. I also find it really hard to figure out colour palettes by sifting through piles and piles of papers. Some quick tests on the iPad are so much easier. And it means I can pick up my ipad and go where ever, whenever without having to plan or pack up all my stuff. I love working downstairs with my boyfriend and I can do this with my ipad without having to lumber all of my papers and collage and laptop and everything else (or have to clean up after myself!).

My work has always involved digital techniques; I clean up smears and paper joins, add various layers of more collage, draw elements using my wacom, but the iPad has taken it to a different level and made it that much easier. This doesn't mean that I'm dropping collage either, the main medium of my work is still collage, I'm just adding more digital elements and using the iPad to experiment. 

I'd previously tried to work with an older iPad model and a generic compatible stylus but the results weren't great. The new Apple pencil is a dream to work with. Its so accurate and is pressure sensitive so its super easy to achieve natural looking lines and paint strokes. The dual sensors in the tip of the pencil and the surface of the iPad pick up not only on the pressure but also the angle at which you're holding the pencil so you can shade with the side of a pencil or create different thicknesses with the marker pen. The grip feels great and I like that its weighted, it feels solid but glides really easily and smoothly. I was worried about the friction, or lack of, between the pencil tip and iPad surface as this was something I really disliked when using a generic stylus but I was presently surprised. The matte tip of the pencil helps to give more of a resistance against the tablet surface. It's still not quite the sensation of a pencil over the grain of paper but I know there are a lot of matte screen protectors available at a relatively small price. 

So far its made a great impact on my my work and my process of creating work so keep your eyes peeled for an influx of new work!

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