Yesterday my ‘pogo sketch’ stylus arrived in the mail. It’s a pen with a squishy conductive foam tip that works on the iPad, and it’s generally regarded as the best option. It cost me £15 including shipping to the UK, which isn’t cheap for such a basic device, but apparently the cheaper options are a waste of money.
This is the pen in question. It’s actually pretty small, but long enough to be comfortable my fairly large man-hands. I wish it had a pen cap, I worry about the foam tip getting damaged in my pocket or bag.
So this is my second image using the stylus, which I did whilst eating breakfast and watching the morning news. I actually had a laptop nearby running gmail etc as usual, and I even had a wacom tablet there too, but once I’m using a tablet it feels a lot like ‘work’. This was very relaxing to draw. The nature of the stylus (or indeed, using your finger) is that it tends to be behave a lot more like painting than drawing. You don’t have the same sort of tight line control as a pen or tablet, but you get all the motion in there, and you can zoom and pan easily to go in for detail when necessary. At first it seemed clumsy, but now I’m starting to enjoy using it, and I found myself using the iPad to write/draw game design notes whilst coding yesterday.
You can watch the progress of this drawing here. You can see that I originally sketched this small, and then scaled it up and started working on it in detail instead. I flipped the artwork a couple of times too, which is something I find essential for checking symmetry. Autodesk Sketchpad doesn’t have this feature, but Brushes and Art Studio both do.
When I first received the iPad I wasn’t very excited. I didn’t really have any good use for it, and I didn’t enjoy typing on it at all. Browsing was neither as portable as my iphone nor as good as my laptop. However, as always, it’s really down to the apps you get. I bought and played a lot of games that I really enjoy, and these art packages are really coming into their own for me.
Also, I’m seriously considering drawing a comic with it! This is an ultra fast sketch of a rough comic page, but I think that with the upscaling ‘Brushes Viewer’, and a little tidy up work (bubbles and panel borders etc), I could create all the artwork for a comic on the iPad comfortably enough. It’s weird, because it feels like a break from a computer, when this is patently untrue!