I’ve posted a lot of my digital paintings but never discussed digital art. I’ve spent as much time researching the medium as I have working in it. You can spend $4,000 on a high end drawing tablet and encounter much frustration. Software download issues, expensive painting apps that aren’t compatible with your computer or an array of required drivers and they’re just to complex for the quick spontaneous work I enjoy. They’re good for the professional graphic artist or designer, which I’m not. There are much cheaper China clones but they have similar issues and often times don’t work smoothly.
My early work was done on a medium size Kindle Fire that cost $120.00and a stylus that was $15.00 It was an excellent introduction to the digital arts. When I decided to upgrade I past on the big iPad Pro at $1,200 and bought the $328.00 iPad with the $99.00 pencil which I currently use.
In digital art the painting apps are a defining factor but you don’t have to spend more that 10 to 20 bucks for an excellent one. I currently use 3 apps depending on my current mood and most of my work is done using a combination of two apps to achieve the line and color saturation I’m after.
I’ll list the best apps I’ve found over the years for performance, a wide variety of graphic tools, ease of use and reasonably priced. I don’t bother with complex difficult to use apps, they impede my spontaneity and any app over 20 dollars or has a monthly subscription fee is usually not worth the cost. The following apps are either free or less than $20.00.
ibis Paint: One of the best painting apps out there. Fast responsive controls with a variety of useful tools that are quick and easy to access. The image below was started in ibis Paint, the line work was done in about 3 seconds and the color fill and blending are a combination of ibis Paint finished with more color work in Artstudio Pro. I work very fast to avoid nitpicking editing, this piece was about 3 minutes in the making.
Artstudio Pro: One of the best full featured all around painting apps on the market. An old stand by used by millions. Many options but laid out in an easy to understand and use format.
Inkpad: One of my favorite apps for varied shapes and color blending. Below is a simple example image. The color transparencies are a delight to work with.
Procreate: This app hit digital iPad artist by storm. $10.00 and the image below shows its color blending, merging and texturing abilities. It has so many tools I’ve only used 20% of the apps potential, and yet the format is easy to use. Procreate has become a major app for the professional artist, while I prefer an abstract expressionist style I’ve seen some incredible photo realistic work done on this app.
Inspire Pro: This app is the latest one I’ve been working with. I like its quick smooth lines and it’s splatters. It’s the perfect app to do the spontaneous line work shown below.
And then color filled and finished using Artstudio Pro.
I painted in traditional oils on canvas for years but when I moved to a small cabin-studio digital painting on an iPad was a great solution to keep painting without the need for a lot of space or financial investment in canvas, stretcher bars, paint and brushes. It’s not as sensual as oil on canvas but if you get the right tools and keep it technically simple it’s very enjoyable.
If anyone is interested in Digital art and would like more information leave a comment or email me, I’m glad to help.