Saturday, June 16, 2012

iPad Painting Update

I was so happy to have received the Sensu brush stylus in the mail a few days before leaving on my trip! The folks out at Sensu were quick to respond to my email, and even quicker to get it out to me. To be safe, I had ordered a stylus from Elago on Amazon, so I wouldn't be stuck fingerpainting should the Sensu stylus not arrive in time. I used the Elago on one painting, and haven't touched it since...

The Sensu stylus comes with a nice nylon carrying case with a second pocket.

The capacitive brush tip is round, slightly tapered, and has firm bristles.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about the experience the brush tip could offer. Being brand new to the iPad, I hadn't used any kind of stylus before. I did some paintings with the Sensu, then some with the regular stylus end and finally with the Elago. There are several features of the Sensu brush that I instantly fell in love with:

When fully extended to the Brush mode, the stylus is 7-1/8" long. This is a very comfortable length for painting and drawing, and there is a grippy black surface on the lower third of the stylus. As a painter, I usually prefer to hold the brush farther back, but the polished chrome handle is not too slippery and is a great thickness to maintain control.

I also did not anticipate how much I would enjoy the springiness of using the brush tip - it is one of the reasons I love using this stylus so much! The firmness of the bristles is perfect, I feel in control of the tool and also more gestural. Whenever I used a traditional capacitive stylus, I felt very rigid and the drag on the surface of the iPad was a bit too much. Not so with the Sensu brush!

Please refer to the official Sensu Brush website for additional details and information on this great artist's tool - it's a must-have for anyone wanting to do paintings on their iPad!

Initially, I had high hopes for ArtRage as well as Procreate on the iPad. I have used ArtRage many times on the PC (I highly recommend it!), where it is a fantastic application that mimics realistic paint mixing as well as other traditional mediums. Unfortunately, the application on the iPad has too much drag and is way too slow for my needs, so I quickly dove deeper into Procreate and some custom brushes.

Using Procreate, I was able to complete these sketches from life:

Carnival Dream - Serenity
1.5 hours, Sensu brush - Custom Square brush, Block Charcoal, Airbrush.
This truly was Serenity!

1 hour, Sensu brush - Square Charcoal, Airbrush.

Carnival Dream - Lido Deck
1.5 hours, Elago stylus - Square Charcoal, Airbrush.

Isla Roatan
30 min, Sensu brush stylus - Custom Leaf brush, Square Charcoal, Airbrush.
This one felt rushed. Maybe that's because the boat started moving...

Carnival Dream - Ocean Lounge
1 hour, Sensu brush stylus - Square Charcoal, Airbrush.
I had to redraw this one after a poor initial sketch.

My custom Portenzo case came in the mail while I was away, but I'm breaking it in right now and I am very impressed with the build quality! Initially, I was attracted to DODOcase, but more research revealed Portenzo's quality and features to be exactly what I was looking for. The case I ordered has a black Morocco faux leather exterior and a natural beige linen interior, magnetic cover and black elastic strap, stylus holder, camera hole, and the ingeniously implemented IntelliStand. It's not cheap, but so far I think it's well worth it! The company also offers a 30-day satisfaction-guaranteed return policy on non-engraved or embossed items. Early purchasers or contributors to the company's Kickstarter page had to wait 4-6 weeks to receive theirs, while I received mine in little over 1 week from purchase.

My iPad gear - Sensu brush stylus and Portenzo custom case 
On a side note, all the photos in this post were taken with the Canon S95, an excellent compact point-and-shoot with enough control and features to make the professional or hobbyist photographer happy!

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