The iPad Pro & the Procreate App
Recently I upgraded from the iPad 3 (first Retina iPad 2012) to a new 10.5" iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil, with the intention of enjoying a much more responsive iPad, as well as the advantages offered by the new Apple Pencil.
After a bit of research I realised the goto drawing program for the iPad is Procreate, an Aussie inspired app created in downtown Hobart. Procreate is an interesting story in itself ...
Article from the Australian
Procreate, birthed by James Cuda and wife Alanna, along with computer programmer Lloyd Bottomley and graphic designer Cameron Newton from a bedroom office in Hobart, has become the go-to app for digital painting and sketching, and has legions of illustrators and painters putting down their brushes and picking up their iPads and Apple pencils, including this newspaper’s very talented Eric Lobbecke and former Fairfax cartoonist and painter of stunning Sydneyscapes, Rocco Fazzari.
The program has really been a hit worldwide and has challenged the likes of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Corel Painter, the more traditional computer-based apps for creative design, drawing and painting. The iPad Pro, now with the introduction of the Apple Pencil, has also presented a serious challenge to the tablet makers like Wacom, as the iPad Pro offers a very convenient, flexible and powerful stylus / tablet alternative.
It was a no brainer that I would like the Apple Pencil. Its made by Apple; it was expensive ($150) and so must be good! Ha! I was surprised though, how easy it was to use, and soon as I discovered Procreate (and at such a good price) I knew the combination was going to be a winner. There are many things that make working on the iPad Pro fun and easy, but I really love the way you can easily orientate the 'paper' on the screen to accommodate your natural sketching or painting style. Also the easy use of gestures and combination of pencil and fingers to manipulate the drawing base, colour and brush controls make it light, natural and intuitive.
This doesn't mean its easy to create a masterpiece without some drawing and design skills. So I set about trying to create something worth keeping, while learning to handle the new software and digital pencil. So straight to YouTube for some drawing and painting lessons using Procreate. How to draw a flame!
After spending a bit of time exploring techniques with the brushes and layers etc, and seeing what artists can do with this program on YouTube, I soon began to appreciate what a great program Procreate is, and felt a sense of pride that an Aussie team was behind it.
But there is more...
When Apple released iOS11 the Procreate Team came out with Version 4, a major enhancement to many of the features available in this app, not least the brushes used for painting. So straight into it. Select the blur tool and the oil paint brush, a suitable photo to clone and we have a painting! Essentially I had replaced the cloning tool in Corel Painter on the Mac and the Wacom tablet with the iPad. The new brushes in Procreate 4 as pretty amazing, whether using a straight application of paint or using the blur tool to pick up the colour from a photo and spread it like oil paint.
And finally ...
And some stats on the painting - these are interesting.. It only took 9848 strokes to complete this painting in 3 hours and 38 minutes!