Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Artstudio: like being a kid again (It's great!)

Artstudio cat tutorialI'm a bit obsessed by the Artstudio App for the iPad at the moment. I find that there's something incredibly relaxing about colouring in. Perhaps it's regression to childhood or something! One of the nice features about ArtStudio for the novice is that it comes with a bunch of tutorials with step-by-step instructions to follow for drawing some basic stuff like faces and cats.

Here's a screenshot of my version of their cat tutorial, with a little customisation to make it look a bit more like one of our cats, Mia.

I really can't say enough good things about this App. It's incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The colour palettes, brush controls (e.g. thickness etc.) and layers are really quick and convenient to switch as you work. It all makes for a very pleasing and user-friendly experience. For art newbies like me, having good undo controls is great too!

Magicwand StylusJust before getting the App, with a view to using my iPad to explore my artistic a little, I invested in a Magicwand stylus. When it arrived in the post, I was a little disappointed. It got great reviews on Amazon but I could not get over how thick the stylus itself is: you can get finer control than a finger, for sure, but it is not exactly great for precision stuff. (There must be something about the way the touchscreens work that limits how small a stylus can get.) With Artstudio, it's not a problem, though: you can zoom in and out with such ease that fine control is possible, and the undo button is quick and convenient if you mess up. (I played around with Paper by 53 before investing in Artstudio (it's free) but it was really frustrating.)

At the end of the day, what I really want from an Art App is something that works well enough for my skill to be the limiting factor, not the technology. As you can tell by my first attempt at a "Mangafied" self portrait (below), Artstudio is just that. Five stars, 10/10, a definitely my favourite App of 2012 so far.

Mangafied self-portrait

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