You have seen, throughout our sojourn here in Grand Rapids, MIchigan, drawings (like the one above) made on my iPad with a free app called Draw Free. I have thoroughly enjoyed this app for the following reasons:
1. Very user friendly. I am notoriously techno-challenged, at best, and this app was simple and straight-forward enough for even me to get the hang of, almost immediately.
2. LOVE the variable line options both in color AND in thickness of the line.
3. Hardly any lag time between stroke-making and line appearing on the iPad. Other apps have a bit more lag time.
4. The simplicity of this app lends itself to quick, on site sketches, probably due to the fact you aren’t bogged down with tons of options as you will see in other art apps.
My one wish for this app would be a more extensive color wheel palette. I wouldn’t need EVERY color imaginable, like in Auryn Ink and Artrage (which I’ll be showing you tomorrow), but a few more options would be nice. I would love to have dark greens and blues, browns, etc.
But I was curious as to whether there were apps that would allow for more painting possibilities. I looked at YouTube videos of Sketchbook Pro and wasn’t terribly intrigued for some reason. I found Artrage pretty quickly on the worldwide web and YouTube, was totally drawn in, dying to try it, but put off getting it due to the 6.99 price tag. While that one sat on a back burner in my mind, I came across Auryn Ink. At 3.99 it seemed more reasonable, so I went for it. It wasn’t anything like Artrage, but had merits of it’s own.
Here’s what I like about Auryn Ink:
1. Simulates watercolor!!! Draw Free isn’t designed for watercolor, and Artrage doesn’t produce quite the watercolor results I get with Auryn Ink. I’ll show you how watercolor looks on Artrage in my next post.
2. Ability to adjust intensity of pigment, amount of water in strokes, a quick-dry button, a few brush options as well as options for paper texture, wonderful color options (although difficult to maneuver and adjust the color), and ability to adjust thickness of strokes as well. They thought of just about everything a watercolorist would need/want.
3. Oh, and even the option to spatter (by shaking the iPad!)
But here are the downsides:
1. I have difficulty getting a nice drawn line like I do in Draw Free. Yes, i can choose a very pointy brush, make the stroke width very tiny, but I get a kind of dotted line. This works pretty well for sketching out my design. But when I go to sign my name, it looks all pixelly. Poo!
2. I was left to figure this app out on my own! It does have a button to click for a User Guide, but I haven’t yet been able to access it. It is not accessible when you aren’t online, and even when I am online, it tells me it cannot connect. I’ve even tried typing in the URL given, but to no avail! They SO need a user friendly user guide so we can understand all the wonderful settings which I’m sure will expand my ability to appreciate all that Auryn Ink can do!
3. It may be because I’m so new to this app and because of a lack of technical support for it, but I kept thinking as I created these two paintings, “I could sure make these paintings in a lot less time than this!!” I’m not necessarily after speed with my iPad, but real-time painting with real materials is much easier in the sense that you can control variables such as water amount, brush use, etc without having to adjust the settings all the time! With that said, it really was FUN to create these juicy paintings on a tiny little computer…no water to carry, no paints to dry up on you, no paper buckling or drying up too fast on you.
With all this said, I will never exchange my watercolors, brushes, and sketchbooks for a simulation of it. I WILL however, keep this app and play with it from time to time. So will my kids! They love it!
I will definitely keep drawing with Draw Free…way fun, simple, easy, and I like the results. Of course, I will keep on drawing in my paper sketchbooks! But it’s so cool to whip out your iPad, make a little line drawing, and off you go.
You should try these apps too! Or maybe you want to wait until you read my thoughts on Artrage…the queen of art-creating apps for the iPad! It’s amazing…i mean really…they thought of everything! Tune in next time for what’s all the Rage!
P.S. The first drawing is of the melange of bicycles right outside our apartment here at Calvin College. The second drawing is Maddie creating a game to play. We played a lot of cards together these weeks and then she decided to create her own game…it’s pretty cool! The painting (Auryn Ink) of purple coneflowers is from our fabulous evening at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. And the next watercolor (Auryn Ink), is of an orchid I saw there in the tropical garden space…more varieties of orchids than i had ever seen! And this final image is a photograph I took of a large rock that has been painted to say, “Goodbye Calvin”. The kids and I have tried to figure out why this rock is painted with these words?? The rock is situated at the top of the steps the lead from our apartments up to other parts of the campus. Or maybe, I should say, the rock is at the top of the steps that lead down to our apartments and thus out of the campus proper. At any rate, it is with a bit of sadness that we leave Calvin College tomorrow morning…it has been such a rewarding and rich journey.