I had a grand plan for this weekend -- color a paper doll on my phone while traveling. It totally didn't happen!
So my parents got me an early birthday present. My mom & I went to see Cher at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. I thought I'd color my doll on my phone while in the car. It's a couple hours from my house and seemed like a reasonable activity. Except that I was carsick for the first time ever! Ugh. I spent yesterday coloring the doll instead (and catching up with my sons!) and I'm going to share that lesson today.
And Cher was amazing. I'm pretty sure it makes me super lame to love her as much as I do but I totally don't care. It was well worth it!!
Anyway, today I'm going to introduce Autodesk's SketchBook Pro mobile tablet app and the Sensu stylus/brush for mobile devices. I'm thinking about moving from a laptop/Wacom workflow to drawing directly on a screen and I thought this would be an interesting experiment to see if that's REALLY the way I want to go...
I grabbed SketchBook Pro for free during an Amazon app store deal, and the regular price is $4.99. Really not a bad price for the robust nature of this program! The Sensu brush (pictured below) retails for about $40. I got one for Christmas and love it! It works with most devices. I've used it on my Samsung Galaxy S4 as well as a Nexus tablet with no issues. It also works on the Microsoft Surface as well as all of the Apple devices.
To start, I used the doll I outlined last week. I tried doing some of the inking in Sketchbook Pro but was not happy with the results. It doesn't have palm rejection, so anytime I tried to lay my hand on my phone, I got a big splotch on my drawing.
This app supports layers. Some others don't and I think layers are
essential. Sketchbook Pro also
allows for some layer manipulation. I was able to set the outlines to
Multiply (the way I would in Photoshop) and colored in a layer
underneath it. Here's the Layer menu with the Multiply setting selected.
I used the plus icon to add a layer below my outlines. If you select and hold down the layer, you can drag the order of it as well as delete it. It's all pretty intuitive.
Copic marker swatches (top left). I haven't used Copic markers, but they are known for being the professional standard in markers. I like the swatches available in this app, and that's what I used to color this image.
So that's a quick demo of SketchBook Pro for tablets. I colored this doll in a couple of hours and it was lots of fun. And now comes the list of pros and cons....
First the pros. This is an easy, intuitive program to use. It has a lot of great features, including loads of brushes. I like the responsiveness of the app as well. It was easy to zoom in and adjust my brushes. It's a fun, simple yet fully featured way to draw on the go. There are some artists who do amazing things with this app (I am not one of them!!). If you like the app, you can also get a desktop version for Windows and Mac, starting at about $60. The desktop version has an amazing variety of tools and capabilities. If you're looking for a Photoshop alternative for a reasonable price, this is worth looking at. There's a free trial option so you can test it out before committing.
And the cons.... I wish this had palm rejection and I was surprised that it didn't. Maybe there's a setting I need to tweak on my end. I'll admit that this is my first start-to-finish image in the app and obviously there's a learning curve. I wish there was a selection tool. I can live without that as a a feature, but it would have been handy. My biggest issue, though, is the export function. I exported my image as a PSD file and couldn't open it in either Photoshop CS4 or Photoshop CC. That alone will prevent me from using this more often.
I hope this was a fun little tour of mobile digital art. I'm always looking for ways to create even when I can't sit on my studio.
I'll post another Kawaii Kids doll tomorrow and a fashion doll on Friday!