I’m a tech enthusiast, and I thought it might be fun to create a blog post of my favourite drawing experiences, and what I think of others. I’ve owned and played with quite a few devices over the years. Of course, I work traditionally no matter what medium I’m using, so traditional is definitely my preference.
- Pencil and Paper. Nothing quite compares to the light, tactile feel of a good quality pencil on some nice paper. For me, this is not rough toothy sketchbook paper, but the kind of creamy paper you find in Moleskine notebooks or even good quality marker pads. My favourite pencils are the green Faber Castell 9000 series. I mostly use 3B, 4B, and 6B, sometimes 2B or 8B.
- Inks, Dip Pens, and Paper. Winsor Newton Inks with any decent brushes or water-brushes, with old fashioned dip pens on smooth paper are great. I also like the Kuretake No. 13 brush pen, the Platinum Carbon fountain pen, and the Platinum Cool fountain pen. Other brush pen colours for mid- tones are also dead useful and convenient.
- Anything with Brown Paper! Toned paper, the colour of recyclable coffee cups or brown packaging paper is really nice to work with. It’s surprisingly hard to find, but white highlights, either in chalk or pastel, or through white ink washes, can give body to your subject. I largely work in greyscale and sepia tones, so it’s great for that.
- iPad Pro with Apple Pencil. The closest thing I’ve found to real pencil and paper in the digital world. I have the original Pro, so the new one is likely even better. Procreate is the app that gets talked about the most, and for good reason; it’s wonderful, and gives many desktop class apps a run for their money. But for quick sketches and drafts I like Adobe Sketch more than anything. The interface is clean and minimalist, you get four or five basic tools, but they all work like a dream. The pencil is amazing, the watercolour brush beautiful, and the marker pens really useful for anyone who likes working with markers traditionally. I’ve tried pretty much the whole gamut of art apps on the App Store, but only use these two. I use the 12.9 screen size but I imagine the 10.5 could also be a viable option.
- Wacom Cinti1 13HD. I far prefer my iPad to the Cintiq I owned for a while. It was a beautiful device, but a pain to set up, a pain to move around, and the cursor lagged just a tiny little bit more than my Apple Pencil.
- Microsoft Surface Pro/ Book. My laptop is a Surface book, and it’s very, very good as a laptop. But as a drawing tool it falls short. The stylus just isn’t up to scratch. It’s not that noticeable when writing or taking notes or even while making quick sketches, but it lags quite a bit compared to the Apple Pencil. I haven’t tried out the new updated 2017 Surface Pro’s with their new pens, so maybe they’ve matched Apple now. Still, for what it’s worth, my favourite drawing app for Windows 10 is Sketchbook Pro. With its low subscription cost and vast number of excellent, free downloadable brushes, it’s far better value for money than Corel Painter or even Photoshop for plain sketching and painting.