First Impressions of Sketching on the iPad with Brushes

The “Yosemite Ukulele Rangers” Dancing Bear Mascot (iPad Brushes Sketch)

Yosemite Ukulele Rangers, preliminary Brushes iPad sketch

In the car, driving up to Yosemite National Park, I started playing with Brushes, a nifty iPad sketching app (OK, Ludlow drove, I fiddled with the radio, strummed the uke, and made annoying and quite rude noises at passing cows). Anyhow, my official review: super happy camper am I!

Here’s my first effort — a mascot for the “Yosemite Ukulele Rangers” (yeah, I was a bit unsure what a real park ranger’s hat looked like — fortunately the ranger at the park’s gate happily modeled hers for me).

I’ll do a bit more refining — should be a black bear, not a cinnamon, for example, but I’m too stoked about this app to not post this rough sketch.

Brushes (a trifling $7.99 on iTunes) is quite easy to use (intuitive, Photoshop-esque tools) and its ability to replay/export the “actions” (export a movie of the entire drawing process, stroke by stroke, as above) is an unexpected, but much appreciated feature. I’m already finding that I’m sometimes drawing for how the animation will look as much as the final resulting illustration — perhaps not a good thing.

I’ll drop this into Adobe Illustrator for the final illustration, of course, but this is a very fast way for me to work play.

Yosemite Bear Playing Ukulele Sketch #2

I’m just now browsing the Brushes manual — some features I’d missed in my initial ad hoc playing (such as “hold-for-color-picking”) look terrific.

While this isn’t completely replacing those mechanical pencils, kneaded erasers, and pocket sketchbooks I’ve been toting around for past six years, it comes mighty close (I’ll continue pocketing Rodrigo’s now tattered 2 x 3 inch book whenever I go hiking, for example). Next week’s Drawing Club might be a worthy test — I’ve seen others there using Brushes with great success (not that the tool makes the artist).

So, would I recommend this app? Hellyeahs!

(don’t forget to buy a cheap-o stylus, too)

Yosemite Bear Playing Ukulele Sketch #1