The iPad has been designed to revolutionise almost every area of our lives. This glowing slate of technology can influence how we shop, how we work and how we are entertained. What about how we express ourselves?
While not completely exclusive, there has been a division between ‘traditional’ artists and ‘digital’ artists. However, in this brave new dawn of the computer tablet, are the lines blurring? Are oil and acrylic painters dropping their brushes to get involved in the new medium? Well, the short answer is ‘yes’.
The iPad has even begun to seduce famous artists that are more used to traditional art mediums. One such artist is David Hockney, one of Britain’s most influential contemporary artists. Hockney is known for embracing innovation and new technologies, as well as using paints, always finding new ways of creating art.
Since 2009, Hockey embraced the iPhone, and then the iPad, as devices for creating art. Using the Brushes app, he would paint a picture and send them off to friends, which eventually led to a more involved series of paintings. The artist has had these digital paintings shown in Paris’ La Fondation Pierre Berge and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Over a 100 of these works are displayed on 20 iPod Touches and 25 iPads.
What is it about the iPad that draws that attraction for artists? It’s actually not that much of a brain teaser really. The iPad has been developed to be all things to all people, and its shape and responsiveness has ensured that it has become an integral part of (some) of our lives. There are also several art and design apps, such as ArtStudio, SketchBook Pro and David Hockney’s preferred Brushes, allowing you to create your own masterpieces.
Art apps and tools for iPad
It’s not all about finger-painting either! Most of us are used to touchscreen technology as it becomes second nature and intuitive to use. This is fine for using the iPad to sketch and paint, but you can use other styli and brushes to recreate the feeling of pencil sketching and brush painting. There are three main types of painting/sketching tools for iPad on the market today:
Rubber tip stylus – The most common of iPad sketching tools, the latex rubber tipped styli are available in various designs, emulating pens and pencils. The rubber tip can be very effective, but is prone to friction and slowing down depending on the pressure you exert.
Conductive brush – If you’re trying to find a way of painting that’s as close to traditional painting, a brush for iPad will over this. Brushes can be frustrating for users when trying to create highly detailed work, however apps will allow you to magnify the section of ‘canvas’ you’re working on, allowing you to concentrate on details.
O-Ring stylus – Designed with a pivoting ‘O’ shape at the end of the stylus, these are growing in popularity. These are great for detailed work, as the central point of the ‘O’ is the contact with the canvas. However, it can be trickier for broader strokes and control/navigation buttons.
Using the iPad as a device for creating art is incredibly popular, and there are many apps and devices for this use. By finding the right combination of app and drawing tool, you’ll can achieve some incredible results and effects.
South Bank Art Co sells a vast range of art materials and tools, including acrylic paint.