S Note is really just a digital memo pad. Well, except that it seems to do everything except polish the kitchen sink. Among its many talents, this app can act as a simple colouring book for scribblers, doodlers and jotters.
I have grown quite addicted to S Note in its manifestation as a simple Galaaxy Note drawing pad. S Note springs up ready for you to scribble something down whenever you take the S Pen out of its socket. Saves no end of PostIt notes.
What is an S Pen? An S Pen stylus comes as a fixture in every version of the Samsung Galaxy Note series of tablets, phablets and phones. The Note series have a special layer on the touch screen similar to those on Wacom desktop tablets for digital artists. This allows the screen to respond to the pressure sensitive S Pen as well as to a finger. You can vary the width and/or transparency of your stroke according to how hard you press on the stylus.
I have had Samsung’s Note devices since the start, and am currently exploring a new Galaxy Note 3. I have to say it takes a bit of exploring! Samsung say proudly that they have simplified the S Note app, but I’m glad they told me. I’d never have known.
Many of the many S Note facilities I may never use. Others are fascinating. Draw a square anywhere on the screen, and hey presto, up in the frame pops your choice of clock, calculator, address boook, video player or other handy item. Magic!
This array of bloatware tools and possibilities can be overwhelming. Best thing to do is take it easy. Discover what’s really useful gradually, and ignore the rest.
Since S Note offers colouring book tools, I had a go a few weeks ago at scribbling down an elephant with the S Pen on my Galaxy Note drawing pad.
Using the S Pen, I found I could rest my hand on the screen as I drew without its making a mark or causing the image to slither around. Another S Pen advantage to add to pressure sensitivity.
The computer rodent was never meant for the artistic life. Drawing with this early digital doodle tool was a bit like drawing a cobweb with a brick.
If you really want to draw and paint on your desktop computer and this is something new for you, you need to get a graphics tablet. The star brand Wacom produce a range of tablets from simple for the occasional office doodle to the fully equipped Cintiq line. The Cintiq tablets have programable buttons and multiple styli for fine digital art.
Using a stylus with a more basic Wacom tablet is drawing on a tablet – but only at one remove. You don’t draw directly on your monitor. The desktop tablet sits at the side of your computer or laptop. At first writing, painting and drawing on a tablet like this feels odd, but it’s much the same kind of displacement you get with a mouse. You soon get used to it.
A desktop graphics tablet remains tethered to your computer even if connected wirelessly, since it has no screen of its own. You can however pick it up to draw on.
What’s the advantage of painting on a hand held tablet?
It’s hand held!
Drawing on a tablet directly is like drawing on a hand held sketch pad. Freedom at last!