Adobe Ideas

Draw and paint in Adobe Ideas

on iPad or iPhone

Create huge pictures on a tiny screen

Apple Created in Adobe Ideas

I can’t say I warm to this apple. I made it on my iPad in an early incarnation of Adobe Ideas. True, it looks sharp at any size. That is, the original looks sharp at any size because it’s a vector image. The apples you see here are Saved for Web in Photoshop and converted to common-or-garden bitmaps.

Apple section enlarged
Apple Enlarged in Adobe Ideas

Even if you have drawn your image on the tiny screen of an iPhone or iPad Touch, you can blow it up as large as you like and it will still stay sharp. Many designers like Ideas because they can scribble down – well, yes, ideas and feed them straight into Illustrator on the desktop.

When I drew this apple, this slick performance tended to give a rather artificial look. It was not possible to turn it off. Sign your name in Adobe Ideas and it came out shaved and smoothed to within an inch of its life.

On TV here in the UK, I saw President Obama sign his name on an iPad in Ideas. I wondered if his autograph, with so much individuality removed, was really all that authentic!

Adobe have added a bit of leeway to the smoothing effect. You can choose to smooth during drawing for more accuracy or after drawing for smoother strokes.

In days of yore you had a limited number of brushes to choose from in Adobe Ideas. One.

Gloomy face made from one line
Ideas Had Only One Line

Adobe has now added a few more brush tip shapes to the basic circle dab Ideas started out with.

Continue reading Adobe Ideas

Painting App Overload

It can be difficult to find the best drawing and painting apps for your tablet or phone.

Search for ‘drawing apps’ at the Apple Store and you’ll be rewarded with an instant avalanche of colouring books for kids, office whiteboards, memo pads and kits for giving your grandma a moustache.

Not too good for a bit of serious artwork on your iPad or Android digipad.

If like me you’ve been suffering from a nasty case of App Overload, particularly in the drawing and painting department, here’s a suggestion.

Limit yourself to nothing but the best.

How about these? Here are nine of the most useful sketching and painting apps for mobile digital artists.

iPad Apple Painted in Sketchbook

iPad Sketchbook Apple, originally uploaded by purple0wl.


Sketchbook App on the iPad

Autodesk Sketchbook is a professional drawing and painting app that comes in a rather bewildering variety of versions.

There are Sketchbook Mobile apps for both iPad and Galaxy Tab as well as the desktop heavy-lifters.

For iPad you have SketchBook Pro, specially made for the tablet, together with SketchBook Mobile, originally for iPhone or iPad Touch. There’s also SketchBook Mobile Express, which is free and a good way of trying the app out.

For Android the free version is also called SketchBook Mobile Express. The paid (but not very much) variety for Android is labelled Sketchbook Mobile.

Add Oprah Winfrey’s SketchBook O (I think that’s just for iPad) and that’s plenty to be going on with.

Each version has a different number of brushes, layers and tools, but even the most basic offers quite a few ways to fine tune them. Updates adding more functions are frequent and free.

The apple here was painted on my iPad in plain old Sketchbook Mobile 1.4. (Since then version 1.5 has appeared with even more bells and whistles.)

Even in my sub-Pro iPad version, I had many brushes to choose from, all adaptable for minimum and maximum transparency and width (useful for fading or tapering strokes). Choose your spacing (for a dotted line) and whether your finish is soft, solid or hard.

I find it useful to be able to fine tune the eraser here as well,  just like the brushes.

There’s nothing like a smear tool for giving a fruity look to fruit. Sketchbook has one.

On the minus side, I still find the way this app arranges tool icons in a seemingly random fashion, in a what I suppose is meant to be a quick-access circle, merely confusing.

Save your work often. In most versions of Sketchbook there are a limited number of Undos.

Speed can be an issue too, but if Sketchbook – or for that matter any painting or drawing app – slows down, close and reopen the app, or even power off your machine to clear memory. That should speed things up again.