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Stylus choices

From: Drawing on the iPad with SketchBook Pro

Video: Stylus choices

Toys, gadgets, and tools, my favorite subject. Make sure your preferences are set to no pen. Let's go to our brush settings.

Stylus choices

Toys, gadgets, and tools, my favorite subject. Your stylus is one of the more fun purchases you can make. You'll see me use a variety of styli or pens in the demos. The first type of styli is a very simple capacitive pen, has no electronics and no pressure sensitivity. These typically have a conductive rubber ball at the very tip and are pretty inexpensive. Make sure your preferences are set to no pen. Click on Preferences, 3rd Party Pen Connection, make sure it says No Pen, because this is a non-pressure sensitive pen, it's not electronic.

Let's go to our brush settings. Set a consistent radius and opacity. As you draw, even if you put more pressure on it, it does not vary in size or opacity. Clear the screen. Then, there are the electronic pressure-sensitive pens, such as the Pogo Connect by Ten One, and the Intuis by Wacom. Both are wonderful tools. Such styli are typically Bluetooth and battery operated. Now, do you really need a more costly pressure sensitive pen? Not really.

A good artist can learn to use a non-pressure sensitive pen with equal effectiveness. However, for most artists, a pressure-sensitive pen will allow your creativity to flow more naturally. If you're using one of the Wacom desktop tablets such as a Cintiq, you're going to find this pen quite familiar. And for the iPad user, the Intuos is truly a joy to work with. The pressure sensitivity is excellent. Let's go ahead and set our preferences for the Wacom. Preference > 3rd Party Pen Connection > Choose the Wacom Intuos.

Back. Let's go ahead and experiment with our min and max settings. Go to our brush and then, yeah, let's set our min max settings. That's good. Notice the icon up here. This is for you to check and make sure that your pen is active. There we go. Now you're ready to draw. The harder you press, the fatter and deeper your stroke is. It's very nice, very easy to use. And really, really smooth.

What I like most about it is the superb feel when I sketch. The build quality, the weight, the balance are right on the money, as are the shape and materials. Now, the tip is very accurate, and it's made of very high quality materials. It also comes with a hard case and two extra tips. The switch is set to toggle the undo key and the last brush used key. Also when you press down, it gives a little click for feedback, very handy as you know for certain that you've pressed down hard enough. The other pressure-sensitive pen I use is the Pogo Connect.

It's similar in function to the Wacom, but it offers the ability to switch out tips. This is the brush, fiber brush tip, standard conductive ball. It also has a non-pressure sensitive fine tip on the end. Let's go ahead and put the brush on here. The downloadable iPad app allows you to configure and adjust the sensitivity for use with the various tips. Let's go to our home screen. Click on Pogo Connect.

And here we're presented with our welcome screen. Click on your pen and make sure that it is connected. Go to Configuration. Choose the brush tip. You can adjust the starting pressure as well the pressure amount. As you draw on the screen, it shows you the effect it will have as you draw. Let's go back to SketchBook Pro. You'll need to have a good case to protect your pen. I use a cigar case. It's a nice little leather case. What's really good about this one is this oval shape, and as I put the pen in, it will not activate the switch, saving my batteries.

The other type of pen is a real fiber-tip pen, such as the Compose by Nomad Brush in Oregon. It was designed by Don Lee, an architect and designer, a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. This particular stylus is one of the most exciting pens I've come across. It's unusually thin, very lightweight, quite long, and it feels like a real paintbrush, a real joy to create with. Let's go to our references, and since it's a non-electronic pressure-sensitive pen, choose No Pen.

Go to our screen, go to our brush settings. Maybe adjust our radius and opacity settings. Choose another color. And as you stroke, it's really, really wonderful. They've done a really good job. They've done the research making this non pressure sensitive pen a very cool tool. When you sketch, it's all about the feel of the stylus. The weight and balance and super thin alloy body conspire to make an absolute pleasure to use. Long fibers in the tip glide so smoothly over the iPad.

It's really amazing. And even though it may not be pressure sensitive, it's a fantastic tool for any artist. It comes with a hard case to protect it against damage. As you become more advanced, I recommend owning multiple pen types. If you intend to use both a fiber tip and rubber tip pen, you really want to have separate devices. One pressure sensitive and one not. This prevents any crosstalk between the pens. Sometimes I'll hold both pens in one hand or simply grab one of the other brushes I feel I need. So experiment a little and find the pen that's best for you.

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Drawing on the iPad with SketchBook Pro

23 video lessons · 5438 viewers

Victor Osaka
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