Last year I did more drawing on Procreate than I ever have before. For the first time, I started feeling comfortable in the app. I still have a lot to learn though. Learning to draw digitally is really like learning a new medium altogether.
This is my first finished artwork of the year and I did it on Procreate. I just upgraded my iPad to a newer and bigger type and of course, I wanted to make a picture on Procreate immediately after setting it up. This is based on a photo I took of the lake the morning after a big storm (the only one we have had so far this winter). I also got some new brushes and I was trying them out here. In this painting, I was using brushes meant to simulate fountain pens, alcohol markers and oil paint with a dry brush.
I am always looking for brushes that would most closely approximate my own drawing style with ink and watercolor. In this case, I deviated from my normal style, but I had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to doing a lot more experimenting this year and building up my confidence and competence in Procreate.
I feel a shift in energy now that half the year is over. In June, I took a nine day trip to Wisconsin for work for training and I am feeling so relieved that I have finished my project and passed my exam. (Check out my instagram for some reels I made from my trip.)
We also threw a big 4th of July party which took a lot of prep work and planning. I have also done a few other bigger chores around the house which were hanging over my head for some time. Now that I have cleared some mental space, I feel like I can start working on some more art projects again.
These are some drawings that I have done recently on Procreate. I do miss working traditionally in my sketchbook, but I also know that I need to continue to practice in order to learn all the features within Procreate and just get comfortable with it. I was gifted the robin’s nest and it was fun to draw it from life. I drew the monarch from a photo but did not trace it. I have a few ideas for some other things I want to draw on Procreate in the near future so keep your eyes peeled.
When I was a young girl and my family got it’s first Windows computer, I remember sitting in front of it for hours making pictures on Microsoft Paint. I remember filling it in pixel by pixel, making incredibly detailed drawings using the mouse. I wish I still had those files to look back on. Ever since then, I have been fascinated with digital art. If the iPad had existed back then, I would have absolutely loved it.
I have had Procreate on my iPad for quite some time but I really haven’t used it to it’s full potential. I have used it several times to make line art which I have printed on paper and used to transfer to watercolor paper to finish with traditional painting. It has come in very handy for that.
This is the first “finished painting” that I have made with Procreate. It is based on a photo I took at Old Sturbridge Village in 2019 during their Christmas by Candlelight event. This was about four months before covid started and I remember that it was so incredibly crowded with people that it was a little too much for me. I remember what I loved about this picture was the pink and blue pastel sunset and how it really felt like I was in a different era.
Some people love drawing on Procreate because they say it is much faster than traditional drawing and painting. But for me, this took much longer because of the constant undoing and redoing and also not being quite sure of what I was doing with the layers and such. I tried to draw this in the same style that I would use if I were working traditionally. I do think that this feels very much like “me,” even if I don’t usually draw architecture. I’m looking forward to making some more digital paintings in the future and sharing them here.
I admit, I’m someone who likes gadgets and I recently got a new one, the Slate 2, which I thought I’d review for you here. This device acts like a clipboard that digitalizes your drawings when used with a drawing utensil surrounded by a metal ring. It is advertised as a way to combine digital art with “the pleasure of drawing on paper.” Basically, you draw on the paper and then your lines appear on the screen. You can change the color, opacity, nib size, and simulated drawing utensil (pencil, ballpoint, felt tip, marker, chalk, airbrush, and eraser). There are a few downsides, though:
The equipment is glitchy. There were unwanted lines that appeared on the screen when holding the utensil just above the surface. This may be useful for the airbrush feature, but it is a big problem if you want to do detailed hatching, for instance. I read in the help forums that this issue can be made less noticeable by placing the stroke smoothing setting on LOW and the speed sensitivity on HIGH. This did help, but it did not totally eliminate the problem.
There were also issues with the calibration of the utensil because there was a slight discrepancy between where my pencil was on the paper and where it showed on the screen. I found myself attempting to correct for this (you can see it a little bit on the replay). Therefore, the paper drawing I ended up with was not anything I wanted to keep afterward.
There is no pressure sensitivity. With the pencil setting, you can choose between different hardness levels, but this feature is very limited.
There is no bluetooth feature on a PC. It is annoying for me to have to use a USB cord at all times, especially when there are strict guidelines about how far away you must keep the unit from other metal objects, magnets, and computers/electronics.
The company is located in France and I read in some comment threads that it was next to impossible to return it.
Even still, I think this is a fun toy. The price was not that bad, but if I wanted to get something for serious digital art, I would probably get an iPad Pro. The Slate 2 is definitely not anything I would use to create a serious piece of artwork with unless the glitches were corrected. I do like the replay feature and I think I would like to experiment with this some more. There is a feature to use the device without being connected to the software and then transferring the image to the computer afterward, but I have not used this yet and I am hesitant to do so with the problems I’ve encountered thus far. You can see my sketch and replay video below. I hope this review is helpful to anyone who may be considering this device.