Sketching on a tablet
Five years ago, I decided to buy my first tablet - iPad because I want to sketch something so that I can easily publish (without scanning my work and wasting paper and time) on my blog.
Since then, I used my iPad very often, and now I am using my second one, i.e. from iPad 2 to iPad Air. However, I am not sketching, I am obsessed into consuming contents by Facebook, blog articles, Flipboard etc. when I use this device. I spend a lot of time reading rather than creating something. Before possessing iPad I thought the big touch screen could make drawing much easier in the digital world - you would never need a drawing pad, and the finger is okay while stylus would be a bonus. After that, I realize reading is much more comfortable than everything, especially at home I follow news at my desk and on my bed, even I have bought some good stylus including Pencil by Fiftythree.
During these four years, I started sketching more, but not on iPad. I do this on paper notebooks instead. My drawing habit lets me think whether I still need the device, and if the answer is yes, should I upgrade it to iPad Pro with Apple Pencil? To look for the answer, I try to sketch something on various apps, including Evernote (the simple drawing feature), Paper, Procreate and Goodnote.
五年前，因為覺得在平板畫畫比電腦來得更直接，並打算用它來增添網誌上的內容，所以就買下人生中第一部平板：iPad 2。雖然這五年間有一直用它，並由iPad 2換上了iPad Air，但是我用它來在Facebook、Flipboard等渠道上消費內容，多於創造。再加上現在當我能養成畫畫的習慣時，我傾向使用紙張，這使我去問自己：究竟我還是否需要平板？如果需要，未來是否需要iPad Pro和Apple Pencil？為了尋找答案，我決定認真的使用不同畫畫apps，包括Evernote、Paper、Procreate和Goodnote。
I begin visual thinking when I read web articles saved in my Evernote. I try myself not to just consume the content inside but to think more by sketching some diagrams which can facilitate this. On one hand, I can find a value of iPad other than content consumption. On the other hand, it actually can be done on a piece of paper with Evernote camera by smartphones like what a scanner does. But to be honest, sketching on an iPad directly is more convenient, and most important I can use different colors when thinking. The convenience of drawing while reading in iPad should push me sketch more to learn.
Paper used to be a drawing app with simple tools so that it is very easy to use like sketching on a piece of paper. Now, it encourages users to use it for visual thinking and brainstorming other than art, making it more useful. The app itself has a card-like UI so that the users can overview what he or she has created. With my finger I can draw well enough while there are amazing features in their Pencil.
Procreate is indeed a professional sketching app especially for business use. The app can let you have more options say various kinds of painters and pens; let you adjust those tools with opacity and size etc.; let you create layers to allow you to have the greatest control while finishing an artwork. Although there are so many features that needs time to be learnt, I don’t feel painful at first, and I start understanding which tools I have to pick. Just give me a little bit time and be patient, the notion ‘practice makes perfect’ is undeniable.
The video recorded and the drawing time calculated is also fantastic!
Drawing on iPad is amazing. App developers are doing great jobs in (re)designing not only their own apps and stylus, but also rethinking the sketching process itself. The workflow and the mindset of drawing on iPad can be so different from a piece of paper. On the whole, technology can help something, but nothing less if you don’t have it on your hand. Apple Pencil can let users draw like on a paper, but using a finger on a tablet and even returning to an ink pen with a notebook do not mean things must get worse. Different tools and ways can result in different great works. They remain to be options which can’t be judged which is the best or the worse. Just choose what you like.
I still have no answers on whether I still need a tablet, and if I will have my third one. I will keep exploring on iPad in the short run but on the whole my Traveler’s Notebook is still my best friend, especially urban sketching. iPad is the world with so many things distracting you. Before you choose to review your works or create one, Facebook and Instagram are calling you (even if all these apps are deleted, Safari web browser is waiting for you). Although reviewing previous works is so easy that only two steps are required by unlocking the pad and tapping Photos app, a paper notebook with an unique cover must be a stronger ‘reminder’ for me, compared to an iPad which only has the related apps icons, nothing telling me what to do next…… most importantly when concentrating on urban sketching on a paper I can experience tranquility which let me put all other things aside.
就我的疑問：我還是否需要平板，甚至會否有第三部，還未有結論，但是我還是會透過現有的資源，繼續好好探索一下平板。同時，Traveler's Notebook仍是我的好伙伴，尤其在街上寫生！已知的有：iPad很容易讓人分心，即使刪掉了Facebook和Instagram，Safari瀏覽器還是在呼喚著自己（笑），因為在你想要回顧自己的作品，或是畫一幅畫之前，主頁的app icon已經吸引自己去消費內容。但是當紙本記事簿放在桌上，還有它們獨特的封面，已足夠提醒甚至吸引自己應該做什麼。iPad或iPhone上很多apps（即使只餘下數個）都在爭著提自己去做什麼⋯⋯回訊息、看資訊、查地圖⋯⋯何時輪到畫畫呢？而在紙上容易讓人專注線條、過程中內心比較平靜，相對於會發光的螢幕、可能彈出的通知、其他apps的選擇，紙的優點並不在於功能而言，而是一些減法。