In a digital world where alpha to omega are now controlled by smart devices, the art of painting has also gone electronic. There are a number of stylus available for writing and drawing. Among these Apple pencil and pencil 2nd generation have a unique position because of their precision and high sensitivity.
But when it comes to drawing or writing with one, there are only a few basic techniques you need to know before you can start mastering your new tool. Here’s everything you need to know about drawing with your Apple Pencil or new Apple Pencil 2.
Learn how to draw from the masters
If you love the idea of an Apple Pencil but your drawing skills are lackluster, my best advice is going to be the advice of many artists before me: Practice! Drawing constantly is the best way to get better. If you’re just starting out, I recommend looking at some of your favorite artists, studying their styles, and trying to recreate them on your choice of digital canvas. It’s a fun exercise and should get you thinking about shapes and styles.
ShadowDraw, HowtoDraw, How to Draw Everything and Calligraphy Penmanship are some of the cool Apps to learn the basics.
Use your hands
When you draw with Apple Pencil, your hand, arm, and fingers can rest on the screen thanks to the iPad’s palm-rejection technology. While previous third-party styluses have had variations on palm rejection in certain apps, they never quite worked perfectly; the Apple Pencil, in contrast, is about as perfect at palm rejection as you can be with a digital touchscreen (though its implementation in some apps can, admittedly, vary.)
Because of bad stylus experiences in the past, I’ve seen dozens of first-time Pencil users awkwardly gripping the pen to hover their hand above the screen. Trust me: I did it too, but you don’t need to with the Pencil. Feel free to rest your hand against the screen while you draw. It’ll take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it’ll feel as natural as resting your hand on paper.
Test the pencil pressure
Equipped at the drawing end of the Apple Pencil is a beautifully responsive plastic nib for all manner of sketching and writing. It’s pressure-sensitive, too, so you shouldn’t be afraid to press harder and softer on the screen to see how your Pencil reacts. One of my first calibration tests with any new drawing tool — digital or not — is drawing a series of vertical and horizontal lines, to test how different pressure results in different line widths.
I also recommend moving your grip up closer to the nib when doing detailed lettering or drawing: It gives you more precision over those fine lines. And don’t be afraid to pinch-to-zoom with your free hand — most great apps support it.
Shade with the slides
It’s not just the tip of the Pencil nib that works on the iPad Pro’s screen: The entire cone of that nib is responsive. As a result, you can use the side of the Pencil to shade with your digital brushes — much as you might use the side of a graphite stick to color in a shadow on paper. Not only is it a cool effect, but it’s one I see early Pencil users miss out on when they’re first getting to know their new tool.
Now, start drawing some of the greatest masterpieces on earth, in an electronic way!