I have a lot to catch up on (my Inktober sketches, my visit to Brisbane for Sketchfest and using an Etchr Hot press sketchbook) but I just want to share a fun day I had on Friday sketching with Rob Sketcherman. Rob and his lovely wife Louisa are in Sydney at the moment so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to finally get around to sketching on my iPad
A few years ago (2016) I started playing with Procreate and a stylus as I had to write a section in my book on digital sketching. Back then I didn’t have an iPad pro or an Apple pencil, but I did get the hang of it enough to do this sketch. I had another go during an Apple workshop run by Rob in San Francisco in 2017, but since upgrading my iPad and gettinga n Apple pencil 2 years ago, I haven’t really made the time to develop my iPad sketching any further.
Rob gave an impressive talk at Sketchfest and among his arguments for why iPad sketching is so good, he mentioned weight. Really? I was a bit skeptical so I decided to weigh my kit. I’m using a small A5 sketchbook at the moment, and with all my pens and watercolour it was actually a little heavier than the iPad and pencil. However a battery pack would add more weight to the digital kit!
On Friday I met up with Rob at Bourke St Bakery with a fully charged iPad and ready to go. I actually left my sketchbook at home which meant I had to push through the uncomfortable stage of drawing with a very different medium. My first two sketches were a little bit of a mess as I tried a few different techinques and then watched Rob working for a bit of inspiration.
One of the things I was struggling with was the lack of expressiveness with the marks. It made me realise that my work is very dependent on the marks I get with my fountain pen (especially the Fude pen) and with my textures watercolour washes. What was appearing on the screen did not look like my work at all and was ‘too digital’ in appearance. So I tried a different approach with a textured brush.
After lunch we moved to another location (another cafe in fact) and I made two attempts at sketching the buildings opposite. This is as far as I got with the second version. I wasn’t so happy with this one but it really highlighted a few issues for me – so that was good. I now have some ideas to explore in order to develop my techniques and what type of brushes I want to find and test out.
My intention at this stage is to use my iPad for doing work with opaque media. I want to produce work that looks very different from my watercolour sketches and to use the iPad to stretch my visual thinking. My mind is already buzzing with ideas after spending the day with Rob and seeing how he works.
Thanks Rob and Louisa for a really special day. It’s so wonderful to be able to hangout with you two in my hometown!
Have you tried sketching on iPad? Did you enjoy it? Is it something that you continue to do or was it just a one-off event?