I started trialling various iPad Sketch apps in 2013 with my first iPad and Wacom Bamboo stylus. I started experimenting using one of the first simple free apps that had been recommended to our students, ‘Pages’.
At first it was hard to get the right pressure on the slippery surface of the tablet. The harder you pressed, the lighter the line. This was not intuitive. The iPad had trouble keeping up with the speed of my drawing and it frequently crashed with memory problems.
I wasn’t used to drawing on such a small page size and the position of the pop out menu was quite annoying. The rewind function using two fingers in a circular motion was excellent – but made me slow down and ‘fiddle’ too much, so I stopped using it.
As there was no way to create tone and I had limited colours, I stuck to a linear style. Solid black areas were difficult to achieve and strange ‘blocking’ seemed to happen if I got too close to the edge of the screen. I decided to buy the full version and see if it was better.
The full version was not very different. The fixed pencil tool was very thin and pale which made it difficult to get any pressure. With no ‘layer’ functionality, I was unable to create a ground and draw on top. There was no ‘fill’ function and the brushes were too large. The size of the eraser was fixed and the reverse ‘pressure’ functionality was still an big issue with the early version.
I didn’t recommend this to students as I thought it would discourage them to draw with their new iPads.