You know how most of the older folk gripe about the younger ones losing the feel of writing with real pens on real paper? I’m not sure which of these two camps I belong in. I still take notes with pen and paper, but abhor the process of having to get it all digitised afterward as meeting notes, to-do lists, etc.
Every generation loses something I suppose. My generation didn’t even touch fountain pens at all, even though I was given a hand-me-down fountain pen kit long ago which I had no idea how to work – apart from making a black, inky mess.
It’s an app that’s made me want to sketch, paint, doodle… things I haven’t enjoyed doing since my days in secondary school. I don’t think I even enjoyed it this much back then.
This app transforms your iPad into a nifty virtual sketchpad, with instruments like the fountain pen, eraser, pencil, marker, paintbrush. The basic FREE version comes with just the fountain pen and eraser, but trying out the other tools in the demo pretty much makes you want to get them all. You can choose to acquire the additional instruments one at a time, or all at once. The latter method, which costs about S$10 or less (if I recall correctly) is a dollar or two cheaper than if you bought each instrument individually.
3 things make this a real stand-out app in my opinion:
1) realism of the instruments: how quickly you move across the iPad surface gives different results, just like how slowly moving a paint-soaked brush results in more colour being soaked up by the paper. Awesome.
2) easy to switch between instrument & colours: You don’t need a table full of paint bottles, split watercolours, colours pencils strewn about. No mess!
3) erasing/undoing stuff is so easy: You place two fingers on the screen, move them in a counter-clockwise direction (Cue “Turn back the clock by Johnny Hates Jazz“) and watch your actions roll back. Try doing that with real paper.
While it’s unlikely that I win any art competitions with my work, the process of drawing something is quite therapeutic.
The last sketch prompted me to go out and get a new stylus. More on it next time…