Your suggestions, please, for switch to real digital

  • SVS OG

    Any suggestions would be appreciated as I try to figure out what to do.

    Brief background: I took art classes in college ages ago (did not grow up with technology as many of you have) and then took in watercolor and drawing classes, illustration courses, and workshops over the years.

    While I like sketching in pencil and using watercolor or colored pencil, the resulting artwork never seems to scan and translate to onscreen as well as I had hoped. (Just a thought: Could it be the watercolor paper I use?)

    Anyway, I have played with a Bamboo tablet for years and correct the scanned work in Photoshop CS6 on my Windows desktop. However, I hate not being able to draw directly where I see. The disconnect of looking up at a screen is annoying.

    Soooo, what would be a decent next move? I live in a rural area with slow internet and just have a cell connection for my desktop.

    Is a Wacom Cintiq 13 HD a good move?
    Or someone at a recent workshop suggested I get an Ipad and Procreate but wouldn't I need an expensive data connection?
    I saw an ad about Microsoft Surface Pro but would that let me connect with Photoshop CS6 on my desktop?

    I look forward to reading your suggestions.
    Thank you,

  • You would NOT need a data plan with your iPad, you can connect via WiFi anywhere.

    I tried a bamboo, a digital tablet and I returned both as I was not happy or comfortable with them. Once I tried an iPad Pro along with procreate - for me at least - it was a winning combination. The hardest thing with the iPad Pro was finding a screen protector with a little bit of tooth to create some resistance for the pencil.

    If you go with an iPad, look at the refurb products on apples page as you can save hundreds of dollars on a brand new device and still have the full warranty.

    Apple may be releasing new iPads on Wednesday so there may also be great sales at Target, Best Buy, etc.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Definitely an iPad Pro and ProCreate is the easiest and cheapest entry into digital art nowadays... You don´t need any data connection to work on the iPad Pro. You will a WiFi connection or Bluetooth to transfer your files to the computer (if you need to transfer them for safekeeping, etc...).

  • Hi Maureen,
    I turned 50 this year and like you did not "grow up with" technology. However I've been using it in my classroom for over 20 years. When I'm in my art studio, I love my 21" Cintiq. However my laptop is a dinosaur (MacBook Pro 2012) and it's on its last legs! LOL

    I have an iPad Pro and use the Procreate app. I spent the entire summer practicing with it and I'm still practicing to get up to the skill level where my Procreate work will be at a Photoshop level. I TOTALLY love working on the iPad Pro and will echo several that have already chimed in, it's truly the best way to go. It's relatively inexpensive compared to the Cintiq. I'm not a fan of anything PC so if it's a Window's based platform, I can't comment on it as I don't have any experience with it (I will say that in the high school were I teach, my computer graphics lab is Mac based and run Photoshop better than the handful of PC's that have it installed as well.)

  • @maureen Another vote for iPad Pro here! I like to work in Watercolour and pencil mostly too, and recently I’ve discovered that I have much more success just taking a photo of my drawing then tweaking colours and lineart in Procreate. I often work offline and only connect with WiFi if I need to do research & emails etc.
    It’s not cheap but it’s totally worth it!

  • SVS OG

    Thanks, @jimsz for the info. What kind of screen protector did you get?
    Is there a particular size iPad that works best?

  • SVS OG

    @maureen Hello Maureen - here are my random thoughts - i have a cintiq 13hd touch that i have used for maybe an hour since i got my iPad pro in 2016 - i have no data plan for my iPad - the apple pencil is by far the best stylus for the iPad so i would definitely get one of those - i don't mind the drawing on glass thing, it has never been an issue, just something to get used to (also i hate screen protectors so i had no choice :)One important thing for me is that i feel very cramped when on the 13hd - there is not a lot of room to work and the icons are very small....this would have been fine 10 years ago when i could still see well but i use 3.5 readers to draw these days.. i feel like the iPad has a much bigger usable space than the 13hd - i believe that Adobe is working on a full photoshop for iPad if you are interested in photoshop(maybe don't take my word for it though)....i love the Procreate app - i do sometimes think it would be really cool to have Procreate on a huge screen like a cintiq 21hd... but i still love the iPad pro - i'll be 50 in a few days and wish i had started digital a long time ago ..but it is never too late to start 🙂

  • SVS OG

    Thanks, @smceccarelli Don't think I have Bluetooth for my desktop PC. Gads, I am such a dinosaur! Can images be transferred through a USB connection?

  • SVS OG

    Hi, @kevin-longueil Thanks for your thoughts. So do I understand this correctly that I can get an iPad, download Procreate wherever I can find Wi-Fi, and then just draw? I don't have to sit at my laptop or stay in range of Wi-Fi? If that is all true, how long does the iPad battery last or do you just recharge it when you are not using it? Thanks for the comment about not starting too late. I blew past 50 awhile ago!

  • SVS OG

    Thanks, @mrsdion iPad Pro and Procreate sound like the way to go.

  • SVS OG

    Thanks, @poppyk I had not thought of taking a photo. Any thoughts on "how" you take the photo, for example, just flat on a table with natural room light or something fancier?

  • SVS OG

    Loving the 12.9 Ipad pro and Procreate (and Affinity designer recently). Have had for almost a year now and no complaints. Over 50 here and learning curve was super easy. I have a few supplements for it cos I hate how apple treats file saving/sharing in general. So I have a SanDisk iXpand Mobile Flash Drive with Lightning connector transfer thingy to let me easily transfer my procreate files to my PC for backup and storage so I am not dealing with icloud not enough space crap.

    Also got Tech Armor Anti-Glare/Anti-Fingerprint Film Screen Protector cos screen was kinda slippy and Poetic Lumos Apple iPad Pro 12.9 Case which has a handy spot to store the pencil so I am not losing or damaging it.
    No need for data plan - just connect to wifi if you need to. Pencil works with bluetooth so no worries there.
    As far as battery : it last about a day of moderate use before needing recharge. it does seem to take a long time to charge but speeds up if you turn off wifi - usually I just plug in overnight. Pencil recharges super fast.

  • SVS OG

    @maureen Yes - pay for the app once and it will get updated with awesome new features at no cost - i bought my iPad through Amazon and have had zero issues with it - you can draw anywhere you like ...not tethered to a laptop or insane bundle of cables - i like to draw at the kitchen table or on the couch with my kids - i don't know about battery life..isn't that funny..(or sad) it has never been an issue though ....i have the keyboard for my iPad but never use it - i use my laptop for any real writing also i've had a few cases for my iPad but this is by far (for me)the best

  • @maureen

    I bought this screen protector after trying others. It has a little bit of tooth to it where many others are very smooth.

    As for size, I bought the 12.9 inch iPad Pro

  • Pro SVS OG

    @maureen No, you cannot use an USB stick on an iPad, as far as I know. You can use WiFi to transfer the images though - that´s no problem.
    Battery life is very long on the iPadPro - probably around 20 hours or so. I ran out of battery a few times, but then - I never charge it until I have to 😉
    The Apple Pencil does run out of battery much more often, but it charges in 15 minutes, so it´s not a problem.

  • SVS OG

  • SVS OG

    I found this product on amazon and so far it is working great for me to transfer files from Ipad to PC when no wifi available

  • SVS OG

    Hi, Maureen! You don’t need internet connection when using procreate on your ipad. Once you’ve bought the app and installed it, you literally don’t need the internet to have it running. Take it from me, i also use procreate on my ipad and i don’t need the internet to use it.

  • @maureen No data plan for my Ipad here either. I love Procreate and have learned so much about digital painting in a really short space of time, not sure I want to use anything else now. I haven't got a scanner and I am not a great photographer so getting my 'real life' work into the ipad is hit and miss but when I do I am happy with it. I have used Bamboos in the past and it is so much better being able to draw on the piece you are working on.

  • @maureen I am not the tech person in my house, but I am the artist. My husband did tons of looking for me and I have tried several things. I just got a smart phone as an upgrade from my flip phone last year (if that helps paint the picture for ya!!)

    I was determined to learn Photoshop or die trying. We saved and got a Mac Air laptop and a Wacom Intuos pad to draw. But it was so very hard for me. It was taking me hours to do what I could have done in 30 minutes on paper. So we did more research and added a new ipad the 2018--not the ipad pro. It has most of the bells and whistles and the only difference I found was the size is smaller than the ipad pro. But to the ipad we added the app called ASTROPAD. It connects the ipad to the laptop or desktop and mirrors the computer screen on the ipad. Using the Apple Pencil and the Astropad app ($30 one time fee I think) my ipad becomes just like a Cintiq. You can draw right on the screen of the ipad and see exactly what you are doing in Photoshop in real time.

    Having said all of that...I was still having a devil of a time on Photoshop. I was loosing my mind. So I started drawing in Procreate again and loved its simplicity. It does what I need it to do and is designed for creating art. It's very intuitive. I love it. I was not a giant fan of the slippery drawing on glass, however. So I added a screen protector called PaperLike. It gives the Apple Pencil some tooth to hold on to and is awesome so far. It is a hair less sensitive when I am zooming in and out but I will gladly take the trade off as it makes it feel (and sound) like drawing on paper. They say you go through nibs a lot faster though. But they are inexpensive so I don't think it will be too bad. I have only had PaperLike for a few days.

    Sorry for the novel. I hope this might help people who are in the same boat as me coming at this as a 43 year old non-computer-savvy person. Recap is: ipad+PaperLike+procreate for me. When I was still trying to learn Photoshop I added Astropad app to mirror my Mac on the ipad and make it Cintiq-like. Also added Affinity Photo app to do all the extras that Procreate cannot do (like photo edits and some other stuff to take thing to finish.) It was also a one time fee and no monthly cost for Photoshop CC. Dropped Photoshop CC and their fees!

    Now I am getting some things done. I might be brave enough to post something soon 🙂

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