Many hardware and software technologies have been released in the last century to help artists produce digital artwork using computers and stay on the cutting edge of the digital era in media and business. These solutions aimed to allow artists to produce artwork using digital tools similar to oil paintbrushes and drawing pencils.
Yet most of these technologies struggled even when they were implemented on the professional level in studios and companies. While Wacom tablets were giving artists and designers the professional effect of real brush painting, it was not the same as pen and paper. The artist had to work on one medium and look to the screen to see the results.
For an artist, it was a disconnect between the hand and the eye. The Cintiq solved this problem by allowing designers and artists to work directly on the computer screen, but its price was expensive and few were able to afford it. Additionally, it was not portable and easy to hold like traditional drawing sketchbooks.
Tablet devices such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Nexus invaded the technology market as easy-to-hold-and-use touch-screen devices, but they soon started to diverge on another route for designers and artists thanks to drawing and art applications that every designer can download and start to draw using fingers or stylus pens.
The Apple iPad is increasingly becoming popular among artists because of its support sensitivity, screen resolution, and support for a wide range of drawing and painting applications. There are many applications that artists use to build their artwork, such as the following:
Adobe Photoshop Touch, a simplified version of Adobe Photoshop that includes common features and tools that allow you to modify and edit images directly on your iPad. Similar to Adobe Ideas, it supports syncing artwork through the Adobe Creative Cloud.
ArtRage, a digital painting application that includes tools to imitate different traditional painting and drawing tools. It supports layers and recording your work steps.
SketchBook Pro, an Autodesk drawing application that allows you to make prototypes, sketches, and drafts for your designs. It supports use of different brush styles and flexible usage of layers.
Paper by Fiftythree, an ideal tool to create watercolor effects and use calligraphy brush styles.
Procreate, another painting application that allows flexible usage of brushes and changing brush sizes and blending options.
Today we have five extraordinary artists who share the same passion for art and creativity, which is reflected in their digital artwork. Each of them has his or her own unique style of iPad artwork, but together their paintings provide definitive proof that the technology is going to become an essential tool for designers and artists.
If you follow digital art news, you may have already seen Kyle Lambert’s artwork featured by companies such as Adobe, Apple, Wacom, and BBC. Lambert is a United Kingdom-based digital artist with many talents, and he specializes in digital painting and illustrations for different media, including film, television, advertising, and print.
Lambert’s artworks reveal amazing attention to detail and shadows and light that turn many of his artworks into realistic digital paintings. His extraordinary talent has grabbed the attention of the likes of Paramount Studios, Pixelmator, Savage Interactive, and others.
His hardware gear consists of an Apple Mac Pro, Wacom Cintiq 21, and Intuos 5 tablet. Additionally, Lambert creates his tablet artwork using a number of applications, such as Adobe Ideas, ArtRage, and Procreate.
Walid Taher’s artwork attracted my eyes on bookshelves before I met him personally while teaching at the American University in Cairo, where he provides instruction on illustrations for the graphic design major. Taher is an Egyptian illustrator, caricaturist, and author. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Art in Egypt and worked for many national publishers,newspapers, and governmental projects.
His artwork is marked by abstract lines and a surreal style that allows more focus on the idea behind the lines and colors. In addition to traditional painting, he creates digital illustrations such as the samples below using the Apple iPad and Adobe Ideas.
Taher has won many prizes in the field of caricature and children books and has participated in various book fairs and exhibitions in Egypt and the Middle East.
Caroline Blanchet is a French designer and illustrator with a focus on sports and entertainment. Blanchet’s artwork reflects a passion for motion and speed, as her lines move wild to surround the colors in her iPad drawings. Her work examples show amazing talent and professional control using Adobe Ideas as a vector-based drawing application on the iPad.
Blanchet’s artwork has been featured in different magazines and websites, such as Advanced Photoshop magazine, Designfix.com, and Abduzeedo. She has a wide range of worldwide clients, such as the NBA, NFL, Reverse magazine, Boom magazine and others.
Besides using Adobe Ideas on the iPad, her gear includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Cinema 4D, Flash, and After Effects.
Unlike the realistic designs by Lambert, Brian Yap illustrations are a mixture of decorative elements that set it apart from other iPad artwork.
Yap is a United States-based illustrator who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and has won many prizes, including the Adobe Design Achievements Awards, Adobe MAX conference 2011, Davey Awards, Saint Louis Addy’s, and more. His clients include Nvidia, 4 Alarm Studio, Rivet Global, Cepia, and others.
Olga Shvartsur provides proof that art is a continuous process, and artists can reflect her or his style using different media. The iPad artwork crafted by Shvartsur can be considered a digital extension of her traditional art with pencil and watercolors.
Shvartsur’s digital artwork on the iPad utilizes a very similar style of black and white pencil drawing using different iPad drawing applications. Below are examples of Shvartsur’s illustrations.