I recently got my grubby paws on a brand new iPad Pro. Obviously the first thing I did was splash some extra cash on an Apple Pencil and start downloading drawing apps like a person possessed.
I had dreams of leaving my sack of materials at home, casually strolling the streets and whipping out my new best buddy to capture the view, instead of awkwardly pulling out and arranging all my drawing materials on the street for everyone to see.
And so the moment came. Cozy spot in a cafe found, pencil fully charged, app open. I tap the watercolour brush icon and place the pencil to the screen and…
What the heck is that!? That looks nothing like watercolour! I panic and start scribbling all over the place, throwing colours together and recoiling in horror when they overlap, failing to blend together in that beautiful watercolour way.
You see, digital painting is an entirely different beast from good old analogue brush and paper. A quick internet search will pull up forums of rather intimidating experts telling you that what you need is a particular smudge brush, a certain blending mode, etc etc. But I don’t want that, I want to be able to drop some colour into a wash and see how it looks, and then erase it if I don’t like it. I want the freedom that working digitally offers, but I want it to be as magical as working with real paint. Is that so much to ask?
No it’s not! Thank goodness for Tayasui Sketches Pro.
This simple, nifty app is the closest thing I’ve found to real watercolour and is a joy to use. Tap the watercolour brush, tap your colour and you are set to go. It offers just the right level of control without being overwhelming, allowing you to change the size of your brush, the opacity of the paint (think of this as how diluted your paint is) as well as offering both wet and dry brushes – even letting you put clear water on your canvas to blend the edges! But the best thing about it is without a doubt the ability to work wet in wet.
Let me explain. So you’ve thrown down a good wash and now you wanna start working into it, just like you would on paper when the paint is still wet. Sketches pro makes this easy, just go for it! You see, snuggled into the bottom right of your screen there is a red water drop. When you tap that, the paint on your canvas dries, but until then the paint will just keep on blending together. Also, make sure you try tapping into the paint with your brush, it makes gorgeous blended splashes of colour!
I adore this app. It feels just like the real thing, except if I don’t like the results I can just undo them! It’s great for messing around, and the finished paintings can be printed up to A4 size should I ever feel the need to get them off of the screen and into the real world. There’s even a non “pro” version you can download for free, so no excuses. Give it a go, I’m sure you’ll love it.