Drawing on the New iPad Pro

iPad Pro sketch

We were at Meadowhall today, so I couldn’t resist calling in the Apple Store to try drawing on the new iPad Pro with the new Apple Pencil (the old Apple Pencil isn’t compatible with the new iPad).

It feels as if there’s no delay between the movement of the pencil and the line appearing: apparently they’ve got it down to just a few milliseconds. And they’ve also added a little bit of resistance, presumably to the tip of the pencil, to try to reduce the feeling that you’re drawing on glass.

In the very basic drawing program in Apple Notes, the colour I selected felt like using a large chisel-ended marker pen, but I think the sketches of passing shoppers that I made with the program’s virtual felt-tip pen produced results that would be difficult to distinguish from my efforts the real version of the pen.

Look forward to trying it out with Clip Studio Paint.

Wood Pigeon CSI

wood pigeon

sparrowhawkWhen we arrived home yesterday afternoon, we found a wood pigeon casualty on the back lawn, with a scattering of small downy feathers around it. A few moments later, Barbara spotted a bird of prey, probably a sparrowhawk, flying over the houses on the other side of the road, so perhaps we had disturbed it as we returned.

pigeon quill

In a sparrowhawk kill, there should be marks on the quills where the sparrowhawk has grasped the feather with its bill. Most of the feathers were too flimsy for this to show but on two of the larger feathers there were traces of marks.

It’s not conclusive but I think that sparrowhawk is most likely. We’ve had a cat visiting the garden that lurks in the flower border then pounces on the birds that have gathered around the feeding pole. We’ve yet to see it catch a bird but two days ago it chased a grey squirrel up the crab apple.

squirrelThe squirrel had to escape by leaping from the top branches into next door’s garden.

Perspective Ruler

perspective ruler

Perspective can be a bit of a struggle but, according to Italian comic artist Pietro B. Zemelo in a recent Clip Studio Paint webinar, ‘you can’t go wrong’ with the perspective ruler. I have gone wrong actually as I didn’t plot my vanishing points in quite the right place when trying it out on my iPad, but it’s a lot of fun to use.

I wonder if I could draw a set of steps . . .


Tips for Constructing Comic Pages with Clip Studio Paint webinar on YouTube. He also explains the mysteries of the ‘Lock transparent pixels’ button – something that I’ve never dared mess with – and explains the difference between the ‘Divide frame border’ and ‘Divide frame folder’ tools.

Pietro B. Zemelo on Facebook

Word Art

Fungi hand lettering

DalesI’ve been indulging in a bit of hand lettering, going through the opening Word Art chapter of a new free e-book from Apple Education,  Everyone Can Create: Drawing, On iPad. They suggest using Tayasui Sketches School, a free version of the drawing program, which is what I’ve used here.

decorated letterformsThere’s nothing too daunting but if you were to take your time to follow each of the suggested projects you’d have covered a lot of ground and you’d have thought a lot about different approaches to drawing.

The Everyone Can Create series of e-books is aimed at 5 to 18 year olds but it’s equally useful as a refresher course if, like me, you’ve been drawing for decades and you’ve settled into what could be a rather too comfortably familiar way of working. It’s good to get back to basics.

emoticonIf you can draw a smiley face, they suggest, you can make a start with drawing. I added a grey beard to my worried-looking emoticon.

Letterforms are a familiar way to get into drawing too, so they take you step by step through decorated characters, to 3D and inflated bubble lettering.

beans logo

Patterns and Lines



As I’m so keen on observational drawing that I tend to forget that a simple line on its own can carry meaning, for instance horizontal lines can evoke calm and jagged lines action. There are a few simple exercises to get you thinking about line, pattern and shape.


patternEveryone Can Create: Drawing, On iPad

Tayasui Sketches School

Drawing Harvey

Drawing a border terrier

Harvey is our joiner Simon’s border terrier, so I got another chance to draw him today as work on our new bathroom continued.

Harvey likes two things: to watch the world go by and to find a warm spot to settle down in, so our patio windows are a favourite for him; sometimes snoozing with head hidden behind the curtains for bit of extra seclusion.


This small, delicate-looking fungus was growing under deciduous trees, on a sparsely grassy verge by the track around the lake at Newmillerdam Country Park. They remind me of the little folded-paper parasols used to decorate a cocktail but this isn’t the parasol mushroom.

The caps in the background appear to be the older ones and, like the inkcap that I drew the other day, they are turning black around the gills, although I suspect that these aren’t closely related.

It might be a species of Mycena.

Wild Boar

The young wild boar is learning fast, perfecting its ability to turn up in the wrong place and cause a bit of a stir amongst the herd. It’s a wild boar’s survival strategy to push its snout into everything, so this is good practice.

I would have assumed that the big male boar would be in charge of the herd but he doesn’t seem to get his way with the sows, who emphatically stick up for themselves with a lot of outraged vocalisations.

In this iPad drawing from a photograph, I’ve limited my colours to three mid-tones, finishing off with a darker shadow version and an off-white tone for highlights.

Olympus OM-D E-M10II

My pen and watercolour wash drawing is just a couple of inches across. I soon realised that I should have had a better light on such a dark subject. When I bought the camera, I could have chosen the model in silver but, on the rare occasions when I’m photographing a subject behind glass, the black doesn’t show up in reflection.


How is it that sheep, as soon as you stop to photograph them stop behaving naturally and give you that ‘what are you doing?’ look before bounding away.

This is obviously one of this year’s lambs and its tail hasn’t been docked.

iPad drawing from a photograph.

Common Inkcap

Common inkcap at Newmillerdam. This one had been knocked over, revealing that its gills were turning to ink. Drawn on my iPad from a photograph taken with my Olympus Tough.