Found out last night about the Brushes app on the iPad! For only $9.99 from the App store you can pretty much use the iPad as a tablet, which I thought was crazy amazing.
So how was using the iPad as a canvas?
I've never used a tablet before, so to be honest it was quite difficult, making the transition from pen and paper to finger drawing and functions-pressing. Some effects you can create when manipulating a pencil or a brush dipped in watercolour paint, cannot be achieved when all you're doing is using your finger to drag across a computer-generated single block of line, which has no variance in itself.
Nonetheless the app does have some convenient nifty features- when you choose a colour from the colour wheel, you can also select a different saturation of the same colour, which is very useful when you're trying to add shadows and light.
There's even LAYERS- so if you're really paranoid you can set up different aspects on separate layers so you can work on something without ruining the previous layer. Or if you're into fashion illustration, you can draw a figure template and take down its opacity, to use it as a guideline for drawing clothes on top. The app also allows you to set the opacity for brushstrokes but I think that's pretty stock standard stuff.
The biggest hurdle for me was probably the fact that I was only using my fingers and not a stylus pen. I don't own one and I only ordered it (plus a case with a hole to fit the pen in!) last night. Because it was just my fingers it was much more difficult trying to achieve precision. I had to do a lot of zooming in and out, which is a little cumbersome, because when you zoom in you lose sight of the bigger picture.
What is also a little inconvenient is the time lag in choosing a brush size and setting its opacity, for which you have to (well for me at least) keep drawing test lines and then erasing them, to choose the right one. In real life it's easy to manipulate the tip of the paintbrush to get the thickness you want (and for watercolours, the opacity as well!)
This is the most I could do today on my iPad without owning a stylus pen. Not happy with the amount of time I took, but maybe I can be quicker if I had that damn stylus (or so I keep telling myself!) >_<
However I think only using my fingers was good practice for the App- it's good to start with the harder things sometimes.
The iPad is actually starting to look pretty useful lol. I got it last week so I could use it for uni starting in the next few weeks since my netbook crashes so often (and the battery life is pathetic). Until this morning all I had been doing with it is playing Magic Piano LOL and my sisters have been downloading ebooks from the App store. What's great about the ebooks is that you can download free samples, where you're given the first couple of chapters, which is pretty generous to me. However the store's selection is actually pretty limited (it seems dominated by sappy sap romance and sci-fi novels...so not my cup of tea).
I'm very, very glad that I'm now starting to find some pretty nifty uses for the iPad!