Comic book

Review: Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil has become my MVP comic book art tool for 2017. Combined with the iPad Pro, it gives me incredible control, versatility, and style.It also has untethered me from my desktop and laptop computers and allows me to have greater mobility and flexibility about when and where I do my artwork. It's also nice for the note-taking application. You can write and scribble just as easily as you can draw on it. It's much more than a simple stylus.

I've used a Wacom tablet and stylus for years and this doesn't even compare. Drawing and painting directly on the screen and being able to zoom in and rotate make it a much more natural tool. The Apple Pencil has a perfect weight, feeling solid in your grip. It holds a charge for many hours, outlasting even the iPad. If the battery does get low, it only takes a few minutes to go from empty to an hour of usage. There isn't much in the way of settings. You just pop the cap off the back and plug it into the iPad's charging port and it connects via Bluetooth and begins charging.


Combined with the ProCreate app on the iPad Pro, it comes close to the drawing and painting capability you can get with Adobe Photoshop. The pressure sensitivity is amazing, and I can easily create many brush widths and densities while painting and drawing. I've even been able to make use of some of my old pen & paper drawing tools, such as French curves and circle templates. The relation to the old school items is pretty uncanny.

I've had to learn to be careful with it. It's not a regular pencil, but I've treated it like one. I stuck it in my back pocket and then got into the car and heard it crack. It was only the plastic near the back end, and it still works fine, but I did mess it up. I wrapped tape around the end of it, so the charging port doesn't pop out and it's got full functionality. It's not as pretty as it once was, but I didn't wreck it enough to justify buying a new one yet. I also left it on the pew in church once and luckily found it still sitting there the next day. It's a little heavy to stick behind my ear, so I'm still looking for a safe and secure spot to stow it when not in use.

In closing, the Apple Pencil is a tool I use almost daily. It's one of those things I would have to replace immediately if I lost or broke mine. It's completely changed the way I do comic book drawing, and I don't think I'll ever work the same way again. I can't recommend it highly enough. I got mine at Amazon with Prime and free overnight shipping.

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