Ten Advantages of Painting Professionally With Your iPad

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'Self Portrait' by Adam James Butcher
iPad painting using the Inspire Pro application

The aim of this blog is in no way to put down other traditional painting techniques and materials. It should also be known that I am in no way affiliated to Apple or any other application and that this blog is written purely out of a desire to inform you of new emerging and exciting art practices. I hope instead to encourage fine artists to continue opening up to the possibilities of using new technologies as a creative way forward. I come from a very traditional background and have a deep respect of age old established values.

It is also worth mentioning that I am not a digital artist or illustrator who relies on using Photoshop to create my work. I paint 'en plein air' and from direct observation making the iPad one of the most effective tools for my purposes.

I've noticed that people often ask why I chose the iPad and if I like working with this tool. I thought we'd have some fun today as I share with you the top reasons why I choose the iPad as my new creative companion.

The list is in no particular order:

  1. The iPad is extremely versatile. It can easily be carried around allowing me more flexibility when painting 'en plen air'. I can disappear to the back of a cafe and paint all day without distraction or being noticed.

  • As a professional portrait artist, my iPad gives me instant access to online resources, my sketch book, visual journal, social media, painting tools, office, studio, portfolio, past work, social media, Research, contacts etc.
  • The backlit screen mean that the colours I use are so much more vibrant than colours made from solid substances. The colours are light itself in its purest form. This means you can paint easily at night or in low lighting situations.
  • There is no mess and minimal tools equals virtually no distraction from the act of pure observation. Less distraction allows me to pay more attention.
  • The ability of applying infinite glazes or layers of colour and playing back the process of each painting are a few of the practical benefits.
  • I can send a digital painting from Mexico where I live to my gallery in Europe without having to mail it and they can display it in a number of ways.
  • I can share high quality (but low enough resolution not to be printed professionally) images of my work instantly on multiple social media platforms which has enabled me to build a growing international collector base.
  • The iPad is a relatively inexpensive painting tool that is surprisingly durable and hard wearing.
  • Working with fast changing cutting edge technology means that I am able to keep up with the latest developments and use them creatively to inform my work.
  • The latest drawing applications allow me to use the iPad as an effective portable sketchbook and visual journal where I can collate my ideas on the go. I can collect video, sound and photographic evidence easily and efficiently.
  • Obviously the iPad has it's downfalls too, like any other professional artist medium.

    1. The iPad needs to be charged regularly. If this means being organized and occasionally taking a break from painting, then fine.

  • The size of the working space and the scale of the finished outcome are still quite limited. Although, with the upcoming launch of the iPad pro, this will no longer be a real issue.
  • Technology isn't always 100 percent reliable but neither are canvases, brushes or paint for that matter.
  • There is a tendency for people to dismiss art made digitally on an iPad. Well, all serious artists know that the quality of art is not based solely on the medium used and instead on the ideas that underpin the work.
  • The quality of printing varies enormously and this becomes an important part of the process of finishing. There are, however, many amazing options available.
  • It is very challenging to paint in full sunlight. Have you ever painted in full sunlight? It's not easy even with paint. Ideally you need to find something in between shade and full-on sunshine. The iPad comes into its own when there is little or no light.
  • I would love to hear from other painters who use the iPad. What has your experience been like? Want to know more about my work as an iPad artist? Then subscribe to my fan page and leave a comment once you've connected to my social media!