In this article I’m giving you my personal review regarding the iPad AIR 2019. The iPad is an amazing tool to draw but, before you buy it, you should consider some things like how you will use it exactly and for what kind of works. If you are considering buying an iPad to draw or make illustration this video can add up to your research regarding if you should buy or not this particular model. I should mention that this iPad has the PaperLike screen protector installed (link below).
If you prefer the video format please feel free to check the video regarding this topic on my youtube channel. If not, just skip it and continue with me in this article.
disclaimer: this is not a sponsored review. I’m just an artist that some months ago wanted to buy an iPad to draw. In the past I had one but I didn’t like the experience so I sold it. But it was in a time that there was no Apple pencil, pressure sensitivity, etc. Now, finally, I’m prepared to give the iPad another try.
I will not talk about tech specs also. There are a lot of youtube videos and articles talking about the tech specs of this iPad and in comparison with the other models. My review is a very personal point of view. Basically, I want to answer the questions: how is the experience of drawing on the iPad air? Is it worth it to spend that money? The answers are not so straightforward.
Why the AIR (2019 model)? I think it gives an amazing “price for value”. Yes, the second generation apple pencil is better, yes there is less delay, yes the iPad PRO has more processing capacity, etc.. that is all true but we are talking about another price point.
Why is it a good price for value? I will start with another question: A bigger screen isn’t better? Definitely, NO. As general rule of thumb, the bigger you draw, the more detail you have to put in your drawing. For someone like me that doesn’t like to spend so much time in one drawing, it is important to keep small formats. In 10 minutes I can be ok with a result. On the other hand, i like to draw on location. So, the portability of the iPad becomes something important. The bigger, the heavier. Besides that, it takes a lot of space in my bag.
How it performs in terms of drawing? Keep in mind that i’m using it with the Procreate app. First impression: it is slippery and it has a lot of reflections. The rest is amazing. The freedom of undo, using different brushes, colours, exploring new techniques, etc. it all adds to the experience. Of course, a lot of possibilities, in many situations, means confusion and uncertainty. I definitely would not recommend an iPad to someone that is just starting to draw. For that I have other advices for you. But for someone that is already drawing regularly, comfortable with pen and paper, then, why not? It will make your visual vocabulary more rich and it is a very good way of keeping you excited with drawing, encouraging new experiments. Which is something really important.
Pressure sensitivity is good. But keep in mind that for a lot of artists pressure sensitivity is not important at all. Although it is cool to play with it, it doesn’t necessarily means it is something essential. For example, on paper I usually draw with a Lamy fountain pen. And that is not pressure sensitive. You will just break the pen if you force the nib. What I’m saying is that a lot of artists don’t want the line to vary in weight according to the pressure they put on the nib.
Palm rejection is very important for writing but not necessarily for drawing. What I mean is that “palm rejection” (in drawing) is here to solve a problem that, in a way, should not exist. I advise you to draw with your wrist up and aligned with the top of your hand. Not down resting on the surface of the paper or screen. If you need some kind of support, use your pinkie finger to do it. To draw with your palm resting on the surface is a bad habit. Your line will be more stiff and that will be very visible on the overall drawing. Actually, a very good exercise is to draw without touching the surface in any way except for the tip of the pen or pencil.
You can tilt the pen. Again, something useful if you are used to tilt a pencil. Otherwise, not so important. But, hey, always nice to have those functionalities, right? more or less… it depends on if you are learning how to draw or more evolved. If you are just learning, it is just one more thing to create confusion. Too many options are not so good in the beginning. I’m a big fan of limiting resources in order to make the best out of the ones we are using in the moment. We will know them much better and we will be encouraged to explore new possibilities.
Another thing to pay attention is to the layer limitations on the iPad, in particular in the context of the Procreate app. The bigger the image resolution, the more limited you will be in terms of quantity of layers. This is not so important to me because I don’t like to work with too many layers and I’m always merging the ones I’m using. But if you are that kind of artist that likes to separate a lot of things in layers, keep this in mind. Maybe you should look for something more powerful like the iPad PRO.
It is definitely an amazing tool for my needs and tastes. I hope you enjoyed the article and, if you want to be notified about future post, feel free to subscribe it via email or RSS feed (you can find these options on the right side). If you have any questions, please drop them in the comments below so i can get back to you.
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