2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why an Ipad is a Great Tool for Artists

'Red Rocks are Calling' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting HERE paypal or check $125
I did it. I got the new Ipad. Of course I justified it by thinking up a list of ways the ipad can help me with art. Today I put it to the test by using the ipad and it's beautiful display screen to show my reference photo as I painted. I was very happy with how well it worked. The photo was bright and clear and the image was full of light....so much nicer than a photo printed on paper. I placed the ipad on a stand in front of my easel so it was if I was painting plein air and looking at the scene in front of me.

My reference photo shown on my new ipad

There are many ways to get reference photos on the ipad. You can save images you find online from copyright-free sources such as the Wet Canvas Image Library. You can add your own photos to the photo app. And if you have an ipad 2 or the newest ipad you can take a photo with the built in camera. A friend who just returned from a plein air pastel workshop told me that on a rainy afternoon everyone worked inside painting from their ipads. Many had snapped photos on their ipads before the rain started.

My Southwest Plein air Pastel Box

Today's painting is a scene from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. In two weeks I will be heading to Las Vegas for the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention. Here is a excerpt from their website:
"The Plein Air Convention & Expo in the Red Rock's of Nevada promises to be a historical part of today's plein air movement as hundreds of painters gather to learn, paint, visit with friends, fine tune their skills, and mingle with the top painters in the world."
Even though this is a plein air convention I wanted to travel light and I have pared down my supplies. Instead of bringing my Heilman box of pastels I put together my own set. It consists of my favorite Terry Ludwig Arid Landscape set along with some other colors that I think I might use such as more blues and oranges. I did today's painting with just this set and it seemed right. I will do a few more desert scenes before I go and tweak the set if necessary.

Using the ipad as a reference photo viewer is just one way an artist can benefit from an ipad. I am compiling a list for a future post so if you have an ipad use for artists you'd like to share just comment below!


Catherine M said...

I have the first generation iPad (HAD to have it right away) and I bought a little card reader for it, so I can load photos from my camera that way.

Karen said...

Thanks Catherine for mentioning the card reader. I too HAD to have the first ipad but we are giving the old one to family so I upgraded. The card reader is a great way to get your photos on the ipad.

Monica Burnette said...

I love using the art apps on my iPad2. You can do thumbnails or full-fledged digital paintings with apps like ArtRage. Sometimes it's a great way to paint when you only have a little time, or play with color combinations. Love it!

Mariela said...

You are always full of ideas! I love reading your blog!!

Maryann Didriksen said...

I recently bought an iPad as an art tool. I use it for photo reference, taking notes in Penultimate, and doing sketches, correcting , changing, and reworking paintings using ArtRage. I also play games, research, read, blog and answer emails while at my studio. I love it.

Karen said...

Thank you all for weighing in with your ipad favorites! I am making a list!

robertsloan2art said...

You're tempting me to save up for an iPad once I've got the rest of my stuff here from Arkansas - and to make an effort to paint and sell more to cover those expenses. I've been tempted for a long time anyway, but you've got a point about the good big screen and better clarity on it.

I love my iPhone camera. It's not even the 4S, just an iPhone 4 but the camera is the best I've ever had. I can only imagine how good the camera on the newest iPad is. That's having a studio, camera and sketch pad all in one very lightweight gadget, sturdier and easier to carry than a laptop.

Of course it's going to cost a lot unless I get it with a two year contract, that's something to think about - whether it's better to save up for it outright or get it sooner by getting a new bill.

RRoseman said...

I looked at the New Ipad next to the Ipad 2 and I really didn't see much of a difference in the image (the same image)! I waited for the new one to come out to decide but now i am thinking of getting the older version for less money. any thoughts?

RRoseman said...

I compared the new ipad and 2 side by side with the same image and both the salesperson and I didn't see a significant difference. I am leaning towards the 2 to save some money, Any thoughts ??

Karen said...

R, That's a good question! I decided on the 3 because I had the 1st ipad so I figured I should get the latest model. My son who is a graphic designer told me that for me to notice the screen improvement in the ipad 3 I would need to be taking higher resolution photos so Perhaps it isn't critical? Anyone have any thoughts?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

The card reader is invaluable to use with an iPad while travelling. However there are some issues to do with how you delete photos from an iPad which I have yet to get to the bottom of.

The other good use for the iPad is SKETCHING! :)

Karen said...

Hi Katherine!
I havent put too many photos on mine yet so will have to look into that issue more. I really don't want to overload it with photos....just some working reference photos, my portfolio and some of my dog :)

I agree...I am really enjoying the ipad for sketching!

rsbamberg said...

I love having my iPad for sketching, doing a practice "value study" with some of the apps, and color selection (saves paint/pastels)...makes me a bit more open re creative choices with a preview...before I get to the actual paper or board. Also, you can use the "iCloud" or "DropBox" programs on your home computer, iPad, and iPhone to store photos you take, and have them all auto-sync. Load one time on any one device, and you will have them on all!!

Corinne Murphy said...

OK!! That's it!! I've been putting off buying an iPad just because I didn't want to have to learn anything more!! I just got a new iPhone and am still trying to learn all the new stuff I have on my Mac with Mountain Lion!!! So all this techie stuff is pretty overwhelming for this brain!!! But all of you wonderful artists are enjoying yours so much and it seems to be soooo helpful, that I'm doing it!! TODAY!!! I'm so excited! Thanks everyone!!