The other day I was in Japan, I went to Tokyu Hands, (the place where you can find all the shit you never knew existed
) and within I found an interesting product, it was from my (least) favorite brand, wacom so that's sorta how I knew it's purpose on first sight. It was a touchscreen pen, you know like these rubber things people sometimes use on touchscreens, mostly aimed at eccentrics who hate dirty screens (like myself
but I also hate touchscreens to begin with so I had no incentive to buy one)
But this one was unique in such a way that it didn't have a rubber nib, according to wacom it has a carbon fiber nib and it glides across the surface of the screen with practically no resistance! (It actually feels rather similar to my digitizer which has a hard plastic nib on a glass surface)
The product in question is called bamboo solo, I wasn't convinced at first but luckily the product could be tested before buying, so I got on the wifi, downloaded Corel Painter Mobile, and tried to see how it felt. I was surprised at how smooth it was, it's basically exactly the way I like it. There's only one downside and that is that there is no pressure sensitivity available (there's also that it's a wacom product so it cost 2000yen, not exactly cheap for a pen). However I've been practicing for 2 months with a basic pen on paper, it has something in common with the "Bamboo Solo", traditional pens don't have pressure sensitivity either
they don't even have tilt support either
(ballpoints do, or so I hear, but I haven't been using ballpoints).
So, that's all good. If you buy this bamboo solo all you need to be able to draw good shit on your smartphone while you're sitting on the train/bus/airport/boring birthday party/etc is a good brush engine.
The reason I chose Painter Mobile over anything else is because I know from trying most popular digital painting applications that nobody (except maybe Black INK) has Corel beat when it comes to brush engines, corel painter may be a pretty meh app all around but it makes up for it by having the by far best brush engines available, and to a digital painter I'd argue that paint engines are everything. You can have a few badly implemented features, annoying selection tools, bad layer system, etc, etc, these things can all slow your process down a little, but the quality of your results will be dominated by how far the brush engines can be pushed and how well they resonate with your skill. Therefore, painter mobile was the obvious choice, it has a 7 day free trial (more than enough for me at the time)
And here are the first 3 things I managed to draw. (On a train)
All using the provided sketch brush. This brush can actually be fairly unpredictable which is one of it's virtues (Scribble just random shit and you will get funny ideas for what to draw, doodling with this is a heavenly joy
), I don't have pressure sensitivity and I didn't use textured brushes, but I was able to create textures and shading and everything with just this one brush (I guess you could ague that this is a textured brush tho). Naturally I was quite impressed by this brush engine so just for that I was more than willing to pay the 5$ the full software costs (that's nothing for being able to draw on my smartphone man!). Since then I've drawn a bunch more stuff too, in airports mostly (I was 28 hours going from japan back home yesterday
But yeah, I never knew it was possible to draw in your smartphone, I never even considered the possibility of using a pen without pressure sensitivity, but this is wonderful and if you get creative you can find solutions to every problem that arises by not having pressure sensitivity. That's what digital painting is all about anyways
finding solutions to your strange problems.
I don't think I'll ever go anywhere again without my smartphone and bamboo solo
I have a bunch of games on my phone, but this is way more fun!