Process is everything, even when drawing digitally. The Craft 3 Installer illustration was drawn entirely on an iPad using the Apple Pencil in Procreate.
I plotted the general concept/layout by blocking in shapes on tracing paper using a fat blue marker. Once I had the general idea down, I took a photo of the page, imported it into Procreate and began drawing the individual shapes.
In Procreate, I worked at approximately 2.5X the size of the final illustration to make sure the resolution would hold up for retina displays —This illustration measures: 28" x 14".
The following samples show the illustration in various stages of completion. One of the tradeoffs for the portability of the iPad as a drawing studio is layering. When I drew this piece, layers were limited to 15. In total, this illustration comprised at least 100 layers. In order to finish the illustration, I had to draw a quadrant, duplicate the file, collapse the previously drawn layers and start a new file with a fresh set of layers. In all, I saved out the file six times. The fourth image shows the variable content box and the dotted line — I pulled the illustration in to Adobe Illustrator to create the line, then in Procreate shifted around the individual images to accommodate the variable content area and the dotted line. Final tweaks to object placement were made in Photoshop.
I saved each version as a PSD and exported each to Dropbox or Airdropped the files for safe keeping and/or import into Adobe products.
The finished illustration
Working with the iPad
The iPad is a marvelous drawing tool. But it does lack some of the drawing power of a Cintiq or tablet-based computer. No, the iPad doesn't offer you the ability to work directly in Photoshop or Illustrator. And you shouldn't care. End of story. You'll figure out a process that works for you. No other drawing tool can match the feel of drawing that the iPad offers. And no other tablet is anywhere near as portable.
- Get a simple foldable stand (don't draw on a flat surface) you can easily carry with you. There are dozens of options. I'm using the Steklo stand and cut down the prongs that hold the iPad using a Dremel tool.
- Buy a finger cushion. The one you see on my pencil is by Ergo. Thank me later.
- Get a matte screen protector — the slight texture will provide enough resistance that it will feel like you are drawing on paper.
- I also use an artist's glove to help prevent goobering up the drawing surface — you can make one yourself. I'm lazy.