I have been drawing on my iPhone for three years. I am thinking of quitting. The reason is that I like to draw. Not paint. Draw. There is a plethora wonderful painting apps. There are almost two good drawing apps.
The great thing about drawing with a pencil or dip pen or brush is the ability to make interesting lines. On iDevice apps lines are about as interesting as Boring McBoring from Borington. No matter which brush you choose in any app, the line is the width you set it, not thicker, not thinner. So dull.
App designers have tried to disguise this with lots of differently shaped brushes or strokes that are slightly varied right at the beginning or the end. These are not good disguises. (In may cases they are not disguises at all; they are designed for and work very well as painting brushes.)
Procedural brushes are not the solution. They may be ‘fun’, but think about the concept in the real world. If you were trying to draw a picture on a piece of paper would you tolerate someone reaching over your shoulder scribbling junk around and across every single stroke you make? I want interesting strokes, not a screen full of ‘fun’ gunge.
Exactly what I want is a simple drawing app that makes fat lines when I draw fast and thin lines when I draw slow. That’s it.
Zen Brush does this, but uselessly backwards. And it stupidly has no zoom.
There are nearly two apps that do it right.
The first is my former favourite Vellum. Unfortunately, it was never updated for iPhone 4, it is no longer in the App Store, and it seems to work less well with every iOS update.The second is TypeDrawing. TypeDrawing works exactly like a drawing app should. The interface is superb. You can export high resolution images. And — this is the important bit — if you
- use - or | as your text
- set your font to Futura Bold
- turn on Vary size by speed
- set the tracking to -200
you can Actually Draw! When you draw fast and bold, the lines are thick. When you move slow and carefully, the lines are thin. Here are a couple examples:
It’s not perfect. But if the tracking could to go to -300ish and there way to get better shapes to draw with, it would be close enough. At the moment it is not close enough to allow me to draw happily.
Right now, I can’t find anything in the whole wide world of apps that will let me draw happily. So I am thinking of going back to paper and scanning. I am kind of sad about that. I carry around the most amazing little machine in the world and I can’t use it to Just Draw A Pretty Picture.
Will someone please tell me that I have somehow missed the perfect app?
Will some app designer PLEASE make a lovely happy drawing app?
(With apologies to Abigail, David, Jonathan, Maachah, The writer of 2 Samuel and God.)
David, are you… you know… with blokes?
No! Why would you think that?
It’s just — I’ve been reading your eulogy for Jonathan, and you kinda say—
It was hyperbole! My best friend just died. It’s okay for me to say nice stuff about him!
People are going to think you’re gay.
I have four wives! How is that gay?
Look, I don’t have time for this. I have to do reigning and stuff.
Jonathan’s love better than the love of women?
It’s just that you said it was. I mean, I know you didn’t have sex with him, but did you like him more than me?
You answered that really quickly.
That’s because it’s true! Do I have to answer at a certain speed for it to be true?
You did spend a lot of time with him.
He was my mate. Of course I did.
So was that better? Drinking wine with Jon boy at the donkey track?
Yes! I mean not better, but—
Because that wasn’t what you were saying the other night when I did that thing!
Abigail, Jonathan was my best friend. That’s all. You are my wife. I love you so much more. And anyway, it’s completely different. Do you want me to change the poem? I’ll change it. It’s not like it rhymes anyway.
No, don’t change it. I’m sorry. I’m just a little sensitive since you married Maachah
That was just a political thing. You know you’re the girl for me.
I love you, David.
I love you too, Abby.
Was Jonathan’s love better than the love of Maachah?