June 12, 2012

Limitations = FREEDOM. #MadeWithPaper drawing app review.

You may have noticed a slightly different style appearing in some of my drawings here since I got the iPad 3. I bought several drawing apps – they’re luxuriously cheap and some have nearly all the bells and whistles of Photoshop or Illustrator.

But my special favorite is a very simple app called Paper by 53. You can’t zoom in it… …there are no layers …you can't change the brush size...and the colours are limited. So why do I love it so?

Just download the free app and take a look at the books.



Choose one and open it up. It feels nice.



The ink drivers flow beautifully, and the limitations actually force a creative thought process.



I find I don't want to be bogged down by too many choices.



I can tear away from the temptation of time-consuming perfection and detail.



Working within restrictions can somehow set you free.



I guess drawing in Paper is a lot like drawing on paper, but with a really great eraser!

Here’s a quickie guide:

  • The tool tray slides up and down. 
  • The quill is speed sensitive – the faster you draw, the thicker the line. 
  • The water colour brush will deepen the longer you linger. 
  • All colours are transparent, except black and white.  
  • A circular motion with two fingers on the screen counter-clockwise will undo. 
  • The page is not white, so white ink shows nicely. 



Everyone who draws with Paper can't help smiling.

I would change two things though – first, I’d offer more colour palettes. Not unlimited colours, but more trays of set colours. The current colours are starting to bore me; it’s hard to differentiate one artist from another cuz we're all using the same colours. Prolly good for the initial branding of a drawing app but it's getting old. And  secondly, since I’m a cartoonist it would be useful to make copies of drawings; that way I could work on a succession of drawings, with subtle changes between them.

The basic version of this app is free but if you want all the brushes they cost about $2 each. A whole $8. Also... Paper just won an Apple Design Award yesterday - Congrats!

I drew my three children on my iPad, using Paper and a Wacom Bamboo stylus.