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Sunday, May 18, 2014

iPad styluses for artists: What's the best stylus for painting, sketching & drawing on iPad?

Improve your iPad artwork using these five iPad styluses designed for sketching, drawing and painting.
There are so many amazing iPad apps for artists, the best of which we've reviewed here, but painting, drawing or sketching in those apps just using stubby fingers can feel a little clumsy, and we've found it often shows. That's why it's helpful to have an iPad stylus for precision and accuracy to get the results you want. Here's a round-up of the best iPad styluses (or styli) for artists we've seen.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus

At £84.99, Wacom's Intuos Creative Stylus is aimed at those who don't want to shell out for one of Wacom's Cintiq Companions but has an iPad at their disposal. It gives you the tip sensitivity of a Cintiq pen – that's 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity – and the professional, lightweight feel shared by the other Wacom stylus products.
Link it up to your iPad mini, iPad 3 or iPad 4 through Bluetooth 4.0, and you've got a ready-made Cintiq, to all intents and purposes.
Find out more about this stylus and watch a video of it in action in ourWacom Intuos Creative Stylus review written by Lizzie Mary Cullen

Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus

A less expensive option designed with painting in mind comes in the form of the Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus. It's not Bluetooth connected or pressure sensitive like the Creative Stylus, but it only costs around £30 and is actually really cool.
It's different from many of the other styluses we've seen because it takes the form of a paintbrush. That brush has metallic particles embedded into its bristles to make it conductive. There's also a rubber-tipped stylus at the opposite end, too.
Find out more about the Sensu Brush in our Sensu Brush iPad paintbrush review written by artist Pete Fowler.
If you like the idea of the Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus but aren't bothered about the rubber tip, you can get the slightly cheaper Sensu Solo that only includes the brush end (plus it comes in five rather nice colour options).

Ten One Pogo Connect

Another Bluetooth connected stylus now, this one from Ten One Design. You should be able to pick one up for £45, so it's quite a bit cheaper than Wacom's offering, though if you want the magnetically replaceable nibs you'll probably spend another £25 on those.
The basic Pogo Connect comes with a standard rubber tip, but there is a note-taking tip, precision tip, straight brush tip and angled brush tip available, all of which are pressure sensitive.
The bad news is that the Ten One Pogo Connect doesn't work with the iPad Air, as the company has found that changes to the newest iPad mean the stylus is incompatible. However, if you're content without the Bluetooth connectivity and extra tips, there are other Pogo styluses available for the iPad Air. 

Nomad iPad brushes

Similar to the Sensu Brush are Nomad's range of capacitive brushes for iPad. They're not the best-looking gadgets in the world, but they each have brush tips that make creating virtual paintings on an iPad feel much more like painting with real paint.
The Nomad brushes each cost around £25, and options include Nomad Compose with two types of brush tip, Nomad Flex with a more flexible brush tip and the Nomad Mini 2 with a retractable brush on one end and a rubber stylus on the other.

FiftyThree Pencil stylus

This last one is a bit different to the others in this list, but we've found that it's actually great for accuracy and speed. It's made by FiftyThree, the makers of the Paper app, so integrates deeply with the drawing and sketching software.
The FiftyThree Pencil stylus does uses Bluetooth, but not for pressure sensitivity like the other Bluetooth styluses in this round-up. Instead, it's used to implement features like palm rejection, multiple tools, blend mode with your finger, erase and more. These features only work in the Paper app, though. It'll cost you around £45, though it seems to be a tricky one to get hold of in the UK.
Find out more about the stylus in our FiftyThree Pencil Stylus review.

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