First Week with an Apple Pencil

Before I got an Apple Pencil last week I wasn’t sure how much I would use it; now I can’t put it down. It’s reignited a part of my brain that’s been practically dormant for years; as I kid I used to draw endlessly—until, somewhere along the line, computers got in the way. I feel as if finally, after decades, technology has finally dovetailed with that part of me that used to pour myself into making pictures.

These are some drawings that I made over the weekend with Pencil and Adobe Illustrator Draw, which is vector based. That combination is really profound for me. It’s not like working with a replication of real world art supplies, though obviously many of the same principles apply. The difference is that I’m drawing in a way that’s native to the tools; the vector engine allows you to zoom in and out incredibly quickly, and so I can work at very, very fine levels of detail. There’s also unlimited undo, which makes me much bolder in making marks, and much more willing to experiment. Finally there’s also an unquantifiable character to the way the strokes I make with the Pencil are interpreted as lines by the app that’s much more forgiving—and fun—than drawing with pen and ink, at least for me.

I’m not saying that these are remarkable pieces of work, just that they were really, really gratifying to make. I felt better about these drawings than I have about any drawings I’ve made in at least the past ten years. That’s what technology is supposed to do; make you feel like you have super powers.

Faces I Drew with an Apple Pencil
This was the first major drawing I did with the Apple Pencil and Adobe Draw. These faces were drawn from my head.
Star Wars Characters, Made with an Apple Pencil and Adobe Illustrator Draw
Afterwards I started drawing with my kids and did these characters from “Star Wars.”
Che, Made with an Apple Pencil and Adobe Illustrator Draw
After watching Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” (starring Bencicio del Toro), I drew this portrait and combined it with a map of Cuba in Adobe Comp CC.