Digital fan art by SiobhanLHancock

I got an iPad Pro a few months for drawing purposes. I’ve always been able to draw pencil on paper portraits but I never had much experience with colour of with other types of drawing.

I love cartoons, but draw them? That’s a whole different medium.

Rion Vernon inspired me to begin drawing cartoons back when I was 17/18. I’d print out his Pin Up Toons collection and sellotape them across my bedroom walls proudly.
‘Absolutely fascinated with them.
‘Always wanted to do them myself but they were never as good.

Pin Up Toons by Rion Vernon

My take on it:

Pin Up Toon attempt by @SiobhanLHancock

It’s a given when you are new to drawing cartoons, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the pencil.

The problem is, when you start to become a lot better in one area of drawing – like pencil portraits – you get scared of trying other types of drawing and putting it out there for the world to see. You have a story in your head that people have expectations of you. It’s daft but it’s crippling.

My lovely new hobby = Digital art

So I bought a lovely iPad Pro after months of asking myself the same question: “What if I suck at digital art and I’ve wasted all this money?”

iPads aren’t cheap. Mine cost me just over £1k and that was with my friend’s Student and Teacher discount. It was an ambitious spend. I didn’t have guaranteed future income at the time and I didn’t own any other Apple products.

I’m glad I took the plunge.

I think it’s fair to say, I’m still pretty rubbish at digital art compared to my pencil work, but oh lord I’m enjoying myself. I mean, what a fantastic piece of tech my iPad and pen is.

I use Procreate mostly, I dabble in Affinity Designer and Photo. I imagine when they release Photoshop for iPad in future I’ll move over once again. For now I’m really happy. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get creative.

I’m still in the exploring stage of using Procreate.
Do you remember when you first bought Photoshop and you added the lens flare filter to everything? Very cringey to think of now. Some of the brush tools in Procreate are quite similar and I’m adding them to EVERYTHING I do currently.
My Good Omens, Lost Odyssey and The Vampire Diaries fan art are covered in paint splatter type brushes. I can’t help it! I’ll look back and cringe at myself, I know.

Wielding the pencil

It’s my first love and always will be. I will always draw with pencils, I love it and I do love the compliments I get, I won’t deny it, but I do think there is room for more.
My iPad fun may be a phase, it may be lead to other roads, who knows?

I love the connection I have with pencil on paper. It’s not all about being artistic, it’s a sensory experience. I like the sound of sharpening my pencils and the feel of lead on paper. I love my tin of ‘janky’ pencils. Some really short, some never used, some with bite marks and thumb prints from pressing hard.
Blackened putty erasers in weird shapes and cheap ‘pug’ sharpeners from stationary packs I’ve been given at Christmas.

Twilight drawing by @SiobhanLhancock

You don’t get that same feeling with technology. Your items don’t have as much character to them. That’s the main difference.

As much as I love my iPad, I won’t be quitting the pencil. It may be awhile before I pick my pencil up again but I will find the balance soon.