Over the past few days, I’ve been on a big art kick partially inspired by a recent video Chris Pirillo did where he gave a complete tour of his iPad to a live audience on YouTube. This tour included an incredibly vast array of drawing and painting apps, each with their own set of features to bring to the table. Out of all of them, ArtRage was the one Chris pointed out as being possibly the ultimate drawing app currently available on the iPad. After purchasing and trying this app out myself, I couldn’t agree more.
ArtRage for iPad is designed to be a touch-friendly equivalent to the desktop app for Windows and OS X. What surprised me most about this app was how quickly I came to realize that the designers not only didn’t sacrifice the overall look and feel of the app, but the touch qualities may have actually improved on what the desktop version brought to the table. With ArtRage for iPad, the idea of sitting on a deck chair and working out a masterpiece while sipping a fruity drink with a tiny umbrella seemed more than possible. Too bad I don’t have a deck, or a tiny umbrella.
The tools available to the user include everything from a crayon to a palette knife. Each tool has a variety of different options to adjust how your touch is translated to the canvas. For example, a palette knife can smooth out chunks of paint, smear them, or perform a variety of other motions. In fact, you can even customize details about each stroke down to the pressure applied, drip spread, color drag, and size of the instrument. Without a doubt, ArtRage has more options that both the amateur and professional artist can use to make each stroke uniquely their own than any other program in its class.
ArtRage seems to be geared more towards the serious art student and artist, allowing for mockups to be created prior to the actual painting, so artists can create a plan of attack before tackling the artwork on a more expensive physical canvas medium. Alternatively, digital art created with ArtRage can be exported to a digital image 1400 by 1400 pixels, making it one of the highest resolution images possible in any drawing app on the platform. Because it appears to be geared towards more experienced artists, the extremely vast amount of options and tools may be overwhelming for new users. Starting your painting and using the basic brushes is easy enough, but if you really want to delve deeply into the tools available to you, patience is the key.
Where ArtRage for iPad has serious appeal is in its ability to be easily transferred between your iPad and your desktop computer, allowing you to finish a project started on the iPad on your desktop where fine-tuning is possible through the larger screen.
Over all, ArtRage for iPad is a brilliant offering. ArtRage is to painting what Photoshop is to graphics manipulation. While casual users and youth may appreciate simplicity found in other painting apps, serious artists and students will no doubt find the kind of control over the tools possible through ArtRage to be invaluable. At $4.99, ArtRage for iPad is well worth the asking price.