This month, I tried out the app, Ideas, from Adobe. It’s a vector drawing app for the iPhone/iPad. The app was free when I downloaded it about a month ago. I am not too sure it still is. I didn’t have much time to use it before, and I find the whole “finger painting” just doesn’t do it for me. But for Father’s Day I got a rather nice stylus so it was time to put this drawing app thru its paces.

First off, the iPhone make for a rather small canvas. You can zoom in quite a bit and hide most of the interface which was a big help. And drawing with a capacitive touch stylus isn’t quite the same as drawing with a Wacom stylus or even a real pen. Since capacitive touch screens are designed with a finger in mind, the surface area of the stylus is a bit large. Means trying to connect up different lines you’ve drawn is kinda hard to do. Either long, deliberate strokes or short sketchy lines seem to work best.

Oh, and a quick warning. There’s no revert feature. If you screw up a drawing, it might be difficult to get back to a place where you left off. I’d suggest you always work from a copy of you file rather than the actual file. That way if you screw up royally, you can always go back a copy. I understand 3D people and web people are used to working this way. You also have up to 10 different drawing layers. Doing different parts of a drawing on a different layer might also help with a lack of revert to save.

The drawing tools are pretty basic. There’s a pencil, brush, and marker tool. You can adjust colour, opacity, and brush size. I was wanting some larger brushes. There’s also a paint bucket tool to fill in large areas with colour.

Once done, you can share the image on Facebook, Twitter or email a PDF. I think it can also save your drawing to Creative Cloud if you have it (I don’t). The PDF it generates is huge. The art board was almost 60 inches square! The file was also RGB so print guys beware. Converting vector RGB to CMYK can be a messy affair. The complexity of the file wasn’t too bad. This drawing of my son I made generated quite a few shapes and a lot of anchor points, but was still somewhat acceptable.


Find out more about Adobe Ideas here:

Adobe Ideas on the iTunes Store

Adobe’s John Nack’s blog

Some really great artwork examples