Written by contributing IMPACT author E.J. Su.
iOS and Android were traditionally created for media consumption, more so than a means of becoming a productive artist platform. However, recent advancements in both software and hardware have started to change this. As companies are beginning to realize the growing demand for professional grade content creation software, their devices are becoming equipped with faster and faster mobile chips and graphic processors.
LayerPaint is an amazingly engineered app to feed almost any artistic platform. It’s about 1.2 mb, compared to the Sketchbook Por’s 11 mb, and even though LayerPaint doesn’t have any fancy brushes, it’s ridiculously well engineered. It will let you create any sized canvas (as big as your device can support) which means I can actually produce printable artworks right on my phone if I wanted to.
LayerPaint only has a few basic brushes but most of the brushes are able to be customized so you can have your very own, personalized brush. Also, this is one of the few apps that features desktop style floating palettes, or windows, where you can drag and place the windows anywhere on the screen so they won’t be in the way when you’re trying to draw.
It features most of the standard function such as: Layers, Straight Line Tool, Fill and the Eyedropper. But there are also a few unique features that you’d be hard-pressed to find with other drawing apps; for instance, it comes with its own built-in pen calibration so that if you’re using a device that comes equipped with an active stylus, you can make sure the on-screen brush is as close to the tip of the pen as possible. Also, you can turn on auto-correction on your strokes so they wind up a little more smooth (not to mention that you can choose the level of smoothness, so to speak).
Another pretty interesting feature is your option to draw in aliased mode. It’s useful if you want to draw in black and white only because, by turning on alias lines, you allow the computer to respond to your strokes a lot quicker when you are working with very high resolution for print.
If you are interested in creating speed lines and focus speed lines, mostly heavily used in Japanese comics, there’s also a useful tool that lets you set a point of origin and all the lines you draw will radiate or pointing toward the point that you have established. Plus, there’s an angled restriction tool that will also let you create speed lines in any direction very quickly.
It would be cool to see them update the app in the future to include an Elipses Tool, so that you can draw elipses easily or even a Panel Tool of some kind to allow artists to create their preferred panels. In the end, this would turn an Android tablet into the ultimate mobile comic creation tool.
If you have an Android tablet that comes with an active stylus, and you love to sketch on it, or if you are looking for an app that you can create drawings large enough for publication, check out LayerPaint or LayerPaint HD for tablet.
E.J. Su is the author of Mechaforce: Draw Futuristic Robots That Fly, Fight, Battle And Brawl. You can follow his blog (HERE) or find more of his art in his gallery (HERE).
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