Wednesday, April 20, 2011

iPad Sketch Using Artrage App - by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Last time I posted about using the Sketchbook Pro app on the iPad. This time I'm doing my Daily Sketch using the Artrage app. It costs $6.99 in the iTunes store, which seems ridiculously cheap to me when you consider how much desktop art apps cost.

 As I've mentioned before, I try to do at least one sketch just for fun every day. Since I work mostly digitally, I sometimes sketch on my iPad instead of with a Wacom tablet and pen.

Because the art apps I use don't let you move layer contents, I usually start with a very rough shape layout, to make sure my drawing isn't going to run off the edge of my workspace.

Note the user-friendly left-hand display of art tool choices. In the screenshot above, I have the crayon selected.

Next, I create a new layer above the sketch and do the line art. At this point I can hide or delete the sketch.

Next, I create another layer below the line art for color. I like the watercolor brush in Artrage, so decide to select that tool. There's a bit of a lag when you're drawing, but I don't mind this for a sketch.

Above: As I add more color, I fiddle with the brush size and other settings.

I like the way the digital watercolor paint interacts with any paint already on the canvas.

Because the number of layers is much more limited in the app than a desktop art program, I frequently merge layers to make room for new ones.

Above: I use the paint roller brush on a layer below everything else to create a simple background. I add a signature and here's the final sketch:

You can find more info (and some great tutorials) on how to use Artrage on the Artrage website.

Check back next week for Fred Koehler's post!


To see my other sketches as well as find out more about me, please see If you're interested in digital publishing / e-books / creativity on the iPad (especially related to children's publishing), follow @iPadGirl on Twitter.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is illustrating a picture book by Michael Ian Black, coming out from Simon & Schuster in 2012. Represented by Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown.


  1. Thanks for the demo Debbie. Which software do you prefer, Sketchbook or Artrage?

  2. Yikes! $6.99 - it's less than a margarita! I love those brushes. Thanks for sharing the process Debbie.

  3. Russ: I prefer Sketchbook's user interface, but that may be because I started using Sketchbook first so am more familiar with it.

    Hazel: I'm amazed at how inexpensive some of these apps are, Hazel.

    Errol: Thanks. :-)