Saturday, 21 January 2012

Product review: A stylus for iPad sketching #1

I want to do a review of different styli (styluses) used for iPad Sketching. That's because this week I bought my second stylus for sketching having seen both the Hockney Exhibition at the RA on Tuesday - which includes his ipad sketches - and a video film of Hockney using a stylus for his iPad Sketching.

Now I want to know if there are any that are better.

I'm favourably impressed with the Griffin iPad Stylus that I've bought and below you can find a preliminary product review

However I now want to know more about what's available!  If any readers are using a stylus with your iPad can you please get in touch and tell me how you find the stylus you use - see end for more details.

Griffin iPad Stylus

Tree - an iPad and Stylus experiment
Tree - produced using an iPad, Brushes app and Griffin Stylus
I've bought a Griffin iPad Stylus from John Lewis for £14.95.  The Amazon website indicates that I can get one online at less than half price - just £7.39 - see Griffin Stylus for Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone



This is my second stylus.  The first one disappeared really fast and I think being light and completely black with just a bit of metal partly accounts for that.  They're a bit too expensive to lose on a regular basis so this time I've got to work out a way of:
  • being able to see where I've put it down faster (bear in mind I have pencils and pens everywhere!)
  • being able to secure it to the iPad so it doesn't get lost
The Griffin website store indicates that they do them in various colours - so all I need to do now is work out where to get one in my favourite colours.  However before I do that I want to see if there is a better stylus out there.


The general consensus is that it's easy to use and is particularly helpful for those with fat/large fingers and for those wanting to work creatively by drawing or sketching.

It has an omnidirectional rubber tip which is very sensitive and reproduces every characteristic of the stroke I used in the Brushes app exactly.  I use both pastels and pencils in a way which means they are held lightly - and I can do exactly the same with this stylus and get identical results.

I tried it first in line mode and then switched to the pseudo pastel stroke and has a great time varying the transparency of the scumble - see above sketch of an imaginary tree.  It all worked as I expected and I had no problems.  (Can I just emphasise the marks in the sketch are based on how I use pastels and do not reflect negatively on how the pen works!)

I also found that producing sketches speeded up enormously because now I could see the sketch while sketching rather than having it obscured by my hand.  It's also great for keeping your screen free from smears from fingers.  The clip on the end means I can fix it to the elasticated closure on my iPad cover.  However I'd still like a better way of keeping it secure.

One complaint is that the rubber on the end can disintegrate - and there's no obvious way in which this can be replaced.

I'll see how I can get on with it and will report back.  However initial impressions are very favourable - apart from the fact I lost the first one within 24 hours of buying it!

Here's a video of the animated sketching using the Brushes App



Griffin Stylus - Other reviews

Here's some links to reviews of this Griffin Stylus.  First a video review by somebody who draws and sketches



Is there any other stylus you recommend?

Serenity Caldwell at Macworld.com produced a comprehensive Macworld review Drawing on the iPad: 12 touchscreen styluses reviewed in May 2011.  This covers the Griffin Stylus which earns 3.5 stars.

See the charts at the end for details of how each did - plus the video below for an insight into what each looks like and how they work - and whether they are effective.



I know that one other stylus I want to try is the Wacom Bamboo Stylus

Is there any other stylus you've used for DRAWING and SKETCHING that you would like to recommend?


Please either leave a comment - which makes it easier to share with others - or email me (see "contact me" info in side column.)

4 comments:

Robyn Sinclair said...

I'd like to tru the Wacom too but am extremely happy with my Macally stylus which comes with a little brother. See here http://www.amazon.com/Macally-Stylus-iPad-iPhone-PenPal/dp/B0043GWD70

The rubber tip looks exactly like yours.

Chloe said...

I'm afraid I don't own an iPad so can't make any useful comments on styluses, but this post has made want one to use for drawing, it looks great!

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Katherine, I'm using the Bamboo and it's working well for me. You can replace the rubber tips and I bought a couple extra.

iphonesia said...


Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.

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