Paper by Fifty-Three

A few months ago I did a study on what would be the best iPad stylus out there. There are tons of vendors creating them, products such as the Pogo Sketch, Wacom Bamboo, Kensington Virtuoso Pen, Adonit Jot Pro, Applydea Maglus, and many others. I finally picked one based on effectiveness, handling, weight, and price. The results I wrote a blog post entitled, “Wacom iPad Stylus.”

Since then I had a chance to try several iPad drawing apps. Listed below are some of my favorites. Here is a summation of why I like them and what the minor glitches are:

1. Paper by Fifty Three

  • Has 5 essential tools: Sketch, Draw (fountain pen), Outline (marker), Write (pen/pencil), and Color (brush). There is also a color mixer tool that can give customizable hues.
  • The Wacom Bamboo Stylus works very well with their app. In fact, they even recommend it!
  • Basic free is the Draw pen that variate from thin to thick lines. You also can create as many Journal notebooks that can have a customizable front cover.  This can be spread out to a full landscape or portrait canvas.
  • You can edit photographs, send an entire notebook via email, or select a page in a notebook and send via email, camera roll, or popular social media sites such at Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Each tool costs $1.99, or you can purchase all in the essentials kits for $6.99. The color mixer is another $1.99.
  • Cannot do portrait notebooks.


2. Sumopaint

  • Very powerful drawing app with a myriad of tools! Aside from the standard brushes, you can have flowers, spoon, grass, butterflies, and other unusual shapes.
  • It has digital editing tools that match the likes of other desktop editing tools, just has symmetry, brush setting adjustments, spacing, angle, size, gravity, and orientation.
  • Absolutely fun to use! Even your 3 year old can make a kaleidoscope of patterns!
  • You can edit digital photos or draw on them. The share settings is per drawing and can be sent via Facebook, Twitter, Email, your photo album, or share via Sumopaint’s online gallery!
  • Very intuitive and easy to use interface.
  • Cost effective at $1.99 for the entire app!
  • This app because gives a lot of tool options and control, yet it is still very much fun to use!

3. Wacom Bamboo Paper

  • As a standalone free app you get 2 tools: the Pen and Marker. You also receive a free Thinker Notebook, and you can create as many of these as you want. You are able to customize the color and title of the covers. The notebooks also has a choice of paper types, from lined, graphing paper, composition lines, and tasks. The notebooks can be lined in either landscape or portrait format.
  • The additional creative tools of Pencil (sketching and drawing), Brush Pen, Watercolor Brush, and Crayon (has a colored wax texture) can be individually purchased for 99 cents each. But you can avail of the creative pack that gives you all tools for $3.99, and a free Artist Notebook which you can have different customizable covers and papers types that reflect textured papers and canvas.
  • There are other types of notebooks offered for 99 cents each: The Maker for sketching or drawing and The Writer for journal writing.
  • All Bamboo notebooks have a password protect feature.
  • The sharing abilities are an absolute delight! You can email an entire notebook or a page in a notebook and chose to send it as a Bamboo Paper (essential a .jpg file) or as a PDF file. This option is also available if you choose to send it via apps Dropbox or Evernote. And you also the ability to print!
  • Other sharing options limited to a page in a notebook are sending them to your photo album, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.
  • Other tools include: Zoom function so you can create more fine lines and detail in a specific area, the Annotate function so you can add images/photos to a page and sketch on it, Bookmark ability on a page, and each of the six stylus tools can choose a width range.
  • The notebook has a selection of 36 colors. It does not offer color customization.

Among the three tools, I use Bamboo Paper the most because it has a versatility of uses – from notebook to sketchpad. The other apps do not offer the variation of notebook paper, which is essential in distinguishing what I can use the notebook for. I have created a total of three notebooks thusfar: Work, Personal, and Sketch. I also like the PDF export option of Bamboo Paper. Often times I would write down meeting minutes and send this as a PDF file to my work email. If I have a sketch I wanted to see in hardcopy, I can easily send the drawing to a printer.

The drawing tools of Bamboo Paper is also fun to use. Although I am not an artist nor do I have drawing talent skills, I like to doodle some images, and Bamboo Paper has sufficient tools for what I want to do.

Here are a sample drawings using Bamboo Paper. What do you think?

20130927-092759.jpg bagpic

20130927-092808.jpg planterpic

74 Responses to Drawing on your Tablet

  1. Joyce says:

    I like your blog!
    will comment back

  2. Robin Rue (masshole Mommy) says:

    My kids love to draw, so I bet they would like these apps. But I need to get them a stylus first.

  3. Jeanette says:

    OHHH! NOW I need a tablet! I love to draw! This would be perfect for me!

  4. mary says:

    Hmm I didn’t know about any of these before this post. I would love to use them to edit digital photos. As long as they work on the ipad mini too then I’m in business. Thanks

  5. Wow! This is pretty cool. I never even thought about drawing on a table. There are so many cool things you can do.

  6. Amy Ditmore says:

    Those look so cool, I wish I knew how to draw and sketch. My niece would love something like this though!

  7. Megan Elford says:

    I need to check out these options for my son. He’s quite the artist, and goes through sketch books and printer paper like nobody’s business. I never thought about giving him a digital option, but it makes so much sense!

  8. Amanda says:

    Wow, these are some absolutely amazing apps and resources. I am not the best at drawing, but I would love to be able to take some free time to show my creativity–isn’t it better for the brain? Thanks for introducing me to so many things I knew nothing about. Now I just need to remember to get an awesome stylus for my 93 year old Nana to use her Ipad.

  9. My son loves to draw on our tablet. We have kept everything that he has created so it’s really neat seeing how his drawing has improved. I will need to check out these options for Noah. He’s going to love them!

  10. lisa says:

    I had no idea any of these products were out there! I would love to be able to color on my tablet with these.

  11. My daughter loves to draw, this would be fantastic. Such advances technology is creating. Thank you for sharing, I had no idea that apps like this existed.

  12. I’ve been thinking as well about an iPad stylus. Thankfully, you had all of them listed here. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I have not seen this before. I would love to try a drawing tablet. I will have to check this out.

  14. Cool apps! I did not know that there were such things! I will download one of these apps to improve my creative side. I’ll let my high school batchmate know about this too. She just recently took lessons in painting.

  15. These are awesome drawing apps for the tablet. I will have to share these with my sister for her and my niece who both love to draw. I would probably Wacom Bamboo Paper app if I had a tablet. Thanks for sharing the information.

  16. victoria says:

    This is so cool! My kids would loves to draw so much. I will gonna check this out.

  17. Ashley says:

    This seems like so much fun! Love what you have drawn so far. I’ll have to check this out!

  18. Melissa says:

    I may be the last person on the planet that does not own one of these things! I need to though it seems everyday I find a use for one and I want one now!

  19. Wow, this is something I have been looking for for my daughter. She love to sketch and this would be great for her.

  20. Britni says:

    I had no idea you could do so much drawing on just a tablet. Makes me want to get a new tablet and start learning more!

  21. Esme Sy says:

    These apps sound fun. I’ve got a nephew who loves to draw. I will share this with him.

  22. I don’t have a lot of use for drawing on the tablet, but while sitting in the doctors office or any other appointment, my son is always searching for free apps to draw on. This is worth looking into for my kiddos! ~MS

  23. That looks like so much fun. I am not sure if I would be good at drawing anything, but it sure would be fun to play with.

  24. Jaime Nicole says:

    This looks absolutely amazing. Both of our kids love to draw and paint – they would adore this for their tablets!

  25. Nickida says:

    Your drawings all look great. I am horrible at drawing and I know nothing about drawing pads or things like that. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Digna says:

    I don’t have an iPad but I would love to use these apps! This will be perfect for my jewelry designing!

  27. MommyPehpot says:

    That’s a great drawing!

    I would love to try the tool and let my kids use it. They love drawing on tablet too.

  28. Paper is one of my favorite. I have a few stylus but they just don’t feel good in my hand. I need to test out some others.

  29. I haven’t used my tablet in years. You’be just motivated me to dust it off and start using it for creativity.

  30. Well, this is so impressive – I don’t have an iPad, but this is making me want one – and I do have a stylus for the pad I use…Maybe I need to look more into that – as your ideas and drawings are so fun sounding

  31. My daughter loves to draw and would enjoy something like this.

    She used my husband’s drawing tablet and enjoyed it. I don’t know what brand his is though. It has come in handy for signing docs.

  32. Ricci says:

    This looks like such a cool app!! I love drawing apps so I bet I will love this one!!

  33. RonRon says:

    Nice apps for drawing. Art and drawing lovers will surely love it.

  34. Steve says:

    This is helpful. Always wondered which app is the best for drawing. I need to try Bamboo Paper. You get a lot for what they charge.

  35. I am not an artist and I don’t use my tablet to doodle, but I’ve seen some amazing pieces created on a tablet.

  36. That is so cool!! My little sister is amazing at drawing, but I am not. I wonder if I can do this!

  37. CourtneyLynne says:

    Oooooo I never really gave drawing on my tablet any thought!!!! I think this could be fun

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