Apps for Doodling on the iPad

A couple of years ago, during one of my creative slumps, I got caught up in the Zentangle craze. It was a wonderful way to infuse a small amount of creativity into my daily routine. When I needed some line art for making polymer clay tear away textures, I simply scanned a collection of my favorite tiles. (Btw, if you would like directions on how to do polymer clay tear away texture, Celie Fago has excellent instructions in her book on KeumBoo on Silver)

Unfortunately, the drawn lines on my old Zentangle tiles were simply too thin for the tear away technique. While I was pondering how best to draw some new art, it occurred to me that my iPad would be a great tool for doodling and manipulating my doodles. One of the advantages of drawing on an iPad is that you can enlarge the area you are working on, so that you get the look you want and then shrink it back to regular size.  You can also copy and repeat elements.  Ultimately you can draw a library of images which can then be used at a variety of sizes for different projects.  You can cut and paste and combine elements from several drawings into one.  Here are my favorite apps for iPad doodling:

SpiroDoodle makes fun kaleidoscope like doodles. It’s inexpensive at just $0.99.  It’s really easy. You can change the number of points as well as the width of the line.  You can also use color, but for my purposes, all I’ve needed is black.

 iDraw is a very powerful vector drawing app.  It’s pricey at $8.99, but it is really versatile.  The documentation is limited but helpful.  For doodling purposes, just playing around with it helped.  I had some trouble saving the images as jpegs, but was able to email an image to myself as a jpeg and then download it.  I like the variety of available shapes and the ease with which you can select and group items.  The ability to select and scale objects is what sets this app above the other more basic apps I tried.

 Moodboard is an app I use for making color collages, drawings of necklace design ideas and inspiration sheets. It’s also expensive at $9.99, but I really like it.   Since I already use this app, it was a quick way for me to group images in varying sizes on a single sheet for photocopying.  Then I can use the photocopies for polymer clay tear away textures of transfers or as a resist for electro etching metal.

 TypeDrawing was another fun app discovery.  You can make text follow along a path with iDraw, but with TypeDrawing, you can type in some text and doodle with words! The number of fonts you can use is limited, but it is a lot of fun.  I am working on a project that stems from my frequent difficulties speaking the wrong word or forgetting words, and this app is perfect for the project.

Photoshop Express from Adobe is the last of my favorite apps for doodling.  It’s a wonderful photo editing app, and it’s the quickest way I have found to invert my black and white images.  For tear aways, the images need to be inverted so that the background is black and the lines are white.  It’s a one click operation in PSE and the app is free!


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