What’s new in Pixelmator for iPad 1.1 Aquarelle
The biggest change in the new version of Pixelmator for iPad version 1.1 is the addition of 12 really cool watercolour brushes. Pixelmator for iPad was already quite brilliant in the first version and now it has got even better. The main thing with these new watercolour brushes is that you get blending effects similar to the way wet paint would blend on watercolour paper in real life painting. When I was an art student one of my favourite types of painting was watercolour. I can tell you watercolour painting isn’t as easy as it looks. You have to think about the areas of the painting you want to leave white. You don’t want to put any paint on to those areas unless you are prepared to use some gouache opaque white paint afterwards to put in your highlights. There will always be some sort of serendipity in the way that the paint colour will gather in certain places. This is what gives watercolours the extra bit of creative spark to make them more interesting. In Pixelmator for iPad the watercolour brushes have been designed to give you various watercolour effects. There is the Scatter Wash brush which gives you an effect similar to putting random spots of paint onto the paper which is already wet. The brush called Fan Wash is going to be based upon using a wider splayed out type of brush with your paint. Not all of the brushes are for the wash type of effect, there is also the Watercolour Pencil, Neptune Brush and Onion Tip.
I’ve just been using the application and testing out these brushes and they are a delight to use. I love the way it is easier to change quickly from painting to the eraser. In the top left-hand corner next to the undo button if you are using the eraser you tap the word paint so you can start applying colour again. If you are painting then you tap the word erase so you can rub things out.
Working well with the new version of the Wacom Creative Stylus
In the full list of details of the update I have noticed that my Wacom Creative Stylus has been improved for use with Pixelmator for iPad. It is possible to get some really nice creative lines by using the pressure sensitivity. When you press harder with the stylus on the screen of the iPad you get more colour or a wider line. You can see this clearly when you’re using some of the marker brushes and you get a lot of control. I particularly liked using the Manga Brush. You can control the width of the brush and the opacity of the brush too. When you’re using the eraser the controls let you change the size and the strength. On a couple of the lines I was drawing the lines were little harder or more defined than I wanted. It was easy to apply some delicate use of the eraser to make the line softer and lighter.
Locking the Alpha
This is a useful way of having a protected part of your drawing. When you have set the alpha lock on a layer it means that you can no longer draw and any part that is transparent. So for example, you might have done some drawing in a few different colours onto a transparent layer. You then decide that you want to have everything you’ve drawn so far to be just one colour. You don’t want to alter or destroy any of the lines you have already, but you do need to make changes. It would be tedious to use the selection tool and select all of the nontransparent parts. All you need to do is to lock the alpha for that layer and you can use one of the brushes to draw over anything you have in that layer. The paint will not go on to the transparent part of the drawing. It’s kind of handy way to select everything in the drawing and not miss any small part of it, right down to single pixels. This could be more useful where you have small dots or parts of drawing that would be absolute murder to select. Good for gradients colour to transparent.
What else is new?
There is a new colour picker and it has little palettes that you can add colours to nice and easily. The eyedropper tool you can use to select a colour from your picture seems to work better as well. In the new version of Pixelmator for iPad you can put in a photo from iCloud Drive as a new layer. In the list of new things you also have enhanced stylus pressure sensitivity and that’s what might account for me getting better lines while using the Wacom Creative Stylus. Overall there are quite a lot of new and optimised settings and facilities within the application to make it better all around. A good upgrade to a super app for iPad drawing and painting.