Zen Brush 2

Sweep­ing up We find out if this clever but lim­ited iPad app is of use to the dig­i­tal artist who’s keen to ex­per­i­ment with vir­tual ink brushes…

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Reviews -

Is this clever but lim­ited iPad app of much use to the dig­i­tal artist?

un­less you get the urge – or the com­mis­sion – to cre­ate Ja­panese cali­graphic-style art or let­ter­ing, then the Zen Brush 2 is prob­a­bly not worth the small out­lay, al­though you might have some fun giv­ing this com­pe­tent app a try.

When run on var­i­ous ages and mod­els of iPhone and iPad – the first real test any art app should run through – it stayed smooth and re­spon­sive. There is a slight lag be­tween the tail of any stroke catching up to the in­put, but it never feels like it gets in the way.

The fea­tures are lim­ited, as you might ex­pect from some­thing aimed so squarely at nar­row us­age, and that’s per­fectly okay. The tools work well, from the brush op­tions that cover black and red strokes, to sub-con­trols such as tone and brush dry­ness – which is im­pres­sive.

If you want to use this, forget the phone version of Zen Brush 2. It works fine, but not in any way that in­spires cre­ativ­ity and that’s down to how the app in­ter­prets in­put. If you have a light touch, only a small amount of skin con­tact is made, which the app reads as a light stroke. How­ever, press harder and your fin­ger­tip will splay, cov­er­ing more glass, hence a heav­ier stroke.

The app is clever and it works. But us­ing this on the iPad Pro is a much bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence. Throw the Ap­ple Pen­cil into the mix (or lim­ited other sty­luses, with mixed re­sults) and you’re on to a win­ner. As long as you only really want to draw mis­in­ter­preted tat­toos for teenage girls.

Al­though lim­ited, Zen Brush 2 still works smoothly on a phone, as long as it’s a plus-size de­vice.

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