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…
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.