Developer: Stepping Stone Software
Price: FREE (in-app purchases available to unlock more brushes)
Version Reviewed: 3.0.3
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Artists will enjoy Pen & Ink. It’s called a Watercolor Notebook because that’s exactly what it can be. Users can simply sketch whatever they want then choose to open a new page or notebook, thereby carrying on with something else. It’s simple and pretty quick, lending itself ideally to diving in whenever inspiration grabs one.

I’m admittedly no artist, but much like sport, I try hard. Pen & Ink offers up a series of different brushes for free, with more available at a price. It’s possible to use a mixture of pencils, pens, and brushes to capture the look of whatever is on someone’s mind. In each case, drawing is quick and smooth with the effects looking suitably realistic.

penink4penink5There’s no tutorial to be seen so Pen & Ink isn’t quite as intuitive as one would like. While its icons are laid out in a reasonably straightforward manner, there’s still that early sense of trial and error to figure out what each brush does. Still, it maintains the minimalist style reasonably well, even if guidance would have been nice. The options continue past the brush choices, thanks to Layers. These can be applied and manipulated, thereby adding merging and opacity changing options.

Once happy with a notebook, it’s possible to export pages or sections to Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, AirPrint and numerous other services. It’s even possible to have such artwork printed out via GreatBigCanvas, which should appeal to the more talented artist out there.

Offering precisely what one needs for such a tool, Pen & Ink mostly covers all the bases. That lack of tutorial is a mild nuisance but it’s still a convenient app and benefits greatly from its speed.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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