Can anyone recommend a good stylus for use with the iPad? I like the idea of a brush/pen combo so I've been looking at these two:

Sensu Brush http://www.amazon.com/Sensu-Touchscreen-Devices-Wireless-Accessory/...

PenGo BrushPen http://www.amazon.com/PenGo-BrushPen-Stylus-touch-screens/dp/B005QE...

Any other recommendations welcome! Please feel free to share your experiences with whatever stylus you use, and you can also upload images of your art that were created using that stylus if you like, to help get a visual reference of what can be done with that stylus. Thank you in advance!

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Replies to This Discussion

Thaneeya, I tried one brush type stylus and didnt like it but it was a comment on my lack of artistic skill rather than any fault of the brush :)

From what I've read, I think success with the stylus you use depends on the app you use it with. Some apps are better at recognizing and interpreting strokes than others are.

There have been several discussions on the Procreate boards - http://procreate.si/forums/ - and those guys use Procreate in their professional business.

Procreate is on sale just now and there's an update due out soon.

Hi Thaneeya, I have not tried a stylus on my ipad but found this video review for you if you are interested.

      http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/10/2925937/best-stylus-ipad-review

Thank you Margaret and Richard for your input!

The review you found was quite comprehensive, Richard, and that did help wrap my head around all the styli out there. There are so many it was mind-boggling! And they're always coming out with new ones.

Margaret, I purchased Procreate the other day after reading your recommendation and I LOVE it! I've been fingerpainting with it while I figured out which stylus to get. The Procreate forums were indeed helpful (particularly this thread).

I did hours of research on different styli and purchased 2 (Pogo Connect and GoSmart). I thought I'd share my notes here in case anyone finds it helpful. These notes are based on product descriptions and user reviews, which were instrumental in helping me make my decision.

* Pogo Connect - $62 - This is a pressure sensitive stylus, also referred to as a "smart" stylus. Some reviewers complained that it doesn't recognize light pressure very well. Others loved it. The nibs are replaceable, which is a plus and a must for a stylus at this price range, IMO. It's rather bulky and fat, like a crayon. The tip is not thin which makes precision difficult. Click here to see the Pogo Connect on Amazon.

* GoSmart Stylus - $25 - This stylus is an ideal tool for precision, as it allows you to draw fine lines exactly where you want them (unlike rubber tips where it can be hard to gauge where the line will go). The tip has a Teflon-coated circular thingie around it for precision so you can see where you're writing. The GoSmart 300 has weird rocket shape and the GoSmart 200 has pen shape, so I went with the 200. Click here to see the GoSmart Stylus on Amazon.

----- I want to be able to create both precise lines and painterly strokes so I decided to get the 2 above-mentioned styli to achieve those aims, as they are both very different styli with different 'specialties'. I was a little hesitant due to the combined cost but an artist needs good tools so I figured it was worth the investment.

Here are some others that I considered:

* Sensu Brush - $40 - This stylus has a brush on one end, and a traditional rubber-tipped stylus on the other end. It gets both good and bad reviews. The good reviews say that the Sensu is better than any other stylus brush. The bad reviews say that the brush's sensitivity wears away relatively quickly (within weeks of regular use). Neither tips are replaceable. Click here to see the Sensu Brush on Amazon.

* Pengo BrushPen - $30 - This stylus has a brush on one end, and a stylus on other. It comes with 2 stylus nibs in 2 sizes (6mm and 8mm). The brush can get frayed and doesn't look as nice as the bristles on the Sensu Brush. Click here to see the Pengo BrushPen on Amazon.


* Pogo Sketch Pro - $20 - Reviewers say that this stylus feels good and it's not too bulky like other styli which feel fat like crayons. The tips are replaceable. A fair amount of people complain that it falls apart quickly and uploaded pics of their frayed rubber tips, which is why I decided to pass on this one. Click here to see the Pogo Sketch Pro on Amazon.

* Adonit Jot Pro - $30 - This stylus is built for precision. It has a plastic disc on the end to help you see where the point us. It's excellent for detail. However, an alarming number of reviewers wrote that using this stylus resulted in scratches on their iPad screen. It seems that the plastic disc is susceptible to catching tiny pieces of grit which get dragged along with the stylus and result in scratches. I decided to avoid this one and chose the GoSmart Stylus instead, because the design of the GoSmart's disc makes it less susceptible to capturing grit.Click here to see the Adonit Jot Pro on Amazon.


* TruGlide - $16 - This stylus has a 6mm microfiber tip for smooth gliding. The tip is not replaceable. Users say it is smoother and more responsive than rubber-tipped styli. Not sure how good these are for art? Click here to see the TruGlide on Amazon.


* Hybrid - $9 - This stylus has a fiber/rubber hybrid tip and is noted for gliding smoothly. Not sure how good these are for art? Click here to see the Hybrid on Amazon.


----------------


Regarding SCRATCHES: Scratches are caused by grit caught between stylus/finger and the screen, not by the stylus itself. If there is grit caught in a cleaning cloth it can scratch an iPad as it is wiped across the screen. Screen protectors are recommended but these vary in quality and may cause skipping or alter the ability of the stylus in other ways.

Thanks for the tip about scratches! Won't let the kids near the iPad with one now. I have really got into digital painting after getting a bamboo tablet for Xmas which i have uploaded, would love to see some of yours soon...
I'm glad you are having fun with Procreate! The developers have really aimed it at professionals, but they've done such a wonderful job that hobbiests and ameteurs like me can enjoy using it.

Good look with your new styli.

Hello!

Just wanted to jump in here and add the stylus that I love. First of all, my daughter gave me a Sensu Brush/Stylus for my birthday. I have used it, but found that it was a bit big and the brush wasn't quite as accurate getting in small places as using a regular stylus. My favorite to date and I've gone through 4 or 5 of these, is the stylus that is sold at Walgreens for $5.00. It is usually located in bins near the checkout counter. They come in bright colors and are thin and lightweight. I've used it with Procreate, ArtSet, Art Studio and a few other programs. The latest project I am working on is this girl that I first sketched and then took into Procreate to add color. I'm still working on it trying to get the shading right. Love this stylus even though it is not a pressure sensitive stylus.

Hi Terry,

Thanks so much for sharing your stylus experiences!

Funnily enough the stylus I use most often is also a "cheap" stylus rather than the art styli I also purchased. (This is the one I've been using.) Since I'd already have it in my hand for browsing the iPad, I'd end up using it to make art without really thinking about it. I like the way it glides smoothly across the screen. I really should use my other styli more since I went to the effort of buying them, but it does ease my mind to know that we don't really need special or expensive styli to make good art on the iPad.

Your sketch is looking good. I've also experimented with photographing pencil sketches and then coloring them on the iPad. It's a cool and convenient way to bring sketches to life!

Hi Thaneeya and all.

On the Procreate forums, there is always a discussion about which is the best stylus. James Cuda who is one of the four guys that created Procreate, is also an amazing digital artist. He says he uses whatever stylus is on the counter at his local stationary store. He doesn't use and expensive one except to try them while testing compatibility with the app.

I made my own stylus. I'm kind of an "inventor" in that I'd rather make something than buy one.

I started with an empty Bic pen barrel. Fill it with conductive foam. You can leave some of the foam sticking out the end and snip it until you get a nice rounded shape.

Most of the DIY instructions on YouTube are unnecessarily complicated.

The pen barrel is thin enough to allow the foam to conduct the electricity from your hand onto the iPad.

OK, someone with more engineering will come along and tell me that I got it wrong. I'm sure I did, but I do know it works.

I filled the barrel, you can use scraps as long as it's packed in there. Leave about an inch empty and cut a small piece to fill in the end and stick out for the round end. Then when the foam breaks down, you only need to change the bit at the end.

After a while, I realized there might be a better way so I ordered some conductive cloth. I wrapped a bit of cloth around the end piece of the foam and jammed it into the end of the barrel leaving a nicely rounded tip.

I've been using the cloth covered one for about 3 months and it's not showing any signs of wear. In three months, I would have gone through several of the cheap styluses that you can buy at the store, so even though the initial outlay was a bit hard to take, I think I've saved way more than what it cost. I should mention that I'm retired, so I'm on my iPad all day long so my stylus gets a lot of use.

Conductive foam and conductive cloth are both available at Amazon.com. If you're interested and can't find it, let me know and I'll dig up the URLs. I can also take pictures if that would explain it better.

Hi Thaneeya, Wow, I was just reading the post by Margaret Brock! I want to try making my own stylus. Thanks for your comment on my sketch.

Hi Margaret! I would love to see a picture of your stylus. Is it possible to make the point thinner than the ones you can buy online and in stores?

Hi Terry, I will take some pictures in the morning and post them. I thought I had some, but I can't find them.

The iPad screen needs a tip of a certain size in order for it to work. I'm not sure what it is, but the styluses you buy are the right size. I get around the size problem by making a stylus longer than the ones you buy and that gets your hand out the the way. I found some reusable straws at the dollar store that are the same inside dimension as the Bic pens and they work well. When I draw on the iPad, I don't rest my palm on the screen like some people do. I hold the stylus and draw as you would on a blackboard with chalk or on a whiteboard with a marker.

Terry Carter said:

Hi Margaret! I would love to see a picture of your stylus. Is it possible to make the point thinner than the ones you can buy online and in stores?

I found some pictures I took previously of my stylus. On the far left, shows the conductive foam, next is a Bic pen with a bit of foam as the "nib", next are some reusable drinking straws that I found at Starbucks, the last image shows some interesting variations.

The two styluses on the right show a coil of colored copper wire instead of filling the whole tube with foam. Colored copper wire is very inexpensive, it works, and easy to find. It's a good alternative to filling the tube with foam.

In the picture on the left, you see a twist of aluminum foil. It works too, but the twist you see there didn't fill the tube enough to make it work. It might have worked better if I wrapped it around something like a small dowel so the aluminum touched the inside of the tube. I suppose you could wrap the aluminum on the outside of the tube, but that would be messy and uncomfortable to hold long term

The Bic pen with conductive foam works really good, but over time, the foam will break down and lose contact. When I was using that configuration, I filled the tube with foam, but left about an inch empty at the end and then cut a piece of foam long enough to fill the empty end and about 1/2 and inch sticking out so I could shape it into a nib. When the sticking out part broke down after a lot of use, I only had to change the end bit.

I don't have a picture of the conductive cloth, but the cloth looks and feels like silk t-shirt fabric. It is a knit fabric with stretch in all directions so it's easy to shape it around foam. It was a bit of a chore getting the cloth covered foam stuck into the end of the tube, but once I got it stuck in there, it for sure won't fall out and will work for a long time.

Warning: the conductive foam will not bounce back from being compressed, so be careful with the bits that form the "nib" of your stylus. It doesn't work as well if the nib has been compressed. The part inside the tube works in a compressed state.

Link to foam on eBay: Sometimes they call it anti-static foam because it's main use is packaging of electronic stuff.

Conductive foam

Link to conductive cloth on Amazon. I didn't buy it from Amazon, but it's the same maker and I can't find the place I got it from 

conductive fabric

Have fun with this project. I think all in all I spent about $50 on this (a lot of shipping cost because I'm in Canada) but I have enough supplies to make about 50 styluses, so it's not wasted money and if I had to buy styluses at the rate of one a week, I'm way ahead considering that I was getting about a week use from store bought ones and the one I made myself has laster 3 months.

Regarding so-called "smart" styluses with pressure sensitivity etc, the folks on the Procreate forums do more complaining about them than they do drawing. Sometimes simple is best.

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