The Future of Drawing


By Shea Garner

I remember flipping through the pages of The Berenstain Bears as a child (RIP Stan and Jan) and physically admiring the pairing of art and word on each page. Today, even the most juvenile works of art can be viewed on a tablet device. In a world where everything has gone digital, nothing holds sacred like the pen and paper. Illustrators, painters, and sketchers alike have stood by and watched the work of authors and journalists slowly make its way to the iPad and Kindle. Now, with the debut of the new iPad app “Paper,” it looks like their world is changing too.

FiftyThree, a development company that works on digital drawing programs for various tablet devices, has recently released this free app to near universal praise. The gorgeous interface, paired with the new iPad’s retina display, allows the user to create various sketchbooks, easels, and canvases as platforms for their digital work. Flipping through your work is simple and stylish, and quick tapping, swiping, and pinching gestures allow for easy navigation throughout the application.

Paper provides you with a pen as your initial drawing tool, but pencils, markers, and paintbrushes cost an additional $1.99. For what it’s worth, the fact that Paper is even partially free is a benefit to iPad owners everywhere. So whether you are a beginner just sketching for fun or an advanced artist using watercolors to replicate a mural in Schaffer, Paper makes it sleek and simple.

But where does this leave us in a digital world? Would Jack’s pencil sketch of Rose’s wild ginger mane and ample breasts have been nearly as romantic if sketched on the lovely iPad? The answer is no. Just like the old-fashioned authors who stick to their typewriters and journals for their first draft, the true artist will stick to the canvas for their proudest work. However, there is no denying that Paper will make for some good fun on the average Otto’s iPad.