*Part of my big test of iPad painting apps*
Auryn Ink **
Auryn Ink was the last addition to my test. I was intrigued by the idea of an app specializing on watercolour.
It has four brush shapes to choose from and 12 textures which you can apply to any of the shapes. The difference the textures make is very marginal. The brush shapes however define how the tool reacts to the pen pressure. So, after you’ve chosen your brush shape, there is no need to change the brush.
One thing you have to know is that a long press on the left hand side gives you the option to adjust the drying time. In case you want to paint wet, but don’t expect to be able to make a nice gradual mix then. Where colour overlaps it creates a full intensity colour pool. That stays the same, even if you use your brush with lots of water, which makes the colour nearly transparent.
So much to the realistic behaviour of watercolour.
Another feature, hard to find is the colour lifting. To make it work you need to change the settings in the brush menu to as little paint as possible and select white as a colour. And then start rubbing 🙂
The specialty of the app is that you can set it to make the paint collect at the bottom of your stroke, depending on the angle in which you hold your device.
From the description and the logo I had deducted that you could make the paint run down your screen. I thought that would be an interesting effect, sadly it doesn’t do that.
The only other specialty is a setting which (sometimes) spreads random splashes over the screen when you shake the device. It could be a good feature if there was little bit of control to it.
The app uses layers in an interesting way. First your paint goes on to the top layer and automatically moves down to the middle layer. Then you can fix your work and it will move down to the bottom layer. You can not choose on which layer you paint.
You also have to be careful when you fix your painting, because painting on top of a fixed part does strange things and there is no way to unfix it.
You don’t have the option to create your own layer, for example to use for a sketch. Also, don’t expect a transparency setting for the layers. All in all, they are really not what you would expect from layers.
Let’s get to the interface, which is a bit clunky, to say the least. You have to go three steps for one undo: open a menu, press undo, close the menu. You only get about five undo steps anyways.
Changing the colour also takes three steps.
The worst part though, is that the interface works only in landscape mode. That would still be ok if you could rotate your canvas. For painting portrait you have to settle with using the screen landscape.
The app supports three paper sizes (low resolution, high resolution and super high resolution 🙂 ). Don’t get the idea to change the paper size after you’ve started painting, you will simply loose your work. Also don’t try to import a picture into your painting, it will start a new painting and again you loose everything you haven’t saved.
The gallery where you can save your painting in a wet state, is also hard to find. You go to the export settings, you can save your picture to your photos from there. If you go through the options, you can find the gallery. Note that you always have to save your image by hand, there is no auto save.
Verdict: For an app specialized on one thing only, I would expect a more exact result and more unique features. The watercolour and paper look good, but other apps do it better. Some of those are free, have a nicer interface and have more features. Sadly, there is actually no reason for this app to exist.
Missing: Interface improvements, more difference in the brushes (dry brush), more realistic colour overlap, real layer support, more specialized features
Specialties: Colour collects at the bottom of your stroke, colour lifting, random splattering
a few strokes