A Must-Have Upgrade for Artists Using an iPad Pro

I’ve had an iPad Pro 12.9″ and Apple Pencil for almost two years now. In that time, artists the world over have taken to the device and are creating some amazing work with it. For me, though, it’s never really clicked. I always went back to working on my Wacom Cintiq.

Now that I am without said Cintiq (temporarily), I’ve had to re-examine the prospect of drawing on my iPad Pro. Client work knows no excuses, so reacquainting myself with performing real illustrative work is less of a want and more of a need. The biggest issue I’ve had with drawing on the iPad Pro is the lack of “tooth” on its screen. Put another way, the smooth, glass surface of the iPad Pro makes it exceedingly difficult for me to control my lines. I can best describe it as drawing on a slippery surface. It’s why I’d always gravitate back to my Wacom Cintiq.

I’m only now warming up to the iPad Pro. And it wasn’t because of a new fancy brush or a new iteration of Procreate. It was thanks to an accessory called the Tech Armor Protector, recommended by my artist pal DJ Coffman. You can watch his video review below.

The Tech Armor Protector was designed to protect the iPad from scratches or bumps. It serves another purpose in my use-case: it provides resistance, or a slightly frictional surface that makes the surface of the iPad Pro more comfortable to draw on. Price-wise, the Tech Armor protector runs around $20 on Amazon and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t like it, the folks at the company will either replace the product or refund your money.

I ordered mine on DJ’s recommendation and installed it this morning. The packet comes with two laminate sheet protectors, and it’s a good thing too. I botched the first install – rendering the first protector useless. The second go around was more successful. Despite following directions online on Youtube, I still found the actual process a little cumbersome for my taste.

The first install yielded a plethora of bubbles and I ended up accidentally dropping the sheet onto the carpet after attempting to fix the bubble issue.

The second attempt went much better.

There were fewer bubbles than the first attempt, but I was able to hand massage them out over a period of 15 minutes.

What’s it like to draw on the Tech Armor Protector? In a word: excellent. This changes the entire equation for me – drawing on the iPad feels like drawing on a mini Cintiq now.

The last two PC Weenies strips were drawn using my iPad Pro (without the TechArmor Protector). The ones drawn this week were with the TechArmor Protector. I could sense an immediate improvement in my line control. It may not be evident when one looks at the art, but it’s something that I notice every time I use the Apple Pencil.

The Tech Armor Protector was a game-changer for me. With it, I know I’ll be using my iPad Pro much, much more than I’ve used it in the past. And that’s a win in my book.

-Krishna

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  • Matt Strieby
    January 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I’m going to have to check and see if they make that for the Galaxy Tab S3. While the rubbery nib I use helps with friction, there’s nothing like drawing on a surface with a little bit of tooth.