Top 4 questions - Drawing live with the iPad Pro

Six thinking heads Edward de Bono

There is some magic feeling around drawing digitally on the iPad. I can feel that when doing it myself. And this feeling becomes even stronger when all the people approaching me to ask "What App are you using? How can you possibly do that? Is this a normal iPad Pro? Do you use prepared drawings for this?"
I can't tell you how often I had to answer these questions. Actually so often that I thought I should write some of my answers down.


1. What App are you using?
Of course my answer has to be "WorkVisual App"! But my second most important answer here is: "There is no App out there, that is doing the job for you." The WorkVisual App basically is a drawing tool for the iPad. Sure it's designed especially with sketch noters, visual facilitators and visual managers in mind. But it does not do the work of finding the right visuals for the given context nor does it draw for you. That still is your handcraft to master.

Key insight: There is no shortcut – even with technology. You have to create the visuals yourself.


2. How can you possibly do that?
The answer here has two dimensions. First I do it often, like daily. If you draw on the iPad everyday most likely you will master it. And second I learned to know the constraints and I'm living with them.
The first constraint that comes to mind is, that you can't draw in 100% Zoom like on a piece of paper and have the result looking like you were drawing on a paper.  It just doesn't work like that. The accuracy and sensitivity of the Apple pencil or the finger are to vague at 100% most of the cases. So I learned to zoom in and zoom out all the time, literally. There are are nearly not 5 seconds without a zoom action in my process. I zoom out to control my proportions to the rest of page and then zoom in again to write or draw. That's how I get my smooth, dynamic lines.
The second biggest constraint is the slipperiness of the Apple Pencil on the surface. You can't really do something about it. But I help myself and use my palm to create traction with the glass surface. By having my palm on the surface all the time the slipperiness is not that strong anymore.

Key insights: For having smother lines and a more brilliant look of your drawings you should zoom in and out a lot. Using my palm helps me to get more grid on the slippery surface.


3. Is this a normal iPad Pro?
Sure! :)


4. Do you use prepared drawings for this?
Not like I think you might intent with the question. I don't have a drag&drop library up and running (not yet!). But I have a visual library in my head. And this library grows steadily. It contains like 90% of what I'm drawing in my jobs. Only 10% is invented on the spot (max.). I drew a lot of the pictures I use many, many times before. That's why are so accurate and quick to draw.
And I don't want to be to much prepared in terms of the visuals anyway. Because I would loose the freedom to react on the spot to changes in a conversion or speech. Only drawing "freehand" provides me with the essential flexibility.

Key insight: You can only prepare up to a decent point. From there on you need improvisation to stay flexible enough to react accordingly to a given situation in a workshop and alike.


The key factor to success is – as so often in live – consistent training and exercises. That's how you develop workflows and routines that help you create better and more visual content.


Need some help in learning how to use the iPad for working visually? You might want to have a look on our Training Portfolio.

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Top 4 questions - Drawing live with the iPad Pro