iPad Sketching on Location

It’s been a long time since my last post. My life has taken some unexpected turns, but my love for sketching remains intact. From now on I intend to post much more regularly, upload more videos to my YouTube channel and much more. I am now living in north Texas, so I’ll be sketching a lot on location as I get to know my new surroundings.

Lately I have been using my iPad a lot for work so I’ve been getting much more comfortable with it, to the point I have been using it a lot for sketching on location. Digital sketching has its challenges, but I’ve gotten to appreciate its numerous advantages.

I can take it anywhere, even to museums where ink or watercolors are not allowed. I can have all the colors that I want. Digital graphite does not smudge and does not need sharpening. I have unlimited pencils, pens, markers, brushes at the top of my finger. And I don’t have to scan afterwards to share online.

For sketching on location I use an app called Tayasui Sketches Pro. Very simple but pretty impressive. The pens, pencils and the watercolor brushes work really good. I have really enjoyed using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil with this app for sketching on the go. Here are some of my sketches with it.


It’s been a while since I posted; I had technical issues that prevented me to post from my phone but my friend Ramiro helped me out. I have been very busy at work, add the cold weather and that results in less lunchtime sketching.

A couple weeks ago fellow Urban Sketchers Marc Taro Holmes and Liz Steel came up with the challenge of drawing 100 people in 5 days, so anyone who decided to participate would use the hashtag #OneWeek100People2017. I guess they meant work week, because it ran from Monday to Friday; you needed to average 20 people per day to complete the challenge. I’ve had a very busy schedule lately, so I knew it would be uphill for me to complete the challenge, but still gave it a try. As did thousands of people from all over the world… crazy.

The challenge didn’t specify how much time per sketch, so you could do 1-minute gesture sketches or more detailed ones. I know I can crunch 100 gesture sketches in a couple hours, but decided that if I was gonna do this, the sketches would be more than a gesture sketch, colored, and done by observation, no photographs. Even if that meant I was shooting myself in the foot.

Spoiler alert, I couldn’t finish the challenge. I ended up sketching 55 people, using the app Sketches Pro on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. Probably I had too many variables: I am not used to sketching digitally, and when I do, I normally use Procreate. But Sketches Pro allowed me to use some great tools,  like the ink pen and the watercolor brush, which I loved.

Having a tight schedule, I could barely sketch in three batches of 15 minutes per day– on the train to work, at lunch and on the train back home. I used to like sketching people on the train, but this time I didn’t feel the same. You mostly sketch 3/4 rear views, some side views and very few faces. And during winter everyone’s clothes are basically the same colors, so after three days I got bored. Also, in order to average 20 per day, I had only about two minutes 15 seconds per sketch. So evidently I was falling short, calling it quits on the fourth day.

I’d like to revisit this challenge when my schedule isn’t as packed; I think it is a great exercise. I’m still satisfied with what I accomplished, even if I didn’t complete the challenge. I got myself to sketch like 50 more people than I usually sketch in a week, so that itself is a success.

Did you participate in the challenge? I’d love to learn about your experience.

iPad Sketching

I sketched this yesterday using Tayasui Sketches app on an iPad mini. Still getting used to the “watercolor” brush on these apps, but interesting experience nevertheless. 

Another shot at digital sketching



After a few years using cheap styluses (stylii?) with an iPad I wanted to get a better tool as a Christmas present for myself. After some research, I decided for the Pencil 53. I finally received it last Friday and decided to take it for a test run sketching on location.
My first impression has been very good so far. It definitely feels much better than the tiny cheap stylus I had before. This time I sketched on the Paper 53 app instead of the more familiar Procreate, as I just wanted to try out the Pencil. The app is certainly simple and straightforward but I’d need to practice with it a lot more. I’ll also try the Pencil with different apps to see how I can get the most of the digital sketching experience. 

Line sketching was surprisingly smooth; the rubber tip provides a little resistance, just enough for me to feel in command. Using color was a little difficult. It’s not easy to replicate a watercolor brush stroke, but the convenience of being able to color a sketch quickly is intriguing. I guess I can’t think of it as a replacement for my traditional media, it’s simply a different thing. I still prefer using pencil, ink and watercolor on paper, but this is worth a try, especially to use while on the train to work. 

My new places

My family and I have recently moved from Puerto Rico to Wilmington, Delaware.  We’re looking for better alternatives of treatment and rehabilitation for our son.  A change was probably very needed in so many ways though.

This means I have not only one, but two cities to sketch!  If everything goes well, I’m about to start working in Center Philadelphia next week, and Philly has so many interesting things to sketch.  Besides, in the first few days I met Joshua, a local caricaturist with whom I expect to practice the craft a lot.  I’m attending with my wife a figure drawing class on Wednesdays at DCAD, getting dirty with charcoal… And of course, also I’m still participating on the weekly caricature challenge on Facebook, Caricatura Puertorriquena en FB.

I haven’t sketched that much outside, as it’s been raining most of the days, but here are some of my latest: