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Tablet Artistry: Tools and Styluses Tested

Nomad Brush

If you’re painting with oil or watercolor paints in your painting package, why not paint with something that looks and feels like a real brush? The Nomad Brush feels just like a real paintbrush and gives you the choice of a short tip – which feels a little more like an oil brush – or a long tip – which feels a little more like watercolors. Instead of a single tip you get multiple bristles, firmly held into a long, thin, light handle with a real wooden butt.

Because it’s so thin and light and because it’s about the same length as a real brush (it’s slightly less than 7” long - about the same length as the oStylus) it’s very natural and comfortable to hold and because the bristles brush across the screen you can hold it at the same angle you would a real brush and make long, sweeping, fluid strokes across the screen, or you can hold it more upright and dab at the screen to get shorter, rougher strokes. But it also works well for painting with brushes that simulate chalk, pastel, felt tips and other materials, and for tapping buttons or selecting paint colours (or for scrolling up and down a document or Web page).

 As with the other styluses, the size of brush stroke you see on screen is determined by the brush settings rather than the width of the tip, but because you can get such fine control and natural strokes the Nomad Brush does give you a slightly more delicate touch than the other styluses – and definitely more delicate than using your finger. We love the Nomad Brush: you feel much more like you’re really painting and with a natural media package you can get extremely expressive results – plus it’s fun to use.

If you like drawing in chalks, pastels, crayons and the like, check out the AluPen as well; this short and stubby stylus looks like a pencil (down to the angled sides) and fits right into your hand and the small tip glides very smoothly over the screen. Again, it feels more like the physical media you’d be drawing with on real paper, making for a very natural action and the strokes you can get are fluid, artistic and expressive.