Smoking Ho Chi Minh 🚬

This I sketched out on my new iPad which I’ve been playing with lately.

I’m not sure where I got the reference from now, I thought it was Sktchy but can’t find it there so can’t credit the photo. To be honest it’s so far removed from the original that I doubt anyone would recognise them being related.

Whilst I’m happy with it I am still finding a few frustrations. The top three being;

– even on the very highest resolution it still seems quite pixelated when zoomed in for the details. It’s enough that I wouldn’t consider printing at A3 size even though theoretically it should be high enough resolution to print at A2 without pixelation.

– I think I’m so used to drawing with chalky or graphite mediums that it’s hard to transition to the near frictionless surface. Imagine trying to draw on a window with a Biro.
For instance I was trying to draw some simple circles about 4″ diameter, they were pretty bad. I thought I’d lost the ability so tried on a piece of paper using the same method (draw from shoulder or elbow rather than wrist) and straight away was good, not perfect but close enough.
Perfection is a problem. I can ‘cheat’ on the iPad as I’m sure many do. There are shapes built in so it’s very easy just to draw a perfect circle every time, but that perfection looks unnatural and inorganic. If prefer a wonky 96% version on my drawings.

– Procreate, it’s seemingly wonderful, the gold standard, but whenever I try features such as masking off they don’t behave as I’d expect. What I think would be a simple task “don’t colour over the lines” sort of thing… nope, I’m doing it wrong somehow.

And that last bit is important.  I am doing it wrong, on all of the frustrations.  Part of learning is accepting it’s you and not the tool that’s at fault. ☝️😩

However, I will just gripe about the Apple iOS. I know it’s a heated subject for some but oh wow it’s user-unfriendly! Very surprised by that, but again the simplest task seems deliberately obstructed.  Things which you take for granted in Windows, Linux or Android are just horrible in iOS, how did this ever become so popular? 🤭


  1. Nice sketch, your style is certainly coming through well with the digital medium.

    As far as your frustrations go, I suggest that you take a deep breath and just roll with the punches. Realize that it may take a while to get comfortable with the new medium.

    I too, miss the tactile feedback coming through the pen or pencil as it moves across the tooth of the paper. Dragging a stylus across a smooth glass surface just isn’t the same.

    All the work I have done in Procreate so far, I have set my canvas to screen size. The pixelation you mentioned is there when zoomed in but I simply ignore it realizing that it will not be visible when viewing the final artwork.

    I suggest that you keep at it and embrace the differences, keep an open mind and just see where the journey leads.

    As far as, issues with iOS. I’m sorry to say but you will just have to be assimilated like the rest of us. 😆


    • Thanks Michael, I see you’ve done a few more now. Looks like you’ve really taken to it without much difference to your charcoal sketches…

      I’ll have a go with a plain 6B as you suggested. For this picture above I did actually use the 6B for most of it but sideways on and shading, and for erasing as you also suggested.


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