Drawing with the Cosmonaut stylus on the Apple iPad with Sketchbook Pro

Posted: 2012-01-09

Drawing of author Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson
Cosmonaut stylus with SketchBook Pro on Apple iPad
Large version here

The Cosmonaut stylus

So Studio Neat’s Cosmonaut arrived in the post over the Christmas, an early present to myself. Wanted to write a short piece on my feelings after using this new stylus with SketchBook Pro on the iPad.
Studio Neat have made a stylus that is the answer to all I have been looking for in a stylus for drawing on the iPad. It is simply product design done right, figuring out what the problems are for users first, then designing the product to address the needs.

The width of the stylus and its weight are perfect, it feels right and the rubber material helps stability in use. The tip is a small as you can probably get away with to create the connection with the screen but not too large to impede what you are doing when drawing.
It glides on the surface and you feel confident you will not scratch the surface, the tip material its clear had a lot of research put into it and feels very good on the surface.

The Cosmonaut stylus is the best stylus I've used and at $25 its excellent value, you can order one here on the studioneat site. I wanted to touch on the other 2 stylus' I've used over the last year or so. The Pogo Sketch is the stylus that was easily available in Apple stores early on and the Dagi was the next stylus I bought to try to overcome the issues I found with drawing on the iPad after using the Pogo Sketch for a while.

Drawing of author John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
Pogo Sketch stylus with SketchBook Pro on Apple iPad
Large version here

The Pogo Sketch stylus

I’ve posted on the Pogo Sketch previously, I’ve seen a lot of bad press on this stylus some of it justified, but to be fair its pretty good for drawing with, however an important point; its good to draw with once you have used it for a while. It needs to be broken in and moulded to you. The nib of the Pogo Sketch when you start using it is rather hard. After use though this will start to soften up and will change shape and begin sloping into a nice shape. This dramatically helps the drawing process when rather like putty it starts to keep a shape. The downside to this is that it can cause the edge of where the nib connects to the stylus body become exposed to the surface of the iPad screen. This is fine if you are aware and only you are using it, if you have children using it beware.

The other downside to the Pogo Sketch is it’s weight, it’s way too light and thin. Holding it it does sometimes feel like a very small hollow piece of a knitting needle. Lastly it can be difficult to see what you are doing in terms of where the tip is on the screen compared to the smaller tip on the Cosmonaut. Note that there are newer versions of the Pogo which I haven't tried. You can check out the Pogo range here.

The Dagi stylus

The Dagi takes this issue head on, having a transparent flat cylindrical nib. When you place this on the screen you have a centre dot where you know exactly where you will be placing your marks on the screen.

I like this stylus but found I kept going back to the Pogo Sketch. Well the Dagi is nice to use and its great to be able to see what you are doing, however, it is a little like drawing with a miniature metal detector. The flat head needs to be flat against the glass, this is a big problem as it forces the angle of the stylus to the screen, not comfortable for drawing and a bit frustrating.

Note: the new version of the Dagi now comes with a flexible head so my comment above is only relevant for older versions, I'd be interested to try the new versions, you can watch a video here which shows this new flexible head

I'm going to continue on with my Author Series project, you can see the full set I've been working on here on Flickr