Maybe that’s because I’m a bona fide certified Mac user, and there are not that many chalk or oil painting apps. Real pastels– the chalk– are too messy. Dust is one thing. Colored dust is something else again. And digital dust is perfect.
One pastels app I came across recently is called iPastels Pro and it’s exactly what you think it is. A chalk drawing app for the Mac; one where skeumorphism is alive and well, and while it works fine on the Mac the iPad version is the one that’s fun to use and I long to see how it adjusts to the iPad Pro (and an updated iPad Air 3 which has similar features; just wait– it’ll come).
Nevertheless, Mac users venturing into digital art will enjoy using iPastels Pro because it’s a faithful digital reproduction of the original, especially vibrant on an iMac 5k Retina display, or MacBook Pro with Retina display. Fullscreen mode on either is to die for.
All the tools you need– colors, chalk, smudge options, undo, brushes, resize and many more– are easily accessible in a convenient sidebar.
iPastels features standard zoom and pan options using the Mac’s trackpad or Magic Trackpad (works OK with the Magic Mouse, but nothing to write home about). Layers allow you to paint and blend one over the other; foreground, middle, or background.
For those Mac users with artistic talent and an understanding of chalk and oil pastel painting, iPastels is worth a look, modestly priced, and though the interface is a bit sophomoric, it works well in the medium.
Here are two more samples.
There’s also a free version minus a few features so you can try before you buy. As cool as iPastels is on a Mac with Retina display, it’s awesome on an iPad Air 2. No chalky fingers. No messy paint.
One odd note to report; the Mac version still uses a floppy disk icon as the Save button. Seriously? A floppy disk? When was the last time anyone used a floppy disk?