Nomadbrush Compose Short Tip (iOS stylus)
Review

On June 18, 2012, in Features, iPad, iPad 2, by Curt Blanchard

Nomadbrush Compose Short Tip (iOS stylus)
Manufacturer: Nomadbrush, LLC
MSRP: $26.00
Nomadbrush Compose Short Tip

Styli for iOS devices abound these days—big tips, small tips, plastic tips, metal tips, spongy tips, and even some with brushes. If you are a writer or a note taker, a fine rubber tip is probably going to be best for you. If you use a stylus mostly for casual games such as Draw Something, almost any stylus will be better than your finger.

However, if you’re an artist, the right stylus is a very personal choice. For you, it’s a tool, not a gadget. Ultimately, the best stylus is the one that suits you and your style of drawing or painting.

The Compose Short Tip by Nomadbrush is a mid-priced stylus at $26.00. Its barrel is a comfortable, thin 1/4 inch diameter, about the same as an artist’s watercolor brush. (What is with the trend these days to make thick, unwieldy pens?) The Nomadbrush comes packaged in a nice snap-open case that is roomy enough to hold another brush or two. This is convenient because Nomadbrush makes other sizes of these brushes.

Here is a drawing I made on an iPad with the Paper app using the Nomadbrush Compose Short Tip on the left and a rubber tipped stylus (Wacom Bamboo) on the right. The Nomadbrush requires some careful practice. The significant difference is the lack of fine control (or a more painterly effect, depending on your viewpoint) on the left.

The capacitive bristles on the Nomadbrush trick your iPad into thinking a solid stylus is being used, and because of this, you can draw thin lines with it. This presents a conundrum for many artists—the concept of making a fine-line drawing with a fairly wide brush is counter-intuitive. However, if you use a small rubber-tipped stylus for drawing and a Nomadbrush for shading, the results may feel more natural and more to your liking. The fact that the brush glides over the glass screen without the slightest resistance or “drag” is disconcerting at first, but this slipperiness can be overcome with practice.

Using a Nomadbrush by itself or paired with a rubber-tipped stylus is largely a matter of personal choice and how you usually make your drawings. If you feel more comfortable with a brush, this may be for you. If you are more at ease with a pen or pencil you won’t be happy with the splayed bristles of the brush even though they can make fine lines.

MyMac Rating: 8 out of 10

 

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