Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sensu Portable Artist brush and stylus review

Sensu Artist Brush and stylus

The massive explosion in apps this year has been amazing and with that has come many artist apps, of course we can all click brush and it turns stylus into a brush stroke, but does it really feel like a real paint stroke?
I enjoy drawing and designing and never once considered the opportunity to use....a REAL brush on my tablet but a normal stylus has never felt quite right for painting.
The two options of Chrome and black Sensu

So when the lovely people from Sensu sent me one of their latest black Sensu Artist brush and stylus I was really excited.

Now I have to "brush off" my painterly cobwebs as the last time I used water colours and paint was at school during A level art...eep that was a long time ago; so pleases don't expect a Van Gogh for this

In October 2011 the Sensu brush and stylus was successfully funded on Kickstarter by Artist; where they developed an authentic paint brush to use with our favorite drawing and artist apps on iphones and ipads (which also works beautifully on other capacitive screens).

They have developed many artist brushes and learned from some of the best brush makers in the world of what makes a great brush with subtle properties of the hair taper, flexibility and strength. I have seen a few other capacitive brushes on the market but none looking as elegant and none with a normal stylus as well.

The Science Bit
Advanced hair technology
Artist Hardware tested various metal and metallic fibers, but none had that feel of a real brush. So they discovered new technology from a friend in Japan where they used a traditional synthetic brush hair infused with conductive properties to help fine powder release from make-up brushes when in contact with the skin.
They found they could use this scientific break through and make it into a taper and diameter for Sensu that felt right...the Sensu was born!

See Sensu's latest video and see how easy it to use at any age.

Im so impressed with the fun modern packaging of the Sensu; its just right to give as a gift for someone. It clearly shows the double use of this gorgeous stylus.

Inside you have a piece of foam securely protecting the Sensu surrounded with a fold of cardboard.

This folds out to give all the info you need to use your new stylus and artist brush; with advice on the best artist apps to use.

The Sensu offers the most luxurious writing, sketching and painting experience of any stylus out there at this time.
Two useful tools in one for those that enjoy writing, note taking, gaming and most of all sketching and painting. Ive seen a few brush stylus but nothing with the sleek elegant appearance of the Sensu.

The Sensu is divided into 2 parts, the slim smaller portable stylus for all touch screens, this is only 4.5 inches long, ideal smaller length for wallets, bags and handbags.
 The rubber tip is shorter than many stylus, but its much firmer and more defined. 

 The chrome metal neck of the Sensu stylus is especially shaped to press and hold it securely within the handle.

The stylus then pulls apart to reveal the conductive fibres of a synthetic patent pending technology of the brush.

To use the brush
Turn it round and press the stylus end back into the "holder" which then extends the length of the brush giving a comfortable "lifelike" real brush feel.


Choose paper or tablet for your artistic needs.

With the explosion of tablet and touch screen smart phones there has been a rush to produce a great stylus. I have been quite obsessed myself in finding a comfortable, excellent quality great feel stylus to use on both my tablet and phone. Im also a bit fussy on my stylus's or stylii.
The best way to show how responsive and elegant the Sensu actually is, is to show you, so please see below my video.

Using the Stylus

I definitely prefer the fine feel of a stylus than my own finger tips. As a writer I am quite specific in what I like to use to write with, in both everyday pens,  stationary and stylus's.

 The Sensu has a lovely cool feel and the silicone grip makes it so comfortable to use for longer periods of time, without my hands and fingers getting sore.

 Using the Brush
Just holding the Sensu brush feels like your using a luxury paint brush its perfectly weighted and balances well in the hand and you feel like an artist before you've put brush It glides over the screen like real paper and canvas.

You can even see compared to my other paint brushes how good quality it looks, the capacitive fibers are beautifully shaped with no loose or stray hairs.

The beautifully shaped tapered brush makes using this a breeze on your favorite app.

It feels like your using an expensive paintbrush especially combined with the Auryn Ink app.

TIP: Care must be taken when putting the brush end in its cover, make sure all the bristles are clumped together with no strays or they may break off.
NOTE: This cannot be used for real paint or in know that right!

Sensu brushes work with capacitive touchscreens like the iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch®, Kindle Fire®, Surface®, Nexus®, Galaxy Tab®, Nook®, BlackBerry Playbook®, Samsung Tablet, the Dell Latitude 10, and more.

Here is a great selection of artist Apps to get you started, its always going to be a personal choice which works best for you. I will be reviewing some of my own favorite art apps shortly.

My faves so far are Auryn Ink which is the most lifelike watercolour app, where you can blend your colors beautifully like on paper. The brush feels amazing; you even get the canvas textures with the longer you leave the brush on the canvas the more "paint" soaks in or merges with your other colors; its a gorgeous App. Plus Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro which offers a great selection of pencils, pen, airbrush and paintbrush and more.

Click HERE for more of a selection of Apps to use your new Sensu with.

Courtesy of Sensu website.

As my nothing to be proud of here are just some of the brilliant paintings that people have created using this amazing brush stylus on Sensu's gallery.

Those of you that are artists will love this option to use a painting app and get realistic paint effects on your tablet. Use it exactly like you would on canvas or paper and with the right app its not much different, except you have no setting up easels, paints or brushes and then no messy paint splashes or brushes to clean afterwards.
Just pickup your tablet and paint when the inspiration hits you. It just doesn't get any easier to use.
Those of you like me that have wanted to improve their art will also love this stylus as you have the choice of stylus or brush, I cannot get over how realistic the capacitive bristles feel and I have been using the Auryn ink app which not only makes you feel like you are using a canvas but the watercolor effects are incredible, with it drying and blending just as "real watercolors" will; except you have more control.
You cant get small fine variations with the brush unless you use the applications own size slider, but you simply swap back to the stylus to add anything finer.

It sits perfectly weighted and balanced in your hand and its beautifully responsive on my Nexus 10 and iphone, it feels completely natural. Yes you can do this with a stylus but you get a far more realistic feel to the paint with the Sensu brush; plus you have 2 in one useful tools for any device with a capacitive screen.
Feel like a real painter, it makes art so much more fun than using a basic stylus with its advanced hair technology to get realistic painterly effects. The ultimate artist stylus, use the stylus for sketching and pencil and charcoal but paint with the brush and you have an all round artist digital tool.

As for the stylus its one of the best stylus's I have ever tried I am one happy bunny and have been using this everyday on my tablet. I thought it would be a bit on the small side but once the brush is inside; it is deceiving I have found its a perfect balance and weight; both stylus and brush have been so well designed and its a great pressie for anyone who enjoys writing sketching, painting or gaming.
I feel this stylus will change how you use your art apps, you NEED to give this a go if you love your art!

  • Sleek,
  • Perfectly balanced and weighted,
  • Beautifully tapered and shaped,
  • Handle protects the capacitive bristles,
  • Responsive brush and stylus,
  • It would be nice to get replacement tips.

Buy your Sensu Artist Brush and stylus directly from
 Sensu or on Amazon Uk

All my thanks to the lovely people of Artist Hardware for sending me the gorgeous Sensu free of charge for this review.
All my views and opnions are my own.

Do you just want the brush to use then look no further Sensu have just launched the new Sensu Solo in 5 gorgeous colours.

For lots of help and advice and so much inspiration check out Sensu's videos mostly by Matt Lynaugh the founder of the Sensu brush and Artist hardware; an artist in his own right.
See Here

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