iSkelter and Araree iPad Pro Drawing Boards

Sep 27, 2018

The iPad, just like the Wacom Companion, consists mostly of screen surface, with almost no bezel to get a grip on. For this reason, the obvious first step in customizing the hardware is, again, getting a larger drawing board into which, the device can be inserted, and which also serves as a protective case while creating a larger surface for the artist's hands. While such a board had to be custom made for the less mainstream Companion, there are a few choices to purchase for the iPad Pro. Two products are recommended to the reader, the Canvas Creator from iSkelter and the Araree iPad Pro Drawing Desk. Both are quality wooden boards, but there are some differences in their intended use.

While the Canvas Creator by iSkelter has the better finish of the two, with a padded background and a precisely cut slot for the pencil, it is rather heavy, and thus mostly intended for use on one's lap. More importantly, it lacks a solution for charging the iPad Pro while in the board. The Smart Board by Araree is lighter and feels a bit more fragile than the Canvas Creator. It also has a place to put the Pencil, but it's more of an indentation than a slot and doesn't provide any protection. Its surface, however, is much larger, giving a lot more elbow room for the artist. Moreover, the newer model has a tunnel for the lightning cable, so the iPad can stay connected to a power source while inserted into the board. Although both drawing desks add a lot to the field drawing experience, the lighter and larger Smart Board is recommended over iSkelter’s solution when it comes to day-to-day use in the field. The board that's used by the Survey has been customized with a handle and rotating knobs to keep the iPad from falling out at certain angles.

While the iSkelter Canvas Creator can be ordered at a discounted price ($59,99 for all iPad Pro sizes), the Araree Smart Board is only compatible with the first and second generation iPad Pro 12,9” and currently marked as sold out/unavailable on both Araree and Amazon.




1 comment(s)

Ceridwen Oldridge

Aug 30, 2021

This article is extremely helpful. thank you! The IPad has been great for its portability. I use it to draw/write in my bed, on the couch, and while traveling. I also have a 15.6” XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro ( ) and found the screen to be fine for my needs (illustration in Photoshop).

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