If, like me, you have an Apple Pencil or Apple Pencil 2 and a compatible iPad, but aren’t a great artist, you should download Pigment from the App Store. It allows you to color pictures just like you did as a kid. (Of course, kids can use it, as well.)
Coloring books for adults have been around for decades, but they’re more popular than ever and are believed to help reduce stress in some folks. The Pigment/Apple Pencil/iPad combo rings it into the digital realm.
With Pigment, you can color like you would on paper with colored pencils. You can choose from over 200 hand curated, professionally drawn illustrations. There are eight different kinds of pencils, markers and brushes (colored pencil, marker, paint brush, fill, airbrush, circle brush, linear gradient, radial gradient) and an unlimited number of colors to choose from. Once you're done, you can share your artistic masterpieces with others or print them using AirPrint.
Pigment does an excellent job at simulating pencil and brush strokes for a realistic coloring experience. It also adds finger support, but coloring with the Apple Pencil is a much more satisfying experience. I’ve heard complaints that the app’s palm recognition is terrible; however, I had no issues with it.
Pigment is free, but you’ll have to subscribe to Premium Access for a new book of designs every week. Premium Access is a paid subscription that gives you access to all of the designs in the Pigment Library, removes watermarks on your shared and saved images; and lets you save high resolution images. Subscriptions come in three flavors: weekly, monthly, and yearly for, respectively, $1.99. $4.99, and $24.99. If you’re really into coloring, those prices are reasonable. However, since I only color occasionally, I’d like the ability to buy one or two coloring pages for a low price per item.
On the downside, the color palettes are somewhat limited. You can create a custom shade, but, as far as I can tell, there’s no way to save it for use in your future coloring ventures.
Hopefully, future versions of Pigment will address these issues. In its current form, it’s still a fun virtual coloring book — and an excuse to buy an Apple Pencil for those who aren’t professional artists.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★