Brushes and Tools

Brush Gestures

To use a tool, just tap on it and start sketching. Tilt and pressure are supported with some styli (like Apple Pencil) and with some tools (each tool is a bit different), and will happen naturally as you tilt or press on the screen. Try them out and see which you like best.

As mentioned in the Tool Wheel section, the middle ring allows you to adjust the active brush’s size (how big it is), opacity (how transparent it is), and smoothing (how bumpy or smooth you want your line to appear once it’s drawn. 0% is no smoothing, 100% gives you a perfectly straight line between your starting and ending points no matter how wriggly you get. Great for train rides and polishing any hand.) Tap on one of these options to bring up your presets, or for a shortcut, just drag across it with your finger to adjust.

To access the Brushes menu, tap again on the active tool, or double-tap on an inactive tool.

Brushes Menu

In the Brushes menu, you can configure your tools with the bigger picture in mind. Up at the top is your brush viewer, which actively changes according to your settings. You can even draw inside it yourself and try out the tool.

Below the viewer you can select from a variety of organic or engineering brushes (shown below). Adjust the size, opacity and smoothness values, and see how changing them affects your preview stroke.

You can also set four preset values for each property. Tap on a value to activate it, then drag the handle on the slider to adjust it. You can enter a custom value via keyboard with a tap+hold on the preset value.

The presets you set here in the Brushes menu will apply to the presets you see on screen when you tap the size, opacity or smoothness buttons on the Tool Wheel / Bar.

Brushes and Tools

Pens

Pens are most widely used in sketching when you want to make a statement or reflect permanence. Our Pen and Fountain Pen tools react to velocity to vary their line width - draw fast to get a thicker stroke. We’ve had requests to update these for pressure, as well, we’ll address this soon. The Fixed Width Pen does what it says on the tin - it maintains a constant width from cap to cap.

Wire

This tool behaves like a traditional CAD or vector tool would - the line width is maintained at any zoom level, making it perfect for wireframes, light CAD drawings, perspective layouts, and more. Export an SVG file using Wire into another vector program and find the same clean line.

Soft & Hard Pencils

Slightly different in texture and feel, these traditional sketching tools are modeled on real pencils. They react naturally to tilt, pressure and velocity with a supported active stylus like Apple Pencil. For great shading, tilt your stylus like you would a real pencil.

Marker

Have you ever used a COPIC marker? Our markers have the same texture, transparency and edge that these popular markers have, making them great for highlighting, texturing and illustration work. Give yourself a wide tip or a narrow one, or increase / decrease the opacity to your liking.

Watercolor

This artistic wet brush blends beautifully with consecutive watercolor strokes in the same layer. Within a single layer, you can interrupt the blending by using other types of strokes in between (like Pen). You can use the eraser tool (below) to mask different pieces without affecting the blending. Enjoy using this brush with infinite Layers for an organic, dry edge effect.

Airbrush

The airbrush flows onto the screen with subtle texture and soft edges like the real medium. Popular with sketchnoters, for highlights and for painting, give your design some sheen.

Filled Stroke

Not to be confused with Bucket Fill (which we’re currently working on - lots of definitional bits to think about with the interactive parameters of vector strokes), the Filled Stroke tool is a brush unique to Concepts. It allows you to draw any type of shape - simple, wriggly, complex - with a stylus or finger, and fill the positive space inside.

“Positive space” refers to any area inside your drawn line between start and end point that is original to the stroke - as in, the area hasn’t been drawn over a second time during the same stroke. This crossing over of filled area causes it to become “negative space” and remain empty. Of course, if you draw over the area a third time within the same stroke, it becomes positive again and is filled.

Your resulting fill is a smooth, clean finish, customizable with opacity. Excellent for shadows, light, and complex figures, we think you’ll appreciate the possibilities this brush offers your design + art toolkit.

Troubleshooting. Since Fill takes into account the start and end points of your line, make sure Line Smoothing is set below 100%. Otherwise your shape will disappear into a line or a point as though the rest of the stroke never happened. Also check that your transparency is above 0%, or like all strokes it may disappear, only to be found when Selecting in the area.

Dotted

Great for annotations, partial boundaries or a bit of variety, the dotted line is a single stroke, not thousands of dots. Treat it as a textured stroke susceptible to color, opacity and smoothing.

Soft & Hard Erasers

In a traditional pixel-based world, erasers delete things permanently. But vectors aren’t pixels, they behave and remember data differently, and if you're comfortable with programs like Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, it may be easier to think of the Concepts erasers as masking tools. Our erasers visually remove anything underneath them, but the data isn't actually gone. You can still retrieve old strokes later, or adjust your mask as your drawings progress.

If you want to remove strokes completely, try selecting them with a tap+hold and then use Delete.

Double-tap the eraser button to open a Quick Clear menu. Here you can choose to delete everything, or clear all strokes, images or text.

The erasers stay the same size regardless of your zoom level. This means the further you zoom inward, the smaller its effects will be - very useful for working with the details. You can also change the size of the eraser using the Size slider, and its effects will scale the same way.

The Hard Eraser gives you crisp, clean edges; the Soft Eraser works beautifully with the pencils and watercolor (and any other tool) to soften edges in a true-to-life, artistic manner.

Text

Text labels are an easy, clean way to add annotations to your drawing. You can manipulate text the same way you manipulate other strokes and images.

  1. Set the active tool to Text. It might already be on your toolbar, or you may need to select it from the Brushes menu.
  2. Tap anywhere on screen to add a new text label. The keyboard will appear; type or paste text, then dismiss the keyboard by tapping done to solidify the label.

To edit a text label, Select it, then tap the text edit icon in the popup. It will take you back to the keyboard.

You can select and modify the appearance of your text label just like you’d select any other stroke. Select the text, then change its color or opacity via the tool wheel, use the Selection popups to rotate, flip, scale, group, lock, delete it (etc), or use the control points to stretch your text into Star Wars-like perspectives and align it with your drawing.

Concepts has full support for any language your device can input, including emojis :). We are currently limited to a single font, but we plan to allow font selection in a future update.

Selection Tool

The Selection tool can be added to any of your tool slots and has two modes: a single-select Item Picker and a multi-select Lasso. Toggle between these two options using the popup at the bottom of your canvas, or put a second finger down anywhere to temporarily toggle the mode.

The Selection tool can also be activated via tap+hold anywhere on the canvas - helpful for when you’re in sketching flow and don’t want to change tools. It can also be assigned as your finger gesture in Stylus settings. To learn more more about this tool, see Selection.

View Only

Whether you want to showcase your work to your client or just pan through your infinite canvas, you can use the View Only tool. It allows you to pan and zoom without accidentally selecting or changing anything in your drawing.