The Sensational Sensu Brush

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If you are a new PDA (portable digital device) user, or have never considered using a stylus on your tablet or mobile phone; a digital stylus is a device (generally with the look-and-feel of a ballpoint pen, but with a rubberized tip) that is used in place of your finger to navigate a digital touch-screen. With the advent of Microsoft Windows 7, touch-laptops and computer touch-monitors, a digital stylus is no longer limited to PDAs. Still, many diehard touch-screen enthusiasts insist that fingers are the only way to explore their portable devices.

I personally prefer the precision of a stylus over my awkwardly wide fingertips. Especially when it comes to creating digital artwork (on a PDA), "finger-painting" is downright archaic. Although I love using a stylus, much to my dismay, I have discovered that not all styli are created equal.

Over the past year, I have worked with a variety of styli, from the very expensive brand names to the bargain-bin cheapies. One thing I have found that they did have in-common was the rubberized tip's lack of durability. I was very disappointed when using one of the most expensive brands and the tip ripped after only a month's worth of normal usage.

Then along came the sensational Sensu Brush/Stylus. The first time I used the Sensu stylus on my iPad, I was immediately impressed with the stability, as well as the durability, of the rubberized tip. Slightly shorter than the majority of popular styli, at four and a half inches long (when in stylus mode), the Sensu Brush/Stylus fits perfectly in your hand, making it the ideal length for everyday functionality for both tablets and mobile phones. With its durability and comfort, if you only purchase the Sensu Brush/Stylus for the stylus portion it's well worth the $39.99 price tag.

However, if you are a digital artist or a traditional artist longing for the feel of an actual paintbrush, within the sleek, compact, utilitarian design of the Sensu Brush/Stylus is a hidden masterpiece … an actual paintbrush.

For traditional artists who have turned to digital art (like myself), this revolutionary brush created exclusively by the Sensu innovative technicians, is a long-awaited dream come true. Ironically, their journey to develop the perfect digital paintbrush bristles took them away from the computer realm, and into the world of cosmetics. According to the product developers, their "ah-ha moment" came when a Japanese acquaintance directed the Sensu team to a cutting-edge technology designed exclusively for the creation of cosmetic make-up brushes.

From the Sensu website: "Traditional synthetic brush hair was being infused with conductive properties to help fine powder release from make-up brushes as they came in contact with skin. This synthetic hair could be made in the diameters and tapers we required for Sensu to feel just right."

From there, as the saying goes … history was made!

Not only did the Sensu team develop the perfect digital paintbrush, they also included a matching metal cover that fits easily over the paintbrush, keeping the tapered bristles protected when not in use. When it's time to convert the sensational Sensu Stylus into the amazing Sensu Paintbrush, just lift off the protective cap and insert it over the stylus end.


The All-In-One, Sensu Brush and Stylus © Sensu Brush

The cover also provides the user with the option of extending the length of the paintbrush "handle" by nearly three inches when capping the stylus end. Alternatively, leaving the protective cap off, allows the user to quickly switch from the paintbrush to the stylus end. Depending on the specific needs of the artist and the desired artistic effect within the art program, this optional portability allows the artist's imagination to soar.

Another one of the unique qualities of the Sensu Brush/Stylus is its ability to adapt to a variety of touch devices, such as: all versions of Apple's iPad and iPhone, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy, HTC Desire S, Google Nexus S, and the Motorola Atrix. While the many other stylus devices are not compatible with Microsoft's touch-screens, the Sensu Brush was tested to work on Windows 8 touch screen devices, including: the Microsoft Surface Tablet, the Samsung Tablet, and the Dell Latitude 10 (the next generation of laptop/tablets).

As I stated earlier, of all the styli I have test-driven this past year, the stylus portion of the Sensu Brush/Stylus was pure perfection. Even though I was impressed with the look and feel of the Sensu digital paintbrush, as a traditional artist I was eager to see how the brush portion performed. I was even more curious how a digital paintbrush would compare to painting with a traditional paintbrush.

For the past twenty years I've delved exclusively into drawing and painting digitally. Yet, with my roots deeply imbedded in traditional art there are things that I miss about painting old-school. The most obvious is the movement of a paintbrush on paper/canvas.


Painting achieved using the Sensu Brush on an iPad 2, within the ArtRage painting/drawing App.
Ody © Dee Marie

My first impression the moment I touched the digital paintbrush to my tablet was how natural the brush bristles felt upon the surface. After painting with an unyielding stylus for over twenty years, the sensation of moving bristles upon a digital tablet was surreal, and more importantly, it was fun!

As well as using a variety of iPad painting/drawing apps, I also tried out several types of paints and painting techniques. The downside of using a paintbrush on a digital tablet was not attributed to the the Sensu Brush, but instead to the physical movement of the paint within each of the painting/drawing apps. In a perfect artsy-world, thinning or thickening of the paintbrush's movement would be defined by the actual pressure of the bristles on the surface. But, unfortunately (at least for now), painting digitally is still dependent upon the parameters within each of the painting/drawing apps.

Both the Sensu Stylus and the Sensu Brush are: portable, durable, practical, efficient, and most important, fun to use. Even with the minor limitations, faux painting with the Sensu Brush/Stylus' actual paintbrush is the closest experience I've had to traditional painting in my twenty years of creating digital art. I highly recommend the versatile, sensational Sensu Brush/Stylus; it is a must-have tool for all digital artists.

I invite you to explore the Sensu Brush/Stylus website

I also encourage you to visit the Sensu Art Gallery


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Contributing Columnist, Dee-Marie,
Author of "Sons of Avalon: Merlin's Prophecy"

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February 25, 2013

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Member Opinions:
By: Paula Sanders on 2/26/13
This was very interesting. I rarely paint on my iPad. Do they have anything similar for a Wacom or would that not work since it isn't a touch screen?

This was a very informative review.


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