RIP Omnisketch

Omnisketch is gone. The classic geometric procedural drawing app still runs on my old iPad 2, but it no longer saves edits, so yeah, functionally kaput. Nor can I reinstall it, as it has left the App Store.

It was a simple but powerful drawing app. It had no layers, no color picker was low resolution, and didn’t have many brushes. What it did have was very intuitive blending modes. Any brush could be in any mode, which meant that ‘happy accidents’ were easy to come by. For example, triangles or half-circles with full opacity in difference mode created wild color combinations; you could draw with abandon and undo what didn’t work.

Here’s an example of a pure Omnisketch image using the above techniques. Many more examples are here.


I could get amazing complexity with only one layer using geometric brushes of various sizes, opacity and blending modes.

What’s next?

Procreate, of course, the most likely suspect in the death of my old friend. It has everything that Omnisketch lacked and so much more. High resolution, layers, endless undo, color pickers, brushes (and a powerful brush creation engine) and more. All that power comes at a price, (but not in dollars, it’s very reasonable) which is a learning curve. I’m getting better and doing abstracts and landscapes, but it takes a lot longer. I have made a bunch of brushes I’ve made that sort of emulate Omnisketch: triangles, circles, lines, etc. and I can assign blending modes within the brushes, which is amazing. But for all that, it’s harder to get into the state of flow that I did with OS. But there’s no going back. Sigh.