I was able to get hold of a current model, iPad (Generation 7) and an Apple Pencil (first generation) for work stuff, so I decided to try sketching with it. Keep in mind, I've tried this on a much older iPad using my fingers or a crappy stylus, and was completely disappointed with the lag time and lack of accuracy. However, I've read that the hardware and software has gotten a lot better—closing the gap between digital and analog sketching.
Although my new iPad is the base model of the current lineup, it's the perfect device for dipping your toes into the digital sketch pool. No need to invest in the expensive, super fast, huge screen iPad Pro - until you are sure this is a world you want to be in. The speed is pretty fast, with almost no lag time between the Apple Pencil and the lines drawn.
The Apple Pencil is pretty impressive with both accuracy and sensitivity. The iPad screen is still pretty slick and very not like paper. I've installed a new, matte finished screen protector, which should help with that.
Of course, after doing an extensive dive on what the best iPad sketching software, I found that Procreate made it to the top of most reviewer's lists. So, I dropped the whole $10 on the App and loaded it up. I'll do a more extensive review, once I get more familiar with it. I have to say, from what I've experienced, Procreate is both intuitive and robust—enough to satisfy the needs of a beginner and a seasoned professional.
The other issue I had with digital is file management. Many of the rough sketches that I had done on that previous iPad are lost. Both Procreate and the iPad, make it easy to share and export my art to devices off the iPad, in universal formats that are compatible with legacy graphics software from Adobe. I'm also making nice inkjet prints of my sketches, to save in a sketch portfolio—analog proof of my digital work.
Here are my first two sketches from Procreate The fist was completely digital to test out the sketch features. For the second, I thought I would start out with an analog sketch (from a digital photo), take a pic of that sketch and import it into Procreate. With layers, it was easy to use my analog sketch as a reference to finish my digital piece. Very meta.
Overall, I'm pretty addicted to the ease of having as many undo's as I need to get my lines right. It does take away some of the organic nature of the mistakes made in analog, but I can live with that for now.