I've been using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for about 6 months now and am really enjoying it. It has definitely exceeded my expectations. I've spent my career going back and forth between traditional and digital media. My early commercial work was all traditional, airbrush, pen & ink, watercolor, gouache etc. I started using illustrator and photoshop in the early nineties for my medical illustration work. Around 2005, I started to paint again using acrylics for fine art purposes. Now, I do everything, depending on the project.
I'm finding the iPad Pro is great for sketching, concepting and even painting. My favorite applications so far are Adobe Sketch and Procreate. Adobe Sketch has a very simple, easy to use interface. I start out with the pencil tool and lightly sketch my subject just as I would with a real pencil on paper. Next, I'll use the thin "ink" pen which is amazing. It really feels like a fine-point marker.
The iPad is very responsive with no lag time. This is extremely important for artists, because the tool needs to feel natural. If you've used Wacom tablets, or the iPad prior to Apple pencil, you will know what I mean. Apple really nailed it this time.
I also love the large size iPad Pro, the split screen function is fantastic for putting a reference photo on one side, and the drawing application on the other. I tried to do some sketching outdoors, which presents some challenges depending on the lighting conditions. Try to sit in a shaded area as you draw, otherwise your screen will be blown out by the sun.
After "inking" my subject, I use the paintbrushes to fill in the color. The textures feel like paint, and can even react like paint by layering the "pigments" over each other. Procreate has a more complex interface with many brush and tool options. This is definitely geared towards a professional audience. It's really amazing how much you can do with this program. With just a quick swap of tools, you can airbrush, ink, paint, sketch and apply a filter. I highly recommend the iPad Pro to any artist, it will give you a mobile studio that you can take anywhere.
-Joe Bloch www.creativebloch.com