Monday, December 31, 2012

Drawing with the Pen and Ink app on the ipad - drawing of a tabby cat from life

Quick sketch from life using the Pen and Ink app on the ipad, drawn with my fingers

The free Pen and Ink app really does have the scratchy feel of pen and ink.  It comes with very limited tools and options but you can pay to have more.   I'm planning to stick with the free pen option on this one.

I couldn't work out how to open the image in another programme with layers to add colour (on the ipad) so I did it on the pc - see below:

With added colour

I simply worked on a layer below the pen drawing, using the colour at low opacity, with the layer option set to Multiply, so that glazes of colour built up with transparency.  I'm sure this is possible on the ipad when I can work out how to move the image into a suitable programme.   I know how to do the opacity/layers thing on the ipad in other apps - it's the moving an image into another app that I can't do.

sketch of winter undergrowth using pen and ink app on the ipad, using a basic Colt stylus pen


This app is another keeper.   It allows fluid, expressive lines, with no pixellated, digital look.  I'm impressed.

It comes with one pen style, several ink colours and erasers.  You can buy more options if you wish, quite cheaply.  For me this is probably enough .... time will tell.

Has anyone else used this?  or have any recommendations not already on my list?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

drawing and painting programmes for the ipad: OmniSketch, and a little photography with the thermal imaging camera on the ipad

Taken with the thermal image option on the ipad

 A preliminary look at the apps for art and photography on the ipad that I've experimented with so far, some were deleted as rubbish but I didn't keep track of the names,  though I know Glaze was one, sorry!   .......


 A free app.

This one was a lot of fun and my grandchildren enjoyed it as well (aged 2 and 5).  It is a little like the Mr Doob Harmony programme for pc I've shown here before, with interesting marks working on algorhythms. I really enjoyed experimenting with the way the marks interacted with each other and the difference that speed and pressure made.  

The colour palette was a colour wheel, so lots of choices and the ability to choose close colour or tone, creating a reasonable amount of subtlety in finished pieces.

The symmetry option was good - finished images sometimes felt as though they would work well in embroidery or stained glass or as a repeated pattern in fabric.

 detail, because seeing the whole images, reduced to fit here, gives no idea of all the intricate marks that actually make them

(click here for images done with the free Harmony programme some time ago,  for those without an ipad.   They were then played with further in Photoshop)

Taking images from this and combining and changing them in Photoshop will be interesting.  The one below was one where I simply played with changing the colours, getting desaturated colours not possible in the original programme.

and another OmniSketch piece


This programme is most suited to illustration and design - but I'd love to have a go at solar plates from them.   I've never done solar plates but these might lend themselves to the process?   they certainly would translate well to traditional etching I feel.

You can buy extra brushes for 69p  (99c)  and the one above was done 3 of these.

and more OmniSketch images ..........


the above repeated as a fabric design ....

so ......... more to come on the programmes I've been looking at ........

Thermal imaging option on the ipad camera

The image at the top was me experimenting with the thermal images option on the ipad camera - I really like this facility, I took some lovely pictures of my grandchildren with it.

I think that's enough for now but over the next few weeks/days I'll also show some of the experimenting with Flowpaper, another fun one, Paper 53ProFSketch. Spray Paint. Pen and Ink, Sketch Book Pro, iPastels, Brushes (the one Hockney uses), Procreate and Art Studio  - some were recommended by friends and some I found myself.

I also need to get my real paints out.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone

Wishing all my readers and friends a very Happy Christmas.

 Someone sent me this great poem one year - 2 cats is even worse, especially when you've left it to Christmas Eve to start wrapping .........

Wrapping Presents with a Cat

Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

1. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.

2. Open door and remove cat from closet.

3. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

4. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.

5. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .

6. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.

7. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.

8. Remove present from bag.

9. Remove cat from bag.

10. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.

11. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.

12. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.

13. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.

14. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.

15. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.

16. Place present on paper.

17. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.

18. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.

19. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.

20. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

21. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.

22. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.

23. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.

24. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.

25. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.

26. Put present in box, and tie down with string.

27. Remove string, open box and remove cat.

28. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.

29. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.

30. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.

31. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)

32. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)

33. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.

34. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.

35. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.

36. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.

37. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.

38. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.

39. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.

40. Go to store and buy a gift bag

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Using the iPastels app in ipad, my review

sunset study with the Pastels app on ipod

The ipastels app on the ipad is good to use, a definite keeper.  If you like using pastels this is defintitely worth trying out.

I've downloaded several .....  umm  quite a lot.... of apps to try out, those that I don't like will be deleted eventually.

As I've downloaded this I can't tell if it was a freebie or a bought one, sorry but it doesn't show any more once it's purchased - but the prices for any I bought were very low, all under £3.

It's very simple to use with all the options clearly laid out and quick to access.

You can work on different layers, preserving the layers beneath while you experiment.   I haven't used this yet but have worked in a similar way in Photoshop and know how handy it is. The image above was done on a single layer.

You can vary the stroke width and pressure, meaning colours mix very naturally, thin veils of colour can be laid down and subtle transitions made, the smudge tool offering even more ability to get those soft lost edges.   The clouds were created with a mix of purple and brown, skimmed and blended, built over several thin passes to dull the purple down a little, they mixed very much as real pastel would.

Different colour palettes can be selected for the range of colours you fancy for any given painting.  You will have to mix colours - but then you would using real pastels.

The only down for me is that I can't see anywhere to select the resolution and it appears to be quite low when exported to my pc, unlike some other programmes.  If you want to print I think it would only be capable of a small image.  It looks fine onscreen so if you aren't bothered about printing then it isn't a problem.

Has anyone else used this app? and what did you think?   Katherine I think you'll like this one if you haven't got it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

more ipad sketching

more sketching with omnisketch and close up detail

I think some of the earlier doodles would have worked well as stained glass windows with the light glowing throught them - this one I see as an embroidery.  If I had the talent I'd have a go at doing one!

What do you think?

and thank you for the app suggestions, they've been extremely helpful.

And as a teaser - Derwent have got a really gorgeous new product coming out next year.   I can't tell you about it but I'm going to get to play with it :>)  I did have a really quick secret go when I was demo-ing at the NEC in October and LOVED it!  The hitmen would be after me if I told though :>D

Sunday, December 16, 2012

more christmassy doodling on the ipad

 detail of drawing below

More drawings on the ipad, using Omnisketch.   Isn't the blue/purple luscious against the firy reds and oranges?

entire drawing using omnisketch

I've shown details as the fine marks don't show otherwise.

detail of above image

Still loving it!   I have to work out how to get these directly from the ipad to the blog - if anyone wants to leave instructions in the comments I'd be delighted,  So far I've emailed them to myself and posted via the computer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

sketching with an ipad

Drawing with an ipad

detail showing the marks
My Christmas present to me, from me, for having had a horrible year was an ipad.  Friends have given me masses of great advice on which apps to download for art (and others).   Any more advice on apps is welcome.

This one is done with OmniSketch and it works on algorhythms, rather like the programme by Mr Doob that I've used here before.  It's lovely for creating rich patterns and this one was done using an option that creates the symmetry as you go.  Lines relate to each other, depending on nearness and the speed of your hand as you draw, creating fine spidery marks linking them.   There is a gallery of paintbrush, mark making options.  It's fun!

I've got Brushes - as used by David Hockney - and Procreate, which I'm told is good but haven't seriously played with these yet.  I got hooked into the rich, decorative Christmassyness possible with Omnisketch.

I have to say that the ipad is very very user friendly.   I only had to look up a couple of things, the rest was just intuitive.

So ...... more to come :>)   and any apps you'd recommend, I'd love to hear about.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

careless observation and correcting a painting!

error corrected - that doorway, gouache and tinted charcoal pencil

Looking at that doorway again, I realised that with talking, teaching and not paying proper attention, I'd got the proportions of that downpipe way out!  I'd been reading it as a dark piece of wall (working from a photo in the warmth  in class on this one and I doubt if I'd have been so silly if I'd been working from life, bad print on typing paper too).

So .... it was a case of washing out the offending area to narrow the pipe and then adding the sliver of bricks  and matching the suggestion of the steel shutters.  Thank goodness it's easy to lift paint from the S&B paper because of its brilliant sizing.  So today's class had a demo of washing out mistakes!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Urban sketching with my Stillman and Birn Beta hardback book, watercolour and Derwent tinted charcoal pencils and a question about ipads

Faded grandeur,   an A4 sketch of an Edwardian? Victorian? doorway, sandwiched between the shutters of adjacent factories.  Watercolour and tinted charcoal pencils

I pass this door frequently and had never noticed it until a friend pointed it out!  This fascinating sliver of  ornate carving and tilework of the original building, now largely hidden and framed by huge modern metal shutters.  It's patched, distressed surface was fascinating and I may well do some close ups of that as it doesn't show so well at this scale.

I've decided to extend the slow burning waterways project (city and county streams, rivers, canals, pools, flooded quarries etc) to include the city and the interesting or quirky or just beautiful-in-their-ugliness bits.  I'll keep this book just for this project and add the other urban stuff I've done to keep it together.  I'll probably keept the waterways element in the books that are already going.

S&B  how about a pocket in the back of the sketchbooks for loose stuff like this?

The paper in these is beautiful - heavy (180lb) - and it takes any medium I can throw at it.  The sizing makes colour glow. It's not yet available in the UK but hopefully before too long it will be.

And ....  I'm very tempted to treat myself to an ipad - any advice on what you use yours for, how easy or difficult it is to transfer information to and from a PC to it etc etc etc would be gratefully received :>)

And how idiot proof it is to someone who hasn't really used Apple Macs and is only pc literate.