Results day at college today which is always a little emotional for good and bad reasons. All of my students passed, which was good, but they didn’t always pass all courses, which is less so.
So come 3.30 it was time to escape and draw something so off to PC World I went to do 70 minutes of drawing. Which I have been known to do off and on (and on)… (and on). (As well as at the Gadget Show and so on).
I started off with a LG G3, which I’ve wanted to draw on for a while:
Which I liked loads. VERY nice screen and built in art (and notes) app which worked very smoothly. Drawn with a Jot Script stylus (as were all of the pictures below as well).
Once I’d drawn on that my eye went to an Asus hybrid laptop. I’ve wanted to draw on an Asus Vivotab 8 for a few weeks now and this was as close as they got. No idea what to draw and a brief trawl through the sludge of my memory came up with a Cyberman so that’s what I drew using the very wonderful Fresh Paint app:
(which I also liked loads and makes me more interested than even to draw on a Vivotab 8).
And then, as I still had a few minutes left of the hour I’d allotted myself, I drew on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 edition. I’d been told that side of the shop had a Samsung Galaxy Pro to hand but that proved not to be the case but, while that side of the shop, I decided to draw on the more recent version of the tablet instead:
All in all a lovely hour (well, 70 minutes) of drawing… Enjoyed doing the Cybermen too, so may come back to them in the future.
The iPad (and a range of tablets including the Hudl, Surface, Galaxy Tab, a variety of Dell, Lenovo and Asus tablets and so on) is currently my go-to painting and drawing device because of the increased screen real estate – something that I remember not being convinced about when I imported my very first iPad. But then, somehow, the larger screens became the ones I picked up most to do a painting and the Phone… well, it didn’t languish, but the drawn images became fewer and further between. I still draw on the small screen but those pictures are rarer.
And therein lies the rub: what I love about the iPhone is the camera. The Lumia‘s might have better glass but the iPhone, currently, has the better apps and the quicker pedal to metal. The Galaxy S4 was awful in this respect and I took far more blurry photo than I would have liked with that phone which, apart from that one pitfall, I liked loads. All of the pics in this blog and this blog were taken with the iPhone… Its my go to photography device 99% of the time and with the addition of an Olloclip it becomes even more fun:
As you can probably guess I’m extremely fond of Autostitch, Boinx’ You Gotta See This app (which, while brilliant, is VERY MUCH in need of an update) and Olloclip’s in general. I’ve mentioned it before but I was utterly heartbroken when one of my two Ollo’s bit the dust
I’ve written about Phoneography before, and no doubt will again ((although you’d be far better served by checking out the work of the very wonderful Nettie ‘Lumilyon’ Edwards who takes mobile phone photography very much to a higher level)). My mind is already moving towards the likely September 6th announcement of a new iPhone (although I will have an eye very firmly pointed to the keynote at IFA for the Samsung Note 4 – which is a fabulous phone. I love the S-Pen integration very much) but, with both announcements, it’ll be the camera that I’ll be most interested in seeing the evolution to come…
We’re all fully signed up Dr Who fans in the Kercal household…. So we were determined to catch the Who Exhibition before it closes and regenerates (and then we’ll probably catch it all over again).
Anyhow, that led to this:
…and I bought (and swapped a gold Dalek) for this:
(which takes pride of place on my table of skulls):
…. and I photographed the waistcoat from Paul McGann’s costume because I liked it (and for no real plan in mind). Yesterday I turned it into this (on my trusty ArtRage/iPhone combination )
And I also stole a couple of minutes to draw a Marlek in PC World in Cardiff
…and the good wife also found herself creatively inspired by the idea of being at the Dr Who Experience so made some felt toys to go along with us…
….and she also made me a felt Stylus T. Frog for our 21st Wedding Anniversary which was the day before we did the Dr Experience
August means holiday and this year it was Wales. Partially that was to catch the Dr Who exhibition prior to the close and rejig as a Capaldi thing and partially that was just to relax on rocky beaches. Lovely time in lovely place.
On a recommendation from a Marmarati mate I tried a curry at Moksh in Cardiff Bay. Ultra scrummy – first time I’d had Crocodile curry. Hopefully not the last.
All in all – a very wonderful week away. Also coincided with my 21st wedding anniversary so we had an especially chilled Thursday.
….and we had fireworks on the beach. Hurrah.
Sometimes, often times in fact, I like to head down to PC World in Guildford (which is about 15 minutes walk away from where I work) and draw on a screen or two. The nice thing about being in tablet art is that not only can I draw on the screens I have at my disposal but I can also have a play with screens in a number of shops on demo and display. I’ve yet to come up with a name for the process that I like (having gone through Doodle bombing, Screen sharing and Share Screening off and on) but it’s something that I like to do for an hour or so. Generally each picture tends to clock in at some internal body clock at fifteen to twenty minutes and then it’s on to the next screen and device to test drive. It amuses me to think that on a good fifty or so machines (minimum) there’s a picture of a frog or a snail or so on, untilthe machine is wiped
The other day I popped in and drew on an HP All in One:
As always, for the most part, I had no idea what I was going to draw. I keep meaning to have a plan for such times but they tend to happen without warning and mostly on whim so, for the most part, the planning happens as I’m walking through the doors to see which machines are available or new…
Did I have a favourite machine? It’s what I’m often asked either as I’m drawing or when people see that I chop and change devices so much. Nope, not really… I have a couple of machines/machine makers which I don’t like – because of muted colours or rough Matte finish screens (which in a way is a complete about face as I can remember when I traded up from my Matte screen polycarb Macbook to a MBP with glossy screen and oh boy did I moan like mad…) Some machines take to more styli than others – often with no rhyme or reason. The HP All in One likes the Nomad Flex over the Nomad Compose for example, but that’s fine. In the same way that some apps suit some styli more than others so do some screens. It’s not a dealbreaker for me (to this date the only machine – tablet or otherwise – which has worked with all styli I use is the HTC One M8. Nothing works with everything).
Which stylus is my favourite? Often asked that and my answer – always – is ‘I can only pick one?’ There are styli that I don’t like – mainly for mechanical or ergonomic reasons – but oftentimes I chat to an artist who likes one I don’t like and, again, that’s fine J Roz Hall loves his Alupen, personally I tend not to like rubberised tips on styli. Susan Murtaugh likes the Jot Touch PixelPoint and I REALLY don’t get along with that one (despite having tried my hardest to learn to like it). Each to their own.
I tend to like these ones here, sort of:
I painted it for a tablet art class I’m running in London to illustrate a good range of styli which might suit that participants. The Cosmonaut is one I don’t use that much but feel would suit people with less fine ability to grip a smaller stylus and as the class age runs from 10 – 80 I tried to cover all bases. Similarly the Nomad Long Hair is a fabulous stylus but I prefer the short hair one. All in all though it’s a good group of styli which meets a whole range of needs.
Regardless: the opportunity to draw on screens is always much appreciated. Hope you like the pics.
Just under two years ago the students and I had the very wonderful opportunity to draw at the Barbican.
All sorts of fun it was too. I’ve been to the Barbican a few times but the space lends itself to exploration and the opportunity to spend two long days in there was a fabulous thing.
I’ve been back a few times since but last week I was demo-ing iPad artwork in Brent Cross so decided to head up early to take in the technology and art exhibition which had recently opened. As always some parts seemed to be geared towards me drawing on tablet which led me to photograph and paint a Next Cube (which was well and truly on my bucket list of machines to draw on. Sadly it worked but had no art software to utilise).
The stars of the show, for me, were either the mechanical tentacles or the interactive light beams. Both had a hypnotic quality which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hence a mash up painting drawn on iPad on the tube heading to the next part of the evening…
And the(occasionally) obligatory process video animation:
For between 18 – 20 years (hard to tell it’s been so long) my wife and I have led a youth group for kids aged 10 – 14 in a church hall on a council estate. We led our final group last week and did a sort of semi-official hand over to the new worker in charge (because the group will carry on, which is the loveliest thing of all) and then, this Friday, we had a social night for the youth group leaders and the kids who had been at the group longest and were leaving this year.
It’s been, basically, emotional. A little. For the past year especially I’ve been shattered before I start each night (although it’s never hard to raise the energy levels for a game of football or chat to the kids who attend) and it’s the right time, for a number of reasons, to stop.
We thought Friday night had been the finale but were ambushed by everyone in the church with a range of gifts and a meal as a thank you. All of it was a lovely surprise; there were a number of rounds of applause as kids said thank you for various things we’d done over the years and almost everyone said thank you for working so hard.
Basically – and we’re keeping the tickets to the Shard (one of the presents) in a safe place so no returns… But it wasn’t work. Sitting down and chatting to kids, seeing how they are and encouraging the best out of them, has never been work and, though we’ve been tired through what life has thrown our way for the past few years, running the youth group has always been a pleasure. Sometimes the nights were trickier to navigate than others but always we felt like we were in the right place at the right time.
Now it’s time to rest though, for a while…
Because of my advancing age (43. Blimey) I’m more into podcasts than I am into YouTube vodcasts (which is where my daughter, for example, is more in her natural affinity). I tend to listen to podcasts as I walk to and from work then any free time after that is given to drawing on screens rather than watching them…
So it was from podcasts like TWiT, British Tech, CNET UK and so on that I heard about the sapphire display video from @MKBHD. That probably helped, in the mental formulation of this picture, in as much as it was an audio thing rather than a visual thing.
The only thing I had in mind with the picture, at the beginning, is that I wanted an iPad screen covered in Samphire… The text came last as I was considering how the picture had fallen onto the screen and how it looked. Hopefully people won’t take it seriously and have Marques booted from YouTube.
Regardless. Today started off with some horrible news hit me for six and then some (a youth group connection with the crashed plan yesterday) so I sat in my shed and painted the above image on an iPad 3 using the very fabulous ArtRage app and a Pogo Sketch Pro stylus. Took my mind off the world which was exactly the intention.
Of course if the screen IS made from Samphire I’ll want this video to hit at least 100 million views and to be called a tech guru for the rest of my life.
ArtRage is lovely in many ways, especially as (if you remember) it remembers what you’ve done and with a gentle amount of effort you can create a video of your picture coming to be. Hence the video above, gently soundtracked by the very awesome Duke Special.
I don’t often bring it up but my son is autistic. Which means certain formats and actions are followed or fallen into and become, in odd ways, routine and ordinary.
Most nights, for example, I’m asked to draw between 10 and 30 cards with Mario faces on. The cards have to be a set size (or they risk being folded up neatly and, if we’re lucky, thrown into the bin but more often that not are put in his mouth or thrown on the floor). They have to look as close as they can to the set cards given (or they run the risk of… well… you know) and they have to be uncreased, unsmudged etc. (or they etc again).
Tonight I drew these while son boy and I sat in the shed of skulls*.
Directly after drawing them he demanded one more and I snapped and said ‘you are a fascist tyrant and I am not a performing scribble monkey’. It’s the sort of thing we all say at each other in the family, fairly frequently.
So he drew me this:
Which I love and will keep somewhere forever. So, of course, I drew him one more card to add to the set and, for the sake of the blog, we put all of the cards together for a group photo. I seem to have drawn quite a few, and suspect I’ll draw more, until the next routine shows itself.
* ‘cos, y’know, having a shed of skulls is perfectly normal and ordinary. I have no odd moments, honest.