Monthly Archives: July 2014

More screen sharing… (HP, Sony and MS Surface).


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:


…followed by a Sony Xperia Z:


…and then I finished the session off on a Surface Pro 2 (which I wasn’t going to but was asked nicely enough by one of the staff to think ‘oh OK, one more picture then…’).


FAQ:

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:

(Styli painted in ArtRage app).

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.

At the #DigitalRevolution exhibition at the Barbican Centre.

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:

Happy end of one era….


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…

The Madness of Marques Brownlee.


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.

Process video:

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.

Performing Spripple Monkey.

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.

London Adobe #CreateNow: This is EXACTLY how the event went…


So it’s been a HECK of a month (and we’re still only 10 days into it…)


It started with the end of year graphics exhibition. Well. Exhibitions. One at the Bar Des Arts in Guildford, courtesy of the very amazing Kath Jones’ organisational excellence, followed, three days later by the graphics takeover of the Creative Corridor from my good self, Aidan, Beth, Gio, Alex and Kath again.

One the wine had worn off from the open evenings it was back on the road to the #CreateNow event hosted by Adobe all over the world. I had a ticket to waddle up to the London leg of the journey and, while there it was… well… This was the first picture I drew, in Adobe Sketch on the tube from Waterloo:


Which set the tone, I think.

Adobe had, a long few months ago, announced the Project Mighty (a fascinating looking connected stylus) and Napoleon (a connected ruler). Shortly before the Create Now events they had also launched a series of free iOS apps (Sketch, Line, Photoshop Mix, Voice) with the first two working more than happily with the Ink and Slide (as Mighty and Napoleon had been renamed).

And I knew they would be there. Which is why I was too 🙂

The excellent @BeatleJase lent me his Slide ruler (see what they did there?) from the get go, which is why I went easy on him when drawing:

(to be fair this was drawn at the end of the day and we were all a bit punchy)

The first pic I drew with Slide was this:


Took a bit of getting used to, and I don’t think I’m the target market for it, but it’s a very nicely constructed piece of kit. Beautifully so. It feels too light to be a working unit and then, when you lay it on the screen, it… to borrow a phrase, just works.

So after the brickwork I drew this:


… and, again, I was impressed with how effortlessly the ruler was a part of the screen.

Now… the problem with an Adobe Create Now event is that, really and truly, I would love to be just listening and catching up on what’s being said and the new functions that are being teased. But I felt like I should be drawing, so, with only half of my attention on the stage I’m pretty sure this actually happened:


Eventually the effortlessly cool @Mchaize and @Rufusd finished their product demos and I held Rufus up with a water pistol filled with indelible purple ink. One of us was coming out of the stand off inked.


Fortunately for both of us the water pistol was whisked away by the Adobe magicians to be turned into the next big input device*. And I had an Ink stylus to play with for an hour…

*Copyright me. A water pistol screen input was always going to happen I’m astounded no-one came up with it before me.


The problem was – Rufus happily told me once the ink/water pistol had been whisked away – that the Ink stylus only works (currently) with iPad 4 and up. And me, being a part time teacher with an understanding – but equally part time teacher – wife, am still on my trusty 3.

Help was at hand and I hooked up with another show attendee who was happy to share her iPad 4 with the Ink stylus. I didn’t mind sharing… much… 🙂 The combination of not my stylus and not my iPad led to this:







…and a few other pics that you can see on my Flickr Feed.

Incidentally the final pic above was an excellent talk, as was the talk which preceded him about Hollywood special effects but by that point I was happy to just let things happen. All in all the day completely delivered on its remit of showcasing awesome aspects of creativity and made me want to play with desktop software which is not always the case as I’m far more at home with a tablet (or several tablets).

Sadly once Rufus worked out that I’d swapped his stylus for a banana I had to get the heck of (colour) Dodge:


and all of that art and exercise led to Stylus T. and I being tired little screen painting partners on the way home:


Although somewhere along the line I think I dreamt that I carried on with my Frog and Blueteeth picture which since the Inky addition has now had a Jot Touch PixelPoint added to it too.


And that is that, I think. ’twas an excellent day, as the Adobe shows always are. Loved being able to sit and draw in it. All of the above pics, natch, were drawn with Adobe Line (free), Sketch (free) and Photoshop Touch (not free but worth every penny) on an iPad 3, iPad 4 or Tesco Hudl. Hope you like.


On the Jot Touch PP score… I’d love to play with the Ink and Jot next to each other. I’ve got some things I want to say about the Touch but I want to play with the Ink at the same time to see if my thoughts are still fair…

‘Til the next time 🙂