Tag Archives: ArtRage

The most hectic month on record, ever.

 

London. May 12.

Blimey it’s been a month.

Barman versus Wolverine alternative cover. #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford

Three weeks ago the students and I trekked our way across London, beginning in Camden Market with an exhibition at Chin Chin Labs of the artwork the kids had made in the ice cream banknote brief. Once we’d done that, and a brief art walk around the historic Stables, we dashed to the Apple Store, Regent Street, to take the stage and speak from our vantage point from the intersection between education and tech arts.

Apple Store and Chin Chin labs.

Apple Store and Chin Chin labs.

It was fab, a bit stressful at times, but a lovely day. Once in a while it’d be nice to walk into something where I have a full charge of energy but that never seems to happen.

4k IWB art working = yes. #SMARTboard #DigiFest15

After that? A week after that in fact, we ran a stand at the JISC Digital Festival. THAT was also awesome. Tech art on SMART board and iPad, demoing our skills to a wide array of Universities, companies and more. It was a huge pleasure to be involved in and the students thoroughly enjoyed being treated like they were the custodians of the images made in a brand new world.

Three days after that? I was invited to christen the Google wall on Tottenham Court Road. It was a lot of fun. A limited tool set to say the least but nice to spread out on a very large canvas. May well be in there again on the following two Thursdays, umming and ahhing about what I should do. After that a very lovely tablet art teaching session at the Ben Uri gallery in London, which is always wonderful to be a part of.

Stylus T Frog and the fish eyed Doodlewall.

One day after that…? Oh, just setting up our stand at the London Super Comics Convention.

With apologies to #CharlieAdlard. Riffing on his #LSCC image. #WelcomeToGuildford

Just so we’re clear, not all months are like this. This has been a bit hectic. At times unpleasantly so (especially when one unsupportive voice tried to raise hers above the fab supportive ones). Regardless – how can you say no to the opportunity to have your students treated like stars? It’s been a month of 18 hour days but their Cvs will shine as a result*

Of course you can draw with us, Cinderella. Sit next to Bat Girl and she'll be happy to help.

So… LSCC. Nice quiet weekend? No. Not really. An excellent weekend, just not a quiet one.

Edward and friend. The awesomely good Mr Edward @Paazola Ofosu on #Promethean IWB and #ArtRage a t #LSCC

We’ve done a lot of cons, many at ExCeL which is a venue I’ve grown to really love, and this was BY FAR my favourite. The space was almost a perfect size. Our new signature move (wallpapering the stand) looked fabulous (courtesy of Rosie, Nick and Tallia) and the IWB shone. It shone when the students used it, it shone when I used it. And it SuperNova’d when Mr Charlie (the Walking Dead) Adlard, Mr Edward (horribly talented artist) Ofosu and Mr Bill (Daredevil, Elektra, New Mutants, Stray Toasters, everything) Sienkiewicz used it. Charlie was, genuinely, one of the nicest people I have ever met and, of course, no-one can argue with his accomplishment as an artist. A true gentleman. Edward is fabulous and I’m horribly envious of his innate ability.

The fabulous Mr Bill @SinKEVitch on a #Promethean IWB. #ArtRage.

Bill? He’s one of the super stars of my comics universe. Everyone has their favourites. Mine include Mr Sienkiewicz and have done since… New Mutants? Elektra? Brought to Light? I honestly can’t remember which is the first. Stray Toasters is a genre definer, a beautiful mix of styles, an artistic statement and a fabulous collection of odd thoughts and malicious toast. The second member of staff posted on his facebook that he’d never seen me go full fanboy. I did. Charlie was, and is, wonderful, but I came to his artwork once my love of comics was fully formed. Bill was one of the artists who taught me to love sequential illustrated narrative all those years ago. Shaking his hand was a huge thrill, teaching him to use ArtRage on a Promethean IWB was an extraordinary experience.

Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), the Guildford College touch screen art students and a muskart eer. #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford #Magic

And now? What’s next? Um. Don’t know. I know what I want to do, which requires, as ever as always, a little bit of chasing. But for the moment I’m happy. We pulled off a heck of a show, then another. And then one after that. LSCC were wonderful partners, as were JISC. Eating ice cream at Chin Chins is always lovely and the Apple Store is an icon that I probably should have felt more scared to step onto the stage of. We even managed to take a selfie with Mr Johnny Vegas who was kind enough to stand still with a motley bunch of brilliant kids.

...and then, at the end of the day @JohnnyVegasReal was kind enough to pose for a picture with m y students. Fab day!  #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford

But the main thanks? As ever – the students. I’m a happy teacher. The kids are more than OK. They’re fab. Nicky Morgan et al may be hell bent on destroying the opportunities of education for the masses but the kids still learn and grow as they ever did while they have the chance. The only difference is that, in my case, I tell them they’ll work stupidly hard in and out of my classes at enrolment and, by golly, they do. We’ve done 14 events this year Most have joined in and, I hope, they’ve learnt a huge amount.

That said: I’m dog tired..

*So far the kids have been residential artists at Eurogamer, BETT, Teentech, Surrey Opps, Teentech London, Surrey Skills, Electric Theatre, Shake Shack, MCM, LSCC, Dell, JISC and a few other places I can’t think of or remember. That;’s not, at all, a bad CV to step out of an A level class with.

Enter the Gold Stylus…

Styluminati. Asus tablet, cheap eBay styli, Fresh Paint app.

Long time readers (hi mum) will know that I’m a bit of a stylus addict. I did a quick head count of my box of styli the other day and, without looking for the ones which have fallen to the bottom of a range of bags and boxes around the house, I reached 130 fairly easily.

A small box of many styli.

There’s no specific stylus I buy more of (although I do seem to have more Nomad, Pogo, Jot, Dagi and Wacom than other names but that shouldn’t be surprising – they’re the ones who make the majority of named styli), and I’m certainly not in a position to buy all of them as they’re released, but I do love to see what each and every new scribble stick will bring to the square glass firework which I like to draw on. Some styli work best on one screen, others refuse to work on another screen. Surface hates Nomad, Hudl 2 loves Maglus and Dagi, for example. Surface RT would only work with Dagi and Jot, Jot doesn’t work, at all, on HP all in one desktops in my experience (which is odd and must have something to do with the amount of connectivity needed to pair to the screen). I mentioned the fact to a couple of HP product managers at BETT last month and they seemed surprised that it was the case or that there were so many alternatives out there (it came up in discussion because I was having a quick draw with Sprout and the stylus they chose to demo it was the Jot classic, which seemed ironic).

SproutMite by @HP. #FreshPaint at #BETT2015.

I have a range of styli that I love, which I’ll get onto later (and which is the subject of a forthcoming article in a very lovely art magazine that I’ve been invited to write for) and I have some which I don’t love. I’ve never gone into a stylus review wanting to give it a good kicking, as all have positives and a stylus which I don’t get on with may be the favourite of another artist. The very lovely Susan Murtaugh loves the Jot Pixelpoint, which I respect but find almost inexplicable, and the equally lovely Mr Matthew ‘Roz’ Hall loved an Alupen which I bought for him way back when at the IAMDA meetup which, again, wasn’t a stylus I gravitated to.

DrawQuest: Tablet art styli.

Studio 53, makers of the extremely user friendly app Paper (by 53), have in the past released the Pencil stylus which has divided opinion (another hugely talented tablet artist – Paul Vera Broadbent – hates it. I like it loads). I wanted the Walnut one but only managed to buy the black one in the end (yes, stylus looks are important to me too 🙂 which makes me, at times, a shallow screen scribble stick consumer). Now they’ve released a Gold Pencil stylus which I think looks fabulous, but which again I can see dividing opinion. Whatever… Don’t like it, don’t buy it! I think it looks striking and confident and can’t wait to use it. With the Maglus a close second the Pencil is, apart from being a thumpingly good stylus, the most beautifully packaged stylus I’ve ever laid hands on…

Stylus T. And a mouth full of blue teeth. Photoshop Touch, iPad, many styli.

Sadly, I’ll probably have to wait. In the same week as the stylus is announced I’ve had to shell out many, MANY, stylus bucks to have our house rewired. Sigh. There is a competition though, running daily from the 4th to the 9th of Feb, which I’m entering daily. The competition is to remix a stylus image with whatever ideas you bring to  the table. This is what I’ve come up with so far (and I’ll edit the post to include any that come up until the 9th)…

day 1:

No, Mr Bond... iPad Mini, Paper, Pencil.

day 2:

It's so shiny... #Paper53 #Pencil53 #StylusTFrog

day 3:

Gold stylus remix.

day 4:

Fiddy Fwee the gold eared stylus bunny.... ipad mini, Paper app and Pencil.

day 5:

#NationalDoodleDay on iPad Mini, Paper app, Dagi and Pencil.

day 6:

The Golden Stylus Surfer. iPad Mini, Paper by 53, Pencil stylus.

day 7:

Mr 53 remix.

day 8:

Mirror Mirror remix 2. iPad mini, Paper, Pencil.

day 9:

Meanwhile, on Hoth.... iPad Mini, Paper app, Pencil and Maglus.

…and A bonus update on the Golden Surfer pic as I flipping LOVE Galactus 🙂

If I did but wield this stylus...

 

Wish me luck 🙂 (that was then… I didn’t won one of the coveted ten styli boo, but it was fun to get closer to Paper…) Unless you think I need an intervention on Styli matters (quite possible)  in which case wave as I go by 🙂

Stylus T Frog says hi.

(as always, click on the picture to see a higher resolution version. No idea, now I’ve moved onto a Surface, how to centre the pictures here or make them bigger…. Techno artist I may be but some – probably simple things – fly well over my head..)

Teentech Surrey.

In a slightly ironic move (given Nicky Morgan’s comments yesterday) Wednesday saw the students and I deliver a full days teaching of tablet art technique to a range of year 10 and 11 students from a wide range of schools.

Excellent fun it was too, although I was utterly dog tired when I managed to drag my weary feet home… We used Flowpaper (which allowed me to talk about the very talented artist/programmer Richard ‘Dr’ Bailey who created some wonderfully beautiful procedural art images. After that we created an image in Brushes app (v2. v3 sadly doesn’t appeal to me in the same way) which allowed me to talk a little about Hockney and the RA. It’s a bit mean of me to teach on the app, really, as it’s not commercially available but it is a masterclass in UI design, even now years on from this version release and a year or so since it was pulled from the (app) shelf. Brushes remains one of the best tablet art apps which is what makes it all the sadder that you can’t buy it.

Finally, we did a picture in ArtRage app, a hugely powerful and phenomenally lovely piece of software available for desktop and tablet. It was good fun to use and, while the students all had their favourite app, this was the one that the teachers gravitated towards the most.

A lot of work then, especially as it was my day off, but it was a lot of fun. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we had some great pictures drawn on the devices. Bearing in mind each kid had less than 15 minutes to draw on the screens I think we came out with some very nice pieces of work.

As well as being my day off it was also the day of no classes for most of the students who joined me. Despite that they also did a full days work, never complaining (well, apart from not enough food in one students case) and being as good as I could have hoped. Well done them, as always. On their break, between sessions 5 and 6, the students sat around to do even more work, drawing the NAO Active Robot who made a short appearance on our stand. I got to draw for 20 minutes too, so all told it was a happy time…

(I will add some of their pics to the blog soon but as soon as I arrived back I put the iPads in the classroom and headed off home. That’s an update to come…)

Tablet art at Shake Shack, Covent Garden.

Well, some days are just worth writing about.

I’ve been lucky enough to be selected as Shack Shack’s artist in residence until Christmas. It was a great opportunity which has only become more beautiful and wonderful with the absolutely fabulous Christmas decorations which they have put up – huge and extraordinary baubles.

…which made it a fabulous place to run a tablet art class:

Time wise it was a tricky one… We had to be at the College in the morning and then had the afternoon and early evening to be there. We got the first train possible and arrived just shy of 3pm. All of the students found their seats and I dished out the tablets we would be using: 3 x Samsung Note 10.1s, 5 x Galaxy Note 3s, a Galaxy tab 10.1 and a Note Pro 12.9 inch tablet.

Basically? Samsung all the way 🙂 Which is fine – I’ve often said how much I like the S-Pen integration and the only thing that has given me hesitation about the devices have been the lack of some of my favourite apps.

But one of my favourite apps, ArtRage, has hit the Android store in a partnership with Samsung for the next few months (it’ll be available on other Android devices in 2015.

We were joined by three very cool tablet artists: Jonathan Lawlor, Edward Ofosu and Valerie Beeby. I’ll post their artwork into this thread soon but here are some of the pieces my students did, on their first shot with ArtRage on Samsung Galaxy tablets. We had an hour and a half to draw and Shake Shack spoiled us rotten.

and the first piece by one of the visiting artists (mine is the picture above this text incidentally) is by the very fabulous Edward Ofosu 🙂

More to come… More pics being uploaded tomorrow and over the weekend 🙂 The very marvellous Dame Kath of Jones (below) took a huge amount of photos which I can’t wait to see when I catch up with her next…

This Android picture…

This picture:

…was drawn on an HTC One M8 using a Plai eStylo and the very fab Autodesk Sketchbook app. This is unusual for two/three reasons; One: I now have a phone which is top of the range, which is nice (and spectacularly unusual for me – normally I rely on the phone one or two gens behind and only if I can get it for a cheap second hand price – part time teaching not making me rich beyond my wildest dreams) and Two: the eStylo works with barely anything… As I’ve mentioned before the HTC is the screen which, still, takes more styli than any other so I’m really looking forward to drawing on it more… The third possible reason is that I’ve just reviewed Sketchbook for a well known Mac magazine which is nice.

This picture:

…was drawn on a Samsung Note 3 using ArtRage app which has recently been released for Samsung tablets (partially because of their excellent integration with the S Pens). All good stuff – ArtRage is one of my favourite art apps out there.

This picture:

…was drawn on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet using ArtRage again.

… and of course you all know I love my Hudls, right?

 

Wacom Fineline stylus (my current favourite) drawn on Didlr app on a Hudl 2. Thoroughly enjoying the Fineline – I also drew it on the iPad the other day (still in ArtRage).

Not by purpose but I do seem to be on a bit more of an Android kick at the moment. ArtRage is a phenomenal app and I’m delighted to see it on a larger range of machines 🙂 (that’s not to say that I’m not enjoying drawing on Surface tablets and the brief dalliances I’ve had with the iPad Air 2… And I really want to draw on the Nexus 9… And the HP Sprout as well, come to that). But the HTC One M8 is an excellent phone to draw on and I’m looking forward to spending time with the Samsung Note 3, 10.1 and Pro over the next week.

More, on the Android/ArtRage side of things to come. Exciting things happening tomorrow…

Green Screen envy part deaux.

There’s been a bit of new tecn mentioned around the place the past few weeks hasn’t there.

From Ifa we had news of new Samsungs, Lenovos, Sonys and more… And of course on Tuesday we had the Apple keynote (and, on the Tuesday morning we had a little more info on the Hudl 2 which is one of the more anticipated machines for me. Yes, I am odd like that).

All of which led to these pictures:

(Screen sizes. iPhone 5S and ArtRage app).

(Note Edge draw on Samsung Galaxy 8.9 using Sketchbook app).

(iWatch on Interactive Whiteboard using Didlr online app).

(Giant Enemy iCrab. iMac and Didlr online app).

(Pay Apple. iPhone 5S and ArtRage app).

(Secret Easter Eggs of the Apple Watch 1. iPad 3 and ArtARage app).

The last pic might well become a series of sorts. I’ve certainly got a few more ideas of what could be other Easter Eggs of the Apple Watch (which looks fascinating – and I’d love to buy one – but unlikely I think… We’ll see).

Anyhow: Love a Keynote, me. When’s the next one? 😉

 

 

#RaggedyManGoodnight

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 🙂 )


(which makes me wish I’d taken more photos of the costumes to do various regenerations of Stylus T. Frog… 🙂 Ah well, hope the costumes are still there for the next time the Experience is open 🙂 )

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 🙂

 

I haven ‘t blogged for a month???

Well. Maybe not much of a surprise. Has been a hugely busy and chaotic month.

Will blog more soon, so much to blather on about. Did my leg in then walked 15 miles, took 40 students to a small comic gathering over 3 days showing off tablet art techniques to 100,000 people (working a ninety hour week and walking 60 km in the process) as well.

Hmm. A theme gathering here, yet I still look like Jabba the Slug. Sigh.

ANYHOW! Busyness. To whit the next blog post. But before that I present a distracted paint iPad ArtRage doodle I did last night while watching the latest preposterous slice of 24.

May the third, fourth and fi(f)th.

No idea why but all the talk of Star Wars day put me in mind of Dredd so when a blank newspaper came up as the pic of the day that was the first thing that came to mind…

((DrawQuest, for those who don’t remember, is a wonderful community drawing app which has a very simple and streamlined feature set, allows you to post pictures to a group pool and see the animation of what you came up with at the end of a picture. eg: process video here: drawquest.com/s/55g5kwt ).

…but on Star Wars day I did find the time to draw the above picture… Again in DrawQuest app and the process video can be found here: drawquest.com/s/55u3tss  I’d fallen asleep the previous night listening to the very wonderful Creativity Inc by Amy Wallace and Ed Catmull and I suppose that fell into the drawing of the picture.

For May the Fith I decided to draw the darker side of Star Wars days, also in DrawQuest (so, I guess, a sort of trilogy). I was sat in a shed at the time, with no wifi, but had connected earlier to load up the picture. When I got back into the house I pressed upload (making sue the iPad had reconnected – but on upload it failed, repeatedly, and wouldn’t even allow me to take a screenshot. Boo 🙁 That said, in a hundred or so pictures in DQ, this is one of the very few which has failed so, in a way, can’t complain that greatly).

Update: in a mark of horrible timing – and making me feel very guilty about highlighting the misfire earlier – DrawQuest posted this blog about their servers being hacked and the end of the app. Is a very sad and unfair end to a wonderful app. Sad news. Just, sad really.

…but I didn’t want to go back to the app so instead I painted a picture in ArtRage, still sat in the shed 🙂 May the Fith be with you, as the Emperor might say, being envious of not having a day to himself. Sadly, fun time is over, now it’s back to paperwork ready for tomorrow 🙁

And now, having read the DrawQuest blog, I wish I could go back to it. Sad news, as I said, and a lot of DrawQuestrians are very unhappy tonight.

Update: Video uploaded!

Mac and Forth episode 008.


I’m a big podcast listener (it’s pretty much taken over from radio and music for me) and, on Downcast app, you’ll find This Week in Tech, British Mac, The Big Show, Kermode and Mayo, One Life Left, Ihnatko’s Almanac, This American Life and much more, all waiting for their weekly listen, more often than not as I walk into work. For a while I timed my days by which podcast I was listening to but I’m a bit more chilled out about what gets listened to when now.

A new addition to the list is Mac and Forth, which I like a lot. It’s an irreverent take on the weekly Apple news and a good fun hour of people chatting to each other, getting sidetracked and ending up talking about important topics such as what would be the boiling point of an iKettle.

This week I had a quiet few days (#sarcasm) and part of that was Google+ing into the show prior to drawing the cover artwork in the hour that followed the recording. You can listen to the show here if you want, hope you like.

More on the week to come: Thursday and Friday were fabulous and wonderful, but that’s a longer post to come and I’m getting back to tidying the house for the family party for the 18 year old daughter 🙂