Tag Archives: ArtRage

Android art apps (and styli) in five tweets.

I really should find time to update my ‘so you’ve bought/been given a tablet’ page as new styli and apps come out all of the time and my preferences have changed a little. However was mentioned yesterday in a tweet that I could suggest some of the best art apps on Android and here are my replies (because 140 chars is just not enough sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚

Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, Didlr, Art Flow, Infinite Painter, Watercolor pencil are my faves (in order).

Clover is interesting too in a hmm way. S Note is pretty good too if you have a Samsung.

Harmony + Webchemy work well if you have a web connection, PhotoViva is good odd. Drawing Pad good for all ages ๐Ÿ™‚

Depending on what you have, it’s also all about stylus. Jot Script has worked on 90% of Android screens I’ve played with.

After that I tend to go for Dagi, Pogo Sketch Pro, Nomad Mini 2 or Compose + Stylus Sock for Android.

To be honest I might be being a bit harsh on Clover there. It’s a very cool, quirky and odd art app and I thoroughly enjoyed drawing with it yesterday. The only problem is that the interface is VERY unique and tends to take up a third of the screen, which is quite a lot on a 7 inch tablet. Also – I’m almost embarrassed to admit – I took a while to work out how to save/share a picture, even when I found the save button. It’s THAT obtuse an interface…

That said, in the absence of some of the heavy hitters on the Android store (ArtRage, Procreate, Art Studio et al) it’s growing as one of my favourite real world media apps on a non iOS machine. (That said: Fresh Paint is by far my favourite real world material app when I’m not on ArtRage…)

So there you have it. I can be brief, it seems, but only if I use Twitter to compose my blogs and then I’m not brief where Twitter in concerned.

I should get back to writing books. It’s obviously an itch that needs scratching.

Love part 2.

More words to come (aaargh, I’m sure is the general response) but love’s been on my mind today, this week and for the past few months.

Picture’s that revolve around the theme of the day are:

Which I painted on my iPhone using ArtRage app and a smidge of photo reference. You can probably guess which bit is from the photo. In my mind was how lucky I am to love and be loved by some amazing friends and family all over the world, something that does lift me up far higher than I would be able were I on my own. I also had it in mind some friends who I’ve lost contact with and regret the distance. Kafat and Chad spring straight to mind for a start but I’m a hopeless case sometimes with my head often in a sketchpad or a screen. Sometimes I don’t realise someone’s gone until it’s too late.

Marmite Love which I drew on an Interactive Whiteboard during 2 of my 3 breaks at college. Couldn’t resist, nor could I resist filming it which you can see here:

And finally:

Valentine’s card for wifey which I made using Foldify app on iPad. It was the perfect size to contain (after a bit of resizing) a Walnut Whip as well, so went down quite nicely as a result…



Very fond of my Surface Pro and Wacom Feel but haven’t had the time to sit and play with it as I’m normally in work mode at the moment ๐Ÿ™

That said… Last night I painted this in ArtRage to wind down from an odd old day:

and this morning I painted this in Fresh Paint to start what likely will be another odd one ๐Ÿ™‚ :

Neither painting took much longer than an hour and each was the right way to start or end the day.

I love ArtRage and Fresh Paint equally but for different reasons. FP is free, for a start, and has a lovelyย  playful feel to it. It arguably contains the closest approximation of resistance and gloop from pixels pretending to be paint. There are limitations (no layers, no palette knife, no animation capture and so on) but it’s a joyous and uncluttered experience and is the first app I look for when drawing on the demo screens of any shop that I fall into. It’s Windows 8 and Win 8 phone only.

ArtRage is similar – in that it mimics real world tools and physics – but contains so many more options it can seem a little bewildering on first install*. Like Fresh Paint it captures the feel, resistance and tactility of paint and is available on a range of devices for a remarkably low price. For what you pay you get a heck of a lot of pixel art possibilities. You can record an animation, upscale, use a wide range of real world tools and play about with the settings of the brushes to your hearts content.

Which app is best? Both are, in the places where they are best at.

Which do I prefer painting with? Both. They are equally good apps and, depending on the mood I’m in and what sort of picture I want to come out with neither make me wish I was painting in the other. Like the stylus blog post yesterday – why choose? Lots of apps do lots of remarkable things and, on the Surface Pro, both are must installs**.

*That said ArtRage has a very good interface and shows off the range of options in, generally, a very gentle and sensible manner. There’s just a LOT more choice and that can be a bit scary. We’re not talking Flash or Photoshop levels of ‘Blimey! Buttons!’ interface though.

**Didlr is a must install too imo, and I’ve got a lot of love for that app, but it’s not working on my SurfyPro at the moment ๐Ÿ™ boo.

Monday fruit faces.

Mondays haven’t been great for a while. Four classes back to back with no discernible break is a bit wearing, especially after a weekend.

Compounding the issue I generally get up so dopily I pack fruit rather than make a packed lunch. This morning I packed this to keep me going through the day and it made me smile when placed on the kitchen table ready to be transferred to my bag. Which meant I had to photograph it.

Once snapped, between all of the classes, off and on, I moved the photograph into ArtRage (iPhone version) and threw a few of the now painty pixels around.

Which gave me this:

And once classes and so on were finished I ended up with this:

Said it before, will say it again. Love ArtRage app.

And a bit more Jotting.

Still enjoying the Script stylus (two days in ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

This morning (Thursdays are the one day in the week I get to lay in) I thought I’d have a lazy paint morning so I fired up ArtRage on the iPad ย (which every time I use it I’m struck by how phenomenally powerful it is as an application, some very heavy pixel lifting going on under the glass screen) and started to paint. Nothing came to mind for a subject so back to the stylus it was.

Unsure whether I like the landscape or portrait version more but was a lovely hour of chilling out. Now, sadly, back to work. Busy week this, as they all seem to be…

I did, for once, remember to click on the ‘record animation’ button on ArtRage so will try and output and edit that sometime soon… Just, very much, not today.

Plus a later update as the post wouldn’t upload:

First job today (well, first job I’ve got to) is to do a LOT of scanning and while I’m doing that I’ve been doodling this in Penultimate app.

Out with the cold…

(click on the image for the larger version).

Don’t normally do something so message/story heavy but I have recentlyย been sitting at screens with no picture in mind and a scribbled line to tell me what to draw next.

Unusually not only did I see the picture more of less as it is but I also saw, fairly vividly, who he was (William), why he was blue (fuel poverty) and a little bit of his life story, some of which I wrote on the picture.

To be honest the way the world is, the way those in power run it for the benefit of themselves and the non-executive directorships they wish to attain when power is passed on to the next short termist, the way the Tories seem so brazenly elitist and so on leaves me cold. As it does William, sadly.

(Painted this morning on Surface Pro using the very fabulous ArtRage app and a Wacom Feel stylus).


Collab Hudl pic.

So yesterday I took the students to London to do another fab Teentech show (more on that later) and, when back I sat down with one the staff members to talk through the day (and the year).

While doing so we both decided it’d be nice to sit and chill out and draw so I drew on his iPad Air and he drew on my Hudl. I drew the outlines, he did the colours and I shaded it in at the end.

(Hudl tablet, Autodesk Sketchbook app, Dagi, Nomad and New Trent styli in case you’re interested…)

Not bad for an hours winding down from an ultra busy day…

The astronaut is named after the lead singer of my favourite band – Five Iron Frenzy – ‘cos today is the release date of their new CD which means it’s going to be played LOUD all day.

It’s a bit of a remix of this image:

… which I did a while ago when I first bought my iPad 3 using ArtRage app. Took more than an hour though ๐Ÿ™‚

ArtRage on iPhone. A little bit about mobile digital art…

I’m lucky enough to be able to pick between screens to draw on… Between my workplace or home I can pick up a Samsung Galaxy S4 or an iPad, an iPhone or Surface Pro, Lenovo Yoga,ย Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Tesco Hudl or stand up against an Interactive White Board. Occasionally I nab an HTC One or an iPadย (<<pic) Air (<<vid) if either of my friends who own them put them down and don’t tell me not to draw something…

As I said – phenomenally blessed and lucky.

But it all started for me, mobile screen wise, on an iPod Touch. On Brushes app V1 (which, at the time, had no layers but was still there in terms of UI, power and usability) so, despite the fact I’ve got a range of sizes of screens to put a stylus to, the iPhone always makes me smile to pick up* (although now I use it far more often as a photographic device rather than an image making one…)

So I drew this in a coffee break for a friend because I wanted to say thanks for the smiles she’d helped bring about in the week (because while I’m very blessed and lucky it’s definitely been one of ‘those’ years as well…)

Three versions which show the picture at various stages on a day – painted with no stylus (as I don’t on a phone screen) – created in less than 15 mins over a coffee, with another 30 minutes work (my lunch break doodle time and, yes, over another coffee) and then with another half hour added after.



So, just under an hour and a half in total. Probably took me longer to log onto the works IT infrastructure in order for me to be able to email it to Flickr and text it to my friend** The question I keep coming up against in my own mind is whether doing pictures so quickly is a good or bad thing? Good in ways, obviously, as it allowed me to do a personal image to say thank you fairly speedily, but I’ve also found myself out of the habit of actually sitting to do a picture over any space of time as well as looking with sombre jealousy at the works of friends who do amazing pieces of artwork. Hmm… Rhetorical question really, just interested. Am questioning loads in my mind, sadly often at 4am, and whether the pics I do benefit from the way I do them is often on the list of questions asked.

Anyhow, onwards. ‘Cos that’s what I do at the moment.

*Which is not to say that I don’t REALLY want to play with the camera and Fresh Paint on a Nokia phone. But that’s nowhere near a ‘yet’ purchase for me… Which is also a question and dilemma… Should I just stick to a particular screen or app? No. I don’t think so. I like all of them and the variety they offer. Fresh Paint and ArtRage are both excellent – both offering powerful and amazing toolsets to digital artists but with a different audience in mind.

**Only just an exaggeration.

Basically? It’s all go…

Exciting times at Studio Me*.

*Not a real studio name, nor an indication of what I’ll be doing next year. I think. Although there is something in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

The Marmite One Million:

Painted on iPad using a Nomad Compose brush for a community challenge to design a banner for the upcoming Marmite 1 Million likes Facebook extravaganza. TBH I rarely succeed in these but hey, it was fun to do…ย  ArtRage app, which is lovely.

Process video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vWeT-l0_4A

The Didlr/Nokia Dream Accessory site:
My Didl.

The pic being painted over a two hour, two halves (Hog’s Back Utopia which is LOVELY) and two coffees session. I used to time artwork by how many trips I took on the bus to and from work (which is something I miss, the bus journey and the workplace). Now I time images by coffees in Wetherspoon’s if time allows.

Dave McKean artwork drawn by fab kids at a schools workshop:

The longer explanation of the pictures, where they’re from and who did them, can be found >>here<<.

And just to finish off, an iPhone macro picture of a drying rose, taken with the AstroMedia clip and edited with Snapseed app:

Busy. And I haven’t even mentioned Magic Summer yet. But I will… Soon…