Tag Archives: Artwork

The Fox, the Frog and their Friends…

Where can you see machup machinery made by a 20 year old engineering genius, soft fabric sculptures and characters created by a mother and daughter team up, beautiful illustrations by an amazing artists, two brilliant collections of fine art pieces and a range of images, all drawn on iPhone and iPad?

Well, funny you should ask… At the Bar Des Arts (who’ve been an ace and very helpful gallery partner) which is opposite the Yvonne Arnaud, Millbrook, Guildford.

And you don’t even have long to wait as it starts tomorrow night, Weds 14th.


All joking aside this exhibition is a joy to see (and have put up over the past week or so) and has, if I can put it this way, ecclecticity coming out of the wazzoo. Looks lovely and I can’t wait for tomorrow night 🙂

Until later I can only really post a couple of my pictures up on the wall but I hope a good few friends will pop by to see them in the frame…

And there’s more to come (I have 12 or so pieces in the show)…


As noted I’ve been an admirer of the Bigger Picture exhibition at the Royal Academy. I’ve been twice and look forward to a third time with my students at the end of March (although, I must admit, this has been the hardest teaching year I’ve had and I do nothing with them at the moment without a small amount of reluctance).

As also noted my favourite part was not the iPad artwork but the video installation. A hauntingly beautiful method of displaying a view that is both an obvious link from past works and a new method of seeing all in one.

With that in mind the idea for this picture struck me (on my second walk through of the exhibition) and has sat patiently in my sketchbook since. This week (not, it has to be said, a week I’m going to look back on fondly for a hundred reasons) allowed me the time to draw it on four train journeys to and from London and the occasional seat on the tube, if the seat was available and the journey was long enough.

The apps used were:

Adobe Eazel (bonkers watercolour simulator, odd and effective UI),
Adobe Ideas (lovely vector app which I always describe as having the hugest collection of best possible felt tip pens),
ProCreate (fab, good UI, nice painterly feel),
Paintbook (unusual but pleasant to play with, a little clumsy in places but very speedy/good feature set),
Sketchtime (strange effect, no colour picker but… interesting nonetheless),
Wasabi Paint (no colour pallette? Lovely thick gloopy paint feel),
FX Studio Pro (photo effects. I wanted to add a vignette to all boxes but in the end though the vignette over the whole piece was effective enough),
Art Rage (one of my favourite art apps and probably the one which I’ll load up first when I get an iPad 3),
Brushes app (which was the ‘mother’ app; my favourite and the one in which all pieces were resized and collected but an app which hasn’t been updated for a year or so and is beginning to show it)
and Sketchshare (which as has been mentioned off and on is a wonderful collaborative tool allowing four players to draw together and talk to each other as they do so. Bit of a game changer it is).

The styli used were my three go-to styli. I did have four that I relied on but one has, sadly, passed away recently. The ones which remain are the Nomad Compose, the Stylus Sock and the Jot pen. All three are wonderful to use and my go-to input sticks when it comes to drawing on an iPad.

One of my principle reasons for doing this pic was to see what other apps were on my system and give them a fairer play test than previously I might have done. I still think Adobe Ideas, Brushes app and Art Rage are my favourite apps and will remain so but Sketchshare time is always wonderful time and a couple of the apps I used were a lot of fun to use and I’ll go back to them off and on.

So, belos is the youtube video and the picture which I painted over the course of 4 or 5 hours. Hope you like…


((Oh I wish I could work out how to embed a youtube video into these blogs)).



The Frog and the Plan.

Depending on what the plan was, yesterday went to plan.

I say that because at the moment I’m taking things as they come, because I don’t know where things are going. I know where I want to be in a year, and I’ve got a couple of things I’m working towards, but for the most part I’m allowing things to move as a river flows.

Which has worked well, in ways. Yesterday being one of those lovely unplanned but successful stops on the journey.

First off, once I’d got everything packed for the day (and there was a lot) was a book meeting with Mr Moloney at a cafe opp the Royal Academy. Very nice it was, we had coffee and pastries 🙂 and we discussed where the industry is as a whole, past projects, digital distribution, what comes after that and so on. When the pitch process started we quickly agreed to refresh a book I’d suggested to him a good year or so ago and two other pitches went well enough for sample materials to be requested. I’ve been itching to get back into writing for a while and these projects would be a welcome return for me as they’re not the big project I’ve got in mind but mini-steps on that path. The other nice thing about both projects is that they’ll have a good space for illustration within and that means I’ll have another reason to load up the art apps 🙂

Stepped straight from that meeting into the learning department of the Royal Academy, via a lovely impromptu meeting with friends on the way who’d been to see the Hockney exhibition. The q was massive and I felt a small amount of guilt that I was at the RA to teach rather than view the exhibition but would likely get to see more of Hockney’s exhibition as a result. It was a lovely time, a good number of department members wanted to see Brushes app demoed, the variety of styli that I’d brought with me and so on. I didn’t get to take a picture (completely forgot DOH) but it was just a lot of fun and they were an excellent class (bar the trouble makers at the back who were taking pictures of themselves and defacing them 😉 but that was all part of the experimentation of the session). Later that night the learning team were hosting a group of young people and I wish I could have stayed but I had another thing to dash off to at 6.

Once I finished showing the app it was a half hour back in the Hockney exhibition. I’d already been on the teacher day and had thoroughly enjoyed the larger percentage of what was on show. What I hadn’t got to see as much as I wanted to were the videos and it was an odd feeling to walk past everyone else viewing the images on display with the mind to get to one of the final rooms. When I’d been there last time a number of teachers had been asking me about iPad art (I had been drawing off and on through the exhib) so I only caught part of the video room. This time I sat there for as long as I had and it is just the most interesting wall of imagery I can imagine. Fabulous stuff.

After that it was back to Waterloo to pick up a friend who was joining me for the next talk and back on the Bakerloo line to Marylebone for the London Mac User Group. Fab stuff. I’ve been a few times now and get on very well with the audience anyway but to stand in front and talk away – I was nervous and as always I forget the planned notes I have and afterwards have forgotten everything I said during the time on stage. Everyone seemed happy with the demo and it got a good round of applause so my inner Egozilla slept well that night, all cities conquered or at least laid to a good deal of destruction.

What’s next? Today it’s holiday club for 25 10 year olds doing artwork, shrink plastic and mini-books. After that? Holiday club on Weds. After that? All sorts of interesting stuff, I just don’t know what that is yet…

Dancing in the Digital Forest.

As if the start of an academic year wasn’t chaotic enough, with the normal enrolment, paperwork, risk assessments, welcome packs and so on to be done I’ve also got the World Skills Festival to concern myself with. It should be ace, and terrifyingly huge. Apparently they are geared up to have around 7,500 people coming in every half hour and the Digital Forest is one of the first things that will be seen by main entrance 2. And there’s only two entrances.


What isn’t terrifying is the concept: lots of people draw trees and those trees are placed into a digital forest which is shown on HDMI screen for all to see. It’s a collaborative artwork sort of thing I’ve now done several times and I can’t wait to see how this one looks in situ, although tbh the reality in my mind is always constrained by the budget I have to work to. What’s mind blowing is the potential numbers which tbh scares the wotsits out of me.

But hey, a chance to show off iPad, DSi XL and desktop artwork off, and the work of my students, and all sorts of all sorts and it’ll be ace. In many ways I can’t wait, but… but… only three weeks away AARGH!

Best of all, potentially, are the possible desks that we’ll be working on. Which sounds silly I know, but the digital forest has the capacity to be printed and shown on some AWESOME platforms which I can’t wait to get my hands on and see. Ace ace ace stuff. But that piece of paper is yet to be signed and agreed so can’t mention it just yet. Hope all of this comes out of my mind onto the stage in similar fashion.

But, mainly, AARGH! Scary.

In the process of changing my website…

At the moment it looks like this:

(although without the mute button, obviously. Didn’t realise they turned up on screenshots…) You can still see the old website here if you so wish…

Now, or at least for the moment, it looks like this:

Which is an improvement. Still not quite what I want but times a pressing as ever and the Carbonmade chasis that I’m using is smooth and wonderfully easy to use. It is more of a focused thing though as it concentrates on the iPad artwork which is where I can see myself going in the near future (work being as it is, I shan’t bore you with the current ums and ahs).

Anyhow if you want a look-see you can now see it at www.kercal.co.uk

Also added the little dots below which will be at the base of all of my posts from now on in. I wasn’t overly happy with the break at the end of a post so this will do for now as a break between musings (it also provides links to the new folio as well as the youtube, twitter and flickr pages… ) I may make a couple of small changes but have a couple of small freelancey bits and bobs that I really should be getting onto, like about an hour ago…


Me, with and without a beard.

I’ve had a beard so long that:

a: neither of my children have seen me without a beard.

b: my wife can only just remember me without a beard.

c: most of my students believe I was born with a beard…

and so on…

So, if you were ever wondering, this is an abstract representation of me, with and without.

Barely informative but hey ho, it’s been that sort of a year…

Click for larger version.

In other news: we’re gearing up for the latest wave of redundancies a my workplace, a yearly event for me over the past three years. I’m safe in one role but unsafe in the other which may well leave me with very few teaching hours. No idea where that leaves me to be honest although this and next year are and have been moderately stressful so a change may very well be as good as a rest in some ways. We’ll see… But just spent a coffee break with some of the ones affected and it’s left me less eager to get up and get back to classes 🙁


The Breakfast Mob…

click file for larger image.

Break time about to be over but drew this over the past week as the response to an online call for art. Assume that I won’t get in, but it’s an OK picture regardless…. Not exactly the one I had in mind but then again time wise I’ve been more than constrained over the past week…

Video to come. (Can we not embed youtube videos in the posts anymore?) And possibly some more blather but tack to work calls 🙁

Edit 1: Video file.

Moodle lecture doodle…And a tree…

Inset day at college on Tues which meant I was ordered to go to two lectures that were of little use (and one which made me angry it was so ham fistedly delivered) and one I wanted to.

Ironically I doodled this in the one lecture I enjoyed. But I still listened and occasionally took notes.

(Brian drawn on iPad 2 using Brushes app/stylus sock).

Also: drew this last night while happily chatting to a friend on Skype. These two images may have almost single handedly saved my sanity. For this week if nothing else…

(tree drawn on MBP using Pixelmator 🙂 ).