Tag Archives: Brushes

Digital art Big Draw workshop at the Electric Theatre, Guildford.

As if often the case in a half term The Electric Theatre in Guildford asked me to run a couple of art sessions for 5-9 year olds. Mondays theme was traditional art and Wednesday was digital.

We started, as almost all of my classes do, with a couple of psychological tricks to explain how easy drawing is. Once that barrier is broken (about 10 minutes in if I’m taking the scenic route) we started to draw on tablet.

And excellent fun it was too, as these sessions often tend to be 🙂

On the touch screens we started with the very lovely Tesco Hudl (first generation) and used Autodesk Sketchbook to take photos of drawn owls and colour them:

Then we did a little bit of face liquifying (still on Hudl) which went down brilliantly 🙂

We did a bit of Autostitch panorama photo taking:

(click on the photos for larger versions)

…and we drew on a range of apps:

Fresh Paint app on Surface RT.

Brushes app (v2) on iPad.

Autodesk Sketchbook on Hudl.

Adobe Photoshop on Hudl.

ArtRage on iPad.

All in all? A lot of fun and, I think, a good few new 6 year old touch screen artists ready to carry on where they left off after the 2 hour session (all asked which apps and styli they should buy and all of the parents/grandparents looked relieved when I told them that the prices were generally low and affordable). The feedback was excellent with the often asked question ‘are you going to do more of these sessions’ becoming more and more pressing on my mind 🙂 Hopefully soon (although not until early 2015 that said).

I was also lucky enough to be joined by three of my College students – all very capable tablet art tutors in their own right – which meant that if I’d so wanted I could have delegated all of the work to them! I didn’t of course – doing youth arts work is too much fun to not be involved in – but it was lovely to know that I could hand off to them when I wanted the younger kids to have some extra assistance…

Next up? Half a days rest. I think I’ve earned it 🙂

Cross roads and online galleries.

one hundred brushes app pictures in one handy place…

Just because, well, y’know.

Actually, it points to one of those cross roads. I’m about to become 40 and, for some bizarre reason, am considering the fact against the dreams not yet achieved rather than those which are. Which is silly, I know. But there you go. So this is one of those steps in the path of trying to tick off some of the things I’ve always hoped to do (in this case have an exhibition of my artwork, even if it is only on facebook rather than in a more recognisably gallery style setting) and from that onto the next thing.

After that? Hmmm couple of things but for the most part those can wait until we get past Christmas I think.

The Direction of Adventure…

Yup, I’ve been quiet, sorry… Time’s been tight, there’s been some bad things in the background which I may blog about but probably not for a year and, well, stuff.

In one piece of news I’m now head of graphic design teaching at the place I work at. This is both a good and bad thing: for the past 3 years we’ve had 100% student retention and success and that’s down to me in some ways, and in other ways it’s terrifying because every year we’re supposed to do better than the last so, as I can’t do better that 100% my class size has been doubled.

Interesting times.

Anyhow… Image. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a pic off and on, when time allowed. It’s the most intricate and time consuming piece I’ve done and, because of that, all I can see are the problems. That said I’m now full time back at work and have to save, render and finish. It’s time to get back to teaching with fewer distractions, well, this one needed to be stopped anyhow: I could have pottered about with it forever.

A short history about why it’s at the top of my mind. I can trace (ho ho) my drawing love back to a couple of things: for animation it’s Don Bluth and teams Secret of NIMH, for comics it’s Ian Gibson’s lovely artwork on Dredd and for drawing it’s spending a lazy day trying to recreate an Indiana Jones film poster by the amazing artist that is Drew Struzan. In comparison I’m weak sauce indeed by to go back to staring at his work and trying to get a little bit into mine was fun.

Brushes app, which I still love to pieces, gave me one of it’s VERY infrequent headaches. For only the second of third time in hundred of pictures it crashed and lost the pic. Fortunately I’d managed to get a screenshot so could start less from scratch than I might have. Brushes is still the most fun you can have with an iPad or iPod though and it’s not worried me too greatly. One thing that did help me immensely though was picking up a Pogo stylus. Oh boy that’s helped and I won’t be without one to draw on from now on in.

Any more waffle? Um? The fab Jon Black allowed me to use a song for the soundtrack, which was kind…

Anyhow, tired + very achey eyes. Pic and vid. Night night 🙂


Last nights pictures…

Lovely night out last night watching the footie and sketching on the iPod touch. Had been invited out to a gig in the evening so went to see the footie and walk from one place to the gig. As it was I should have stuck with the gig venue throughout because they were watching the football too and the crowd there was awesome. One more pic to come (have to scan it, was a pencil/paper thing – shocking I know).

Now with added Octosquid violence.

And in other news…

A new scribble! Drawn on the iPad on the bus journey yesterday. Sort of worked/sort of what I wanted. Still trying to get fully into the larger screen but still feel much more comfortable on the smaller one. I know this sounds like a very small whinge in the scheme of things, and it is, but it’s funny how such a small thing can nag at the back of your mind. Every time I pick up a new art package I end up asking myself if I can even draw at all and whether I was any good at this in the first place. The something clicks and I go back to massive egotistical business as normal 🙂

Spidey. One of my two or three favourite comic book characters, certainly the one with the more interesting pyjamas…


Snotty Kid.

One of the dream projects I have stars this lil fella. TBH I’m in one of those moods where I wonder if any of my hoped for aspirations will come to be but these things come and go.


Watched the footie, read a comic on iPad then drew this…

Back to the iPad, not quite there yet but not so far either…

It’s (in case anyone was wondering) the Mandarin from the Iron Man series. I’ve always had a soft spot for characters with power rings for some reason or another (what with him and GL too) and enjoyed the new comic with Mandarin starring front of stage. That said the story wasn’t exactly a happy ending but it was  a strong tale and reminds me that, of the man dreams I’ve yet to see realised and feel less likely than ever to be able to do so, writing and drawing for Marvel is right up there…