Tag Archives: DrawQuest

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..)


Once upon a time there was a fabulous app called Drawquest. It was launched as a community based art app and, very quickly it became a huge melting pot of lovely artists drawing pictures to the theme of the day, whatever that was.

Sadly the app was awesome but the business plan was fluid and, before its time, the funding dried up. Sadly the app base was hacked (I believe this was the order of events) and then soon after the app was taken down from the store.

All hugely sad. Many of the artists who met up on DQ still chat on Twitter and some friendships will last for a long time I hope. A couple of days ago the Drawquest team sent an email to all users saying that the pictures which had been made were downloadable, so I have, and some of my favourites are here.

…and the very excellent Mr Chris and I had a long running, drawn out fight scene… Here’s one page worth, hopefully he and I will manage to put it all together in one place now:

The DQ team signed their email off with ‘we still miss the Drawquest community dearly’.

Oh Drawquest, we miss you too.

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!

DrawQuest, it’s been a while….

I’m a big fan of the iOS art app DrawQuest.  For those who don’t know it is a community app that allows you to draw anything you like from a given image.

Todays, for example, was called ‘draw me a mobile’ and, before decoration, looked like this:

As soon as I saw it I knew that I wanted to draw an AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back so, an hour later, this had happened:

(and you can see a process video of the drawing come to be here: http://drawquest.com/p/5kqg6j)

It’s been a while since I drew concertedly in the app (there was a time when I was doing all of the drawings daily but things change… I’d missed the app but my mind was elsewhere for one reason or another). Regardless: yesterday the theme was ‘draw a still life’ and THAT was right up my street for a variety of reasons I’ll come to later.

(Still life, DrawQuest, iPad 3, Nomad and New Trent styli).

Sadly the app itself may not last forever (but then again, as the man with the mustache says, what does?) . Moot, the man behind both DrawQuest and 4Chan, wound up the development side of it at the start of the year. I remember the day I read the news and the shock it caused then and the sense of profound sadness which still lingers (even though the app still – at the moment and hopefully for a long while – works). A while later the team at DrawQuest HQ posted a plea for the community to step in and help the servers remain switched on which I hope has been successful? They’re still on at the moment, which is a good sign.

The app has created a wonderful community of people who chat to each other in picture, in sub quests and through a variety of social media sites. I hope we all remain friends and, who knows, one day I hope we all manage to get to a DQ meet up somehow as it’s one thing to draw with people on another side of the world but it’d be nice to draw sitting next to them as well.

And why did the still life bring me back to the app? Well, for the past couple of years I’ve drawn whatever came to mind with little sense of purpose, as I had enough things to deal with at work as it was to think up a project like the Dr Sylver books or the Wombat Wambot comic. Now I’ve got a project in mind, which I’ve already begun the planning processes of, and still life fits right into it (hence going to life drawing classes more regularly etc). We’ll see if it comes out like the images I have in mind – this is a new road I’m going down for me – but I hope it does…

(being a youtube video of a number of pictures animated and edited together but which won’t embed, grr).

Anyway: here’s to DrawQuest, the team that made it and the community which came from it. Cheers one and all…

Moon Jot.

Still loving the Jot Script (although it seems to have picked up a little bit of dust or something inside it? There’s a slight gritty feel sometimes when using it which is a shame) and had ten minutes between tasks so decided to take a break from screens by drawing in DrawQuest.

Yes. I know. I never said I was a genius.

Anyhow… the subject was ‘is there a full moon tonight?” and to be honest an (ex) animator would have only one image come to mind surely?

Process animation >>here<<.

About the film which inspired the picture >>here<<.


Lovely, busy, creative, walky, talky day.

Back to work was as much fun as I thought it might be… So it was very lovely to have a meet up with some friends to eat, chat and go over which might be the best stylus for someone to use on a freshly bought iPad mini retina.

Interestingly half of the styli didn’t work at all with the screen seeming to have less sensitivity to some of the tips on offer (and to other competing tablets and the minis own bigger brother). That’s definitely going to be worth checking into later…

Anyhoo: the morning started with finishing off a Skribl image I’d been playing with off and on since downloading the app:

Then I started off a picture in DrawQuest which I’ve missed drawing in, (finishing it off when we returned home):

(and which you can see a process animation of the image come to be here).

Between starting and finishing it Wifey and I went to see a couple of friends for lunch and a walk. Lunch was lovely (no photos of that one) followed by a walk to a local church with a fabulous roof:

Organ pipes, Nokia Lumia 520.

Stained glass on stone. Lumia 520.

Church roof. Lumia 520 + fisheye lens (not the best output all things considered on that one).

Church roof, Samsung Galaxy S4 plus fish eye lens and a smidge of Snapseed…

And since I’d played briefly with my fish eye lens on the phone camera I took a quick shot to show how the macro lens coped on the Lumia (seems to have coped well 🙂 ).

All in all; lovely day.

Hedgehog in the fog.

So, as occasionally mentioned I’m a big old fan of DrawQuest – an app which encourages you to draw – everyday if time allows – to a given daily theme (and has a lovely and vibrant community which joins in and chats merrily on twitter afterwards 🙂 )

((On a related subject I’m also a fan of Didlr app – a similar thing but with no daily theme but more options and available on more platforms. Both are lovely to sit and draw on but for completely different reasons…))

A couple of days ago the Drawquest theme was ‘What came out of the fog?’ and, to that, there could only be one answer really…

 (drawn on iPad 2 using DrawQuest app, Dagi stylus and Nomad Brush).

(and with a smidge of Pixelmator magic sprinkled on… Wanted to play with Pixelmator v3 and a friend asked me how to use overlay filters so had a quick play through…)

You can see an animated version of the original picture being drawn here… Marvel at exactly how many times I faff around trying (and failing) to find the right colour… Good job the pics now shown in real time! That would be thirty mins of me scrolling through the DQ colour wheel umming and ahhing…

Anyhow this is, of course, a love scribble to the beautiful and brilliant ‘Hedgehog in the fog’ animation by Yuri Norstein.

Frogs and Owls.

Last years pictures were mainly of Frogs and Flamingos… Which was good, they worked brilliantly together and the Gadget Show especially would have been nothing without the two characters working as well as they did*. But things change and it’s time to move on a little so the Frog has been looking for a new sidekick. Not 100% sure but may well be Owls.

…and you can see an animation of the image coming together here:


Which will, in a way, be very ironic as one of my first jobs out of college was working at Pepper’s Ghost Productions, makers of (in the end, after a HUGE amount of trial and error) (lots of error in fact) Raucous Caucus – a hilarious US Clinton vs Dole screensaver – and Bing and Bong; Tiny Planets.

But… before it was Pepper’s Ghost it was called CyberClass and the logo was an Owl. Well. Eventually it was an Owl. The original logo was an eye with the highlight in the iris being a combined CC. Then we transitioned to an owl and then to a complete company rebrand starring a Victorian stage magician.

Those, indeed, were the days.

Actually it was fab… I worked with some marvelous people who, me being me, I’ve lost contact with and miss loads. It was a good time and my first job as a concept artist (although a lot of the artwork I created at Bullfrog could have been looked at as being concept art but was free time stuff that they subsumed into whatever project was on at the time. Not that I was worried about that at all – concept art was a joy to produce and they liked it loads so why would I stop?)

I’ll see if I can dig out some Pepper’s Ghost and CyberClass stuff some time. Not now – have got a Big Draw to organise for tomorrow and then a Book Draw to organise for Weds. Hey ho. Busy. Will be doing tablet artwork and will be doing shrink plastic artwork so will be fun. But oh boy the headaches of the past week are hard to shift.

… and some of the clever wife’s clever stuff am here, including an owl that looks better than mine (although I was happy with how the pic at the top of the page turned out 🙂 )


*’twas a good year…