Tag Archives: Guildford

More screen sharing… (HP, Sony and MS Surface).


Sometimes, often times in fact, I like to head down to PC World in Guildford (which is about 15 minutes walk away from where I work) and draw on a screen or two. The nice thing about being in tablet art is that not only can I draw on the screens I have at my disposal but I can also have a play with screens in a number of shops on demo and display. I’ve yet to come up with a name for the process that I like (having gone through Doodle bombing, Screen sharing and Share Screening off and on) but it’s something that I like to do for an hour or so. Generally each picture tends to clock in at some internal body clock at fifteen to twenty minutes and then it’s on to the next screen and device to test drive. It amuses me to think that on a good fifty or so machines (minimum) there’s a picture of a frog or a snail or so on, untilthe machine is wiped

 The other day I popped in and drew on an HP All in One:


…followed by a Sony Xperia Z:


…and then I finished the session off on a Surface Pro 2 (which I wasn’t going to but was asked nicely enough by one of the staff to think ‘oh OK, one more picture then…’).


FAQ:

As always, for the most part, I had no idea what I was going to draw. I keep meaning to have a plan for such times but they tend to happen without warning and mostly on whim so, for the most part, the planning happens as I’m walking through the doors to see which machines are available or new…

 Did I have a favourite machine? It’s what I’m often asked either as I’m drawing or when people see that I chop and change devices so much. Nope, not really… I have a couple of machines/machine makers which I don’t like – because of muted colours or rough Matte finish screens (which in a way is a complete about face as I can remember when I traded up from my Matte screen polycarb Macbook to a MBP with glossy screen and oh boy did I moan like mad…) Some machines take to more styli than others – often with no rhyme or reason. The HP All in One likes the Nomad Flex over the Nomad Compose for example, but that’s fine. In the same way that some apps suit some styli more than others so do some screens. It’s not a dealbreaker for me (to this date the only machine – tablet or otherwise – which has worked with all styli I use is the HTC One M8. Nothing works with everything).

Which stylus is my favourite? Often asked that and my answer – always – is ‘I can only pick one?’ There are styli that I don’t like – mainly for mechanical or ergonomic reasons  – but oftentimes I chat to an artist who likes one I don’t like and, again, that’s fine J Roz Hall loves his Alupen, personally I tend not to like rubberised tips on styli. Susan Murtaugh likes the Jot Touch PixelPoint and I REALLY don’t get along with that one (despite having tried my hardest to learn to like it). Each to their own.

I tend to like these ones here, sort of:

(Styli painted in ArtRage app).

I painted it for a tablet art class I’m running in London to illustrate a good range of styli which might suit that participants. The Cosmonaut is one I don’t use that much but feel would suit people with less fine ability to grip a smaller stylus and as the class age runs from 10 – 80 I tried to cover all bases. Similarly the Nomad Long Hair is a fabulous stylus but I prefer the short hair one. All in all though it’s a good group of styli which meets a whole range of needs.

 Regardless: the opportunity to draw on screens is always much appreciated. Hope you like the pics.

Share Screening in PC World, Guildford. Frogs, Marmites and Snails.

Y’know PC World should pay me to do a drawing tour of all of their shops. That would be fun 🙂

Anyhow, finished work today (this year has been a doozey) and popped into the shop to draw on some screens. The problem with a hundred tablets out there that I want to draw on is that if I were to buy 100 tablets I’d have a huge amount of difficulty trying to explain that to people around me.

So instead we screen share. Well we Share Screen anyhow. The staff and I all get on well, chat holidays while I’m drawing and we chat about apps and styli used and they keep an eye on my pictures as they fall on the screen.

Today I had an hour and a half but, since I’d had a lot of pent up doodling stuck inside of me that let to four pictures drawn. Well, five, but I’ll explain the fifth later.

(Marmite; because it’s one of – if not my favourite – British icons. Sony Vaio laptop and Stylus Sock and MS Paint as Sony don’t include Fresh Paint in their demo software). 

(Stylus T. Frog; because he’s stuck by me through thick and thin. Sony Tap 11, Sony Pen and MS Paint). 

(Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and Webchemy online app). 

 

(MS Surface Pro 2, Stylus Sock and Fresh Paint app). 

… and this one wasn’t planned, just happened. I was asked how I draw a picture if I don’t know what I’m going to draw (a rejig of the ‘where do you get your ideas from’ sort of queston). If in doubt I take a line for a walk and see where it goes. It’s the plan that’s given me a depressed Godzilla, a drunk grandma being sick in the street, a snowboarding penguin and a hundred things equally unexpected. So I did a quick scribble and that led to the picture above which I didn’t really have the time to finish as I was supposed to have been gone after 60 minutes of drawing and left after 90 minutes.

Regardless. Love drawing on screens as much as I ever did and always happy to mix it up on devices.

 

The Missing Link between Man and Jellyfish.

I was complimented by an attractive barmaid the other day who asked to see more of my iPad work (before getting told off for spending too much time talking to me).

… and it wasn’t a dream, honest. Anyhow as I walked off, saying that the next time she was in we could talk apps (oh I’m so smooth) she said ‘I wish I was as creative as you…’

The thing is I don’t always think I’m creative… Sometimes I just doodle. Certainly something I try to teach the kids in my classes – that sometimes art is about doing, rather than thinking and trying, desperately at times, to search for the muse.

Today, for example, I was out shopping with daughter with the intention of having lunch. She was a couple of minutes delayed getting to me so, as there was a Solutions Inc store next to the burger bar we were going to eat at I thought I’d pop in and have a quick draw.

Five minutes later she’d turned up and I’d drawn this:

…but was it creative? I just drew a line on the screen and it looked like a skull with Jellyfish tentacles… Which was fine but Penultimate is an app which doesn’t necessarily help with that having a very limited colour set. But I struggled on and this is what came out…

 

 

 

 

Regardless. Latest on the list of pictures I’ve drawn on borrowed screens from nearby shops.

I’d say more. Other pics and vids and stuff to go up soon but Eurovision is about to start so it’s time for screens to be swapped as I want to draw the singers as they happen like I did last year…

Drawing on an HTC One M8.


I don’t have an HTC One phone… I’d like to, but being a part time teacher buying new phones is somewhat against the run of the average, monthly, budget.

But I do like Share Screening – popping into a shop and drawing on whatever they’ve got – and I was very happy to see that my local PC World/Currys/Phones 4 U had an HTC One M8 so soon after the global launch last week.

I wasn’t expecting them to be so generous in arranging a test drive and I REALLY wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.


Andre was kind enough to arrange the demo of the phone, including the installation of Didlr app. In fact he did it fairly speedily, knowing that I had less than an hours worth of drawing time…

And then, with the screen and app in front of me, there’s always the immediate hesitation: what do I draw now? He suggested I drew him and since he’d been good enough to sort out the software that seemed only fair trade.(you can see a process video of the image hitting the screen here: https://didlr.com/Pvntfj).

Then I had half an hour of whatever I wanted, draw time wise. That said: blank screen/blank mind. So I drew a line and it started to look like Godzilla again so I went with that: (process video here: https://didlr.com/rgklLG).

But THAT isn’t the interesting thing.

The interesting thing is that this is the first screen that had a 100% hit rate on styli.

You may remember I have a slight stylus addiction:


Some are made of wood and others have brush tips. Some are metal barreled and others  are light and plasticky. Some are bluetooth and smart and others are cheap and dumb.

I tend to take (and try, now, not to lose) a pencil case with a range of styli with me wherever I go. It has, generally, a couple of cheap eBay ones, a Plai eStylo, a couple of Nomad brushes (Compose and Play), a Pogo Sketch Pro, a Jot Script, a Pogo Connect, a Stylus Sock, at least one New Trent and a Dagi (and often a couple of other ones too. Depends on my mood).

No machine, screen, tablet, touch screen desktop or phone has ever worked with all of them.

The bogey styli are often the Nomad Play and Plai eStylo. Both are wood barrel styli, coated in a capacitive varnish. They’re good fun to use but carry less electrical charge than other styli and work on fewer screens as a result.

Occasionally, especially on the touch screen desktop computers – the hard disc styli – the Jot Touch, Dagi 301/501/504 and ‘fashion stylus’ from eBay won’t work.

Even more infrequently the Jot Script won’t work on a machine – or at least it will but something in the Bluetooth pairing will display a noticeable jitter and the line will be, basically, unusable.

Most machines I test drive will work on around 80% of the styli in my pencil case. Some, like the iPad retina mini, will go as low as 50% or so. I don’t mind, per se, but I do have my favourite styli that a screen would have to be happy with for me to draw on it for any period of time.

The HTC One M8 worked with every single one. I was a little astounded.

I had a quick test drive on the camera and that seemed pretty good too, with a very quick refocus (although, strangely, not an autofocus between moving objects? I had to put my hand in front of the lens to get it to refocus but once it did so it was very snappy (ba doom tish)). I did want to play with some of the focal length jiggery pokery they spoke about when launching the phone, but by that point the egg timer was completely out of sand so I had to dash off 🙁

Anyhow? Too long, didn’t read: the One M8 is a cracking machine. Massively impressed. Hope a student buys one soon so I can confiscate it and draw on one more often 🙂

Drew the below pic on an HTC One. Hope I get the chance to do a similar pic on a M8 soon…

and drew the below pic on an HTC One while in a machine grump. I wish all screens worked as well as some of the tablets and phones I’ve been drawing on recently…

Drawing on a Dell XPS hybrid.

Second in a series of… two sadly.


Work was loaned two new Dells to demo (as well as an utterly excellent LED pico projector) and they allowed me to borrow each for an evening to test out art apps. Because, you know, SCREENS!

Two days ago it was the Venture Pro – a full on Win 8 tablet. Last night it was the turn of the hybrid – an XPS flip screen laptop/tablet.

So with an evening to draw with, and a new screen to draw on, I drew these pics. Click on each (as always) for a larger version if you so want:



The first pic may, or may not, have been created offsite (ahem). It was painted using, as much as possible, only the watercolour brushes in Fresh Paint, as I’d not used them as much as I could have done when using the app.

The second picture was painted using mainly the oils and using a few styli that I tend not to (although I am very fond of the New Trent).

The third pic was created in MS Paint app and the fourth back in Fresh Paint which is one of my favourite art apps out there. I am equally fond of a number of apps but if I see the Fresh Paint icon on a machine I’m immediately smiling.

Exported pics (ie with no laptop in the background 🙂 ):

Chair. Frog. Bottle. Styli.

 

Strange and random scribblings.

Wuf the dog on Nintendo 3DS XL using Art Academy software:

Art Academy is phenominally powerful for a cheap cart on what is perceived as a toy device. Obviously it’s not as full on as, say, Fresh Paint on Surface or ArtRage on iPad/iPhone/Desktop but for what it is and does I’ve got a lot of love for AA. Well worth a play if you’re so inclined. The Wii U version is also very good.

Also today: sat down for a short break in the newly opened Five Guys, Guildford. Once burger was eaten sat, drank Diet Coke and still Fanta and drew this on my phone:


Even remembered to click on the process video button 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySiPuyeBfIQ

…which won’t embed. Grr.

Also also:

A friend (hi Matt) asked me to test out my Jot Script on an iPad mini retina as it’s a screen that doesn’t necessarily like to play with styli as much as its bigger brother (nor the Hudl, Galaxy or other devices. It’s a very odd thing).

Anyhow worked like a dream, as did the Nomad play and Stylus Sock which I also had in my pocket. Hurrah. Only had five mins so was a turbo scribble but no problems noted in that time.

Drawn in the Guildford Solutions Inc, which is handy as it was next door to Five Guys 🙂

Relaxed friday at the ‘Leccy.

Blimey was that only two days ago? Had loads of stuff happen since then.

Twice a year the Electric Theatre holds a very lovely Family Festival – a chance for younger kids to get involved in holiday activities they might normally not be a part of, like art classes, discos, theatrical workshops and so on.

During the latter half of last year, can’t remember when, I was asked if I could help them collaborate on a relaxed Friday within the week where special needs children of all types would feel welcome and catered for. Not that they’ve ever been unwelcome at anything the ‘Leccy has put on and I’ve always had a good ratio of ASC* kids in my art classes… but to put on an event where they would be the principle audience? Exciting and terrifying all in one go, for the people who’d not done them before (and for me too, way back when before my journey with Autism began).

In the end I was needed far less than was expected (turning up for a few meetings, suggesting changes in signage etc) and was on hand during the day to talk to parents and children but did so less often than the Electric Theatre staff who seem amazingly qualified in stepping in and talking to people at the drop of a hat. All of the training and talks and ‘what ifs’ disappeared in a melee of 100 kids and parents, all happily chatting and helping each other and providing very positive feedback at the end. I’m fairly sure this is just the beginning of this provision from the venue.

Personal highlight? More than a few. One young boy wanted to be on the stage, so the actors let him and he became an unassuming star of the show, a few kids with severe motor impairments came along and ended up smiling and laughing in a circular dance with others around the actors. It was a hugely, wonderfully, completely joyous time and, speaking as a parent of an Autistic child, I could completely relate to the nervous looks on the faces of the parents as they walked in and relieved and happy faces at the end, they and their children having been a part of something that seemed always aimed only at neurotypical children and families.

(the quiet corner, which was so lovely as a space I could happily have curled up in there to chill out myself…)

*Autistic Spectrum Condition seems to be taking over from Autistic Spectrum Disorder which I’m glad about. The latter description has always felt very negative to me.

Screen sharing in Guildford PC World: the video.

Part of yesterdays massive 18k step marathon was forty minutes of popping into PC World while a friend and I waited for some aerospace grade resin was cut to shape for a brilliantly bizarre machine making process. So a vaguely normal Friday then.

Anyhow he agreed to video me drawing while we waited (on my long suffering iPhone 3GS) hence this, pictures drawn on a Lenovo laptop and a Sony Vaio Duo 11 using Fresh Paint and Paint apps using a Stylus Sock and a Dagi stylus.

Music by the very marvellous >>Duke Special<<.

A little more ‘Leccy.

A couple of stray pics post kids tablet art stuff yesterday.

The one above is a pic I started upside down while talking to the kids in the group and explaining how to do layers in Sketchbook Pro. Added a smidge more colour and there you go.

The first of the two pics below is an iPhone Autostitch picture that I edited via ArtRage – all on iPhone. The ‘Leccy liked it so much they asked if they could have a higher res version, which is nice 🙂

The second pic, well, I took some soft stuffed creatures to be models for any of the kids wanting to draw from a model. They were the first two I found in the filing cabinet so I thought ‘why not…?’

The third is a very cool metal Owl I bought from the pound shop while picking up wet wipes to clean the screens at half time 🙂

Back at the ‘Leccy.

I’ve done a few art events for young people at the Electric Theatre but, until now, they’ve predominantly been shrink plastic sessions, which is fine, as they always sell out quickly and get very lovely feedback.

For some reason, this time, we all agreed that tablet art sessions might be a good fun thing and a bit of a change for all involved. And, yes it was 🙂 I’m not 100% sure it was an easier session to do (although it was a lighter session to pack up and carry… but the charging of 15 machines twice in one day was a little tricksome to facilitate).

We started with simple art lessons, just so everyone was up to speed on basic drawing tactics (and also to preserve a little bit of battery life). There are a quick set of ten lessons that I’ve been doing as long as I’ve been doing Fish and the Family Festivals which I occasionally rejig a little (mainly in terms of the order I do them in as much as anything) but which teach a huge amount of simple art principles – and confidence – in 30 minutes.

My pic to explain some art principles using the example of a soft, stuffed owl.

One of the kids pics following an example of how to draw a 15 point person. Basically I think I was owned, as some of the youth are wont to say…

Then we moved onto the tablets. And the kids took to them with as much speed and enthusiasm as I could have hoped. We stuck, for the most part, to Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (which might have surprised me a year ago but I’ve really grown to love as an app). Also, again for the most part, we used Tesco Hudl 7″ Android tablets (which to be frank I REALLY should be on commission for and again is a bit of a surprise to me… If you’d told me a year ago that a relatively inexpensive small screen Android tab would be one of my favourites I’d probably have asked if I could see the world through the strange tinted spectacles you were wearing).

I didn’t have enough tablets to do a whole group with the Hudl’s though so we also used a few iPads and Nintendo 3DS’ and the kids themselves brought a range of devices from iPad to Nexus, Samsung to an unbranded Android device I’d not seen before.All in all a wonderful day and the kids were enormous fun to share the sessions with. More pictures to come, when I get the chance to upload them all.

I did make up a still life for the kids to draw if they found themselves stuck for ideas.

More fool me, really. They were a hive of ideas and came out with some brilliantly crazy things to draw and create and we had a lot of fun talking about how some of the pictures came to be. Both 130 min sessions flew by and, hopefully, a full gallery will be up soon on the Leccy webby…

Also did a bit of a collab draw… One of the participants did a pencil drawing that I especially liked and we took a photo – mainly so I could show her how to colour it in using layers to help. That became this 🙂

Anyhow: long day, 31 happy kids, 60 pics drawn minimum over 5 different screen formats? Once blog posts done it’s screens off and a bit of relax time I think.