Tag Archives: Hockney


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)).



Stylus t. Frog and David Hockney: A Bigger Picture.

Unsurprisingly I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Hockney exhibition at the RA in a number of ways and, just to spite everyone who knows me, in ways unexpected as well as the more obvious iPad art angle.

For a start the exhibition itself is an amazing sight. Full and free and flowing and fabulous.

For a second thing the Andrew Marr Culture Show special was wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

Now, those who know me ask what I thought of the iPad art, to which I reply – very good (although I do wonder why it wasn’t screened on iPad as it was in the Parisian show last year) – which is expected. Then I follow it up with ‘not my favourite work of the show’. The favourite piece? Well, of course it was wonderful to see the Grand Canyon and Route 66 up close and personal – both wonderful pieces – but the images which moved me the most were the video installations. I could have watched them for hours. I did, in fact. Mesmeric stuff.

A third wonderful moment came when I travelled to see Edith Devaney talking to Will Gompertz at the Apple Store, Covent Garden. Of course I decided to draw in the q, on the seat while waiting and during the discussion as it went on. Those pictures are the first four below.

(waiting for the talk to begin).

(Stylus t. Frog, waiting patiently on his seat).

(Will Gompertz, arts editor for the BBC, beginning proceedings).

(Will Gompertz talking to Edith Devaney).

While waiting for the show to begin I also borrowed the Apple Store wifi to do some Sketchshare collaboration with the marvellous Mr Marjoram:

… all good fun and very diverting from waiting for things to kick off. I must admit to harbouring the faintest fraction of a hope  that David might install Sketchshare and draw a collaborative piece with myself or my students one day. Who knows…

I was also lucky enough to be invited to the teachers preview night of the exhibition, where I drew this and ended up talking to, and making friends with, a good few teachers also in attendance:

…and then a week or so later I was invited back to the RA to help the learning team get to grips with Brushes app. Directly after that I went to speak to the London Mac USer Group on iPad art in general but, just before I did, I had a brief walk through the exhibition again and drew the learning team this:

All ways round it’s been a thoroughly excellent exhibition 🙂 If you haven’t seen it yet I recommend it wholeheartedly. You may never see its like again.


Lastly – unrelated the A Bigger Picture, but I’m nervously anticipating tomorrow night. I’m up for an education award for iPad art in education for the World Skills Festival. No idea on chances – unaware of who’s in same category so assuming on a bronze medal at least. Then, on Weds, I’m the artist in residence for the London Mac User Group live podcast of the iPad 3 launch announcement.

Interesting times ahead.

A red wine kind of guy…

Post Hockney, and inspired by the work in the show at the Royal Academy I’ve been back on Brushes app (and Art Rage but more on that at a later date) to see how I can start pushing myself a little more. Not that I’m getting much time to sit and draw at the moment (this weeks been crackers and my feet are killing me. That said both holiday clubs seemed to go really well, which was nice).

Anyhow: son boy wanted to sit and watch youtube videos and, since he’s as accidentally likely to stumble on one that’s NOT suitable (seriously youtube – can you get a filter sorted please?) I said I’d sit with him and keep an eye out. That led to this (because I can multi-task, honest) but it bears little resemblance to the Hockney-esque inspiration which preceded it. Hey ho, that’s why he is who he is and I am what I is.

Brushes app, iPad 2, finger rather than stylus as they were downstairs and son boy and I were up.