Tag Archives: London

Dell Solutions tour, London.

Latest in the lovely series of places that I get to draw in has been the Dell Solutions tour who invited me up to draw on the tablets that will be released between late November and early December… (the fact that my tablet art class are getting itchy fingers for new hardware is also possible an interest to them, but I think my budget’s well shot for this year as we’ve had to expand the class again and subsequently buy new hardware).

But I was asked to join in, and it was on my day off, so it seemed like an interesting place to be… The venue being Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC. I’m partial to a bit of football, although don’t have any team allegiance really, but I liked the idea of seeing the stadium.

Anyway I was impressed, both by the stadium and by all of the four machines I got to draw on. One machine (the Venue) was a corker. Handled every stylus I threw at it. The only negative was that the machines were set up with no art software bar Paint so I didn’t get to play with Fresh Paint on the screens 🙁 But, again, another meeting sorted out for the class and I to play with a couple more screens and screen sizes.

Started out a very nice day, weather wise. Started raining shortly after which has kept going for four days solid now 🙂

The journey was slow, hot, sweaty and from one packed train to another. The coffee was needed as soon as I arrived and signed in. Painted on (as are the Frog and abstract face) MS Paint app as it was the only thing installed… Using a variety of styli (Dagi, Nomad, New Trent, three or four cheap ebay jobs, Plai eStylo and Pogo).

(drawn by request 🙂 )

Yes. I know, two from a competing platform… It was just what I had in my bag at the time and my Surface was completely out of juice 🙁 Would have happily drawn the sessions (Intel on Ideas and Microsoft on Procreate) on a Dell tablet but they all seemed to be chained to tables and I couldn’t find anyone to rescue one for me to play with 🙂

This was my favourite machine… A Venue (?) but didn’t get the model number. Due for release at the end of Nov I think they said and ran Win 8.1 more than happily.

((A brief aside – if you want to know the most about a machine you should always give it to an artist. I don’t think I can think of anyone who pushed the processor, screen, software and hardware as much. From quick zooming to a range of input devices to constant screen interaction I think screen painters find the nooks and crannies of tablets and touch screen devices quicker than anyone else…))

And then I had to dash off… (before lunch even!! 🙁 ) Had to be back for the school bus so had to leave but, as I was doing so, I realised I’d not taken any pictures of the stadium so that turned into this:

And my personal favourite:

… because (at the risk of being boring) I like software that gives you the possibility to break a panorama as well as take it… Architecture that has a lot of related paths and repeated themes often gives the best results (for example here and here also…) Will try and get to stadiums in the future I think… Was a lot of fun to snap. As was the day, thanks Dell 🙂


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)).



iPad art (yes, that old chestnut again).

I shall Momento this post up so as to start with the exhibition!

Which leads me to the next two weeks:

Next Weds is this: an iPad art exhibition in amongst other excellent things. Guildford if you can make it and would love to see some lovely people there…

The venue is the very lovely Bar Des Arts, opp Yvonne Arnaud. It’s a great place for an exhibition and better still that it’s a collaborative work between different artists. True to form my stuff gets hung at the last minute (well, Tues and Weds am) but the stuff that’s ready now is glorious and the whole thing, metal machinery by a teenage engineering genius, soft toys by an undiscovered creative mastermind, Fine Art by lovely and amazing artists and so on, not to mention iPad art by the very modest Moi, mean that it’s going to be a fab evening. I hope. You can never tell, can you? But I love the contents of the room and the artwork going into frames very soon indeed…

And then… Well, the small matter of the world’s first tablet only life drawing session (April 1st, honest) and from then… Easter break I think and OH BOY do I need it.

Fade to black, we open at the beginning…

It’s been a week. Yesterday and the day before especially so.

Tuesday was teaching, new students interviews and then dash up to London to go to the US Embassy (note: iPads will be taken off you at the door. Small objects, suspiciously shaped like hand grenades, will not be). Still didn’t get my itin number sorted out so now have to phone the US.


Then off to meet Lumilyon, who you should all know I am a fan of and she was in London. Happy happenstance and she’s a heck of an iPhoneographer. Was excellent to see her working.

Which led to the Hi5 innovation in teaching awards. I was nominated but failed to make the final cut. Least said the better really, although I was a little surprised and disconsolate by the end of the evening. Learning without frontiers seemed a little more future facing and implementing Youtube into a class structure or making a VLE wouldn’t have been my picks of obvious innovations, excellent though I’m sure they were. Hey ho. Will not talk of it again, although may post pics in the future and the food was very nice.

Then yesterday was, of course, iP3d night so I spent it with the LMUG’s and British Tech Network, drawing and laughing and chatting about liveblogs. All good fun. Prior to that I’d had an easy day of teaching 50+ year 5 and 6 girls how to do iPad art, despite the best efforts of both Arriva busses and South West trains to get in the way rather than get me there. Then another final meet up with Lumi and then to LMUG. Got home at midnight for the second night in a row, a smidge tired.

(also I’m being lesson observed 🙁 so that’s this week completely frazzled then).