Tag Archives: Nomad Brush

Day One at EGX.

I started off by drawing this on the train into London on my trusty Hudl:


There was not enough this.

We taught people who had never drawn on a tablet before to draw on a tablet:


We drew a lot of awesome people in costume:

and then we drew a LOT OF PEOPLE dressed in costume:


Basically it was awesome and so were we but now I’m tired and day two is about to start.

Hurrah. And zzz.



Moleskine Stories.

Anyone who knows me knows that I generally carry a tablet and a Moleskine at all times. One of the limited edition ones, which I normally try and pick up when they’re released. The pad that is… I’m not in a position to buy every tablet which catches my eye ๐Ÿ˜‰

(I’ve also been known, on occasion, to lose a Moleskine. The picture above captures a particularly rubbish time in the past year where I lost the pad, the pencil case and the mate who’s iPad I drew the detailed meeting notes on).

So I was interested to see, via Twitter, that Moleskine were sponsoring an Urban Sketchcrawl based around the London Graphic Centre and their Covent Garden shop.

As it was World Beard Day I decided to treat myself and join in.

… and fabulous stuff it was too. I packed the iPad and my current Moley (a lovely Peanuts one) and drew, to start off with, the Moleskine store itself (having decided to stick to the Moleskine app for all of the days drawings*):

Then the shop window with the posters and so on advertising the event:

(which I did while multi tasking as normal as I ย had a few people asking me about apps and styli… which is fine but reminds me I REALLY must update my blog posts about which is the best app and stylus to use).

As a group the Urban Sketcher (didn’t catch his name as I is short and was way at the back of proceedings) walked us to the Apple Store arches (as it was raining) and I drew this:

After that I popped over to Shake Shack (as I think ย that will become the focus of a blog post soon to come, which is pretty exciting stuff if it pans out as planned) and painted this:

and this:

(while chatting to staff about days available/art styles and also eating the drawn objects ๐Ÿ™‚ How’s THAT for multi-tasking ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Then it was back to the Moleskine groups ๐Ÿ™‚ This time at the London Graphics Centre.


…where the lovely Andrea Joseph was talking (far too modestly) about her artwork, technique, style etc.

By this point I noticed my trusty but ageing iPad was getting low on battery so I plugged in an external battery and swapped to the pad instead:

…and then as a group we walked to a nearby shopping arcade to do some drawing. Ironically, being surrounded by building and glass, I was more taken with the centrepiece of the courtyard – a tree wrapped up in fairy lights:

which I was happily drawing to the extent that I didn’t realise the battery charger had become dislodged. Cue slight panic as the iPad powered down but I needed have worried. Once the power came back on I found the Moleskine app had saved my picture ready to start off again on it.

While I was nervously waiting for the iPad to recharge enough I swapped to the Moleskine app on my phone and drew this:

…which couldn’t be further from the tree in terms of content yet was the view on the other side of the shopping centre’s courtyard.

And that, more or less, was that. I did pop into the Apple Store to have a quick play with Talkboard on an iPad Air (as I really do need to update my iPad sometime and I wanted to check all styli worked on the screen):

… and on the way home, having been reminded it was World Beard Day, I doodled this until the battery ran out for the last time of the day:


Which, ironically, is a picture of me drawing with a touch screen stylus on a Moleskine pad using an iPad stylus on the Moleskine app. It was, basically, that sort of day. Wonderful, a smidge tiring.

So tiring, in fact, that I was in London yet only realised on the way home I’d not been to Chin Chin Labs. Will mention it to Team Moleskine that Camden Market would make an excellent place for a future crawl…

*well, nearly. Apps used in this post: Moleskine Journal, ArtRage, Photoshop Touch, Sketchbook Pro, Talkboard.

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:ย drawquest.com/s/55g5kwtย ).

…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/55u3tssย ย 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 ๐Ÿ™ 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 – DrawQuestย posted this blogย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™

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!

Paperwork, the process and inspiration…

Powered through a hundred bits of paperwork today ๐Ÿ™ as well as doing a catch up session for a couple of students… So I’d deserved a brief sketch break. And when one of the students had an HTC One that he said he was happy for me to confiscate that answered the obvious question of what I should draw on.

My styli, for the most part, are at home (didn’t think I’d get the chance to draw today) but I’ve always got a Nomad on me so Q1, 2 and 3: screen and scribble stick were both sorted and Sketchbook Pro was the only app he had installed.

Which left me with Q4: What to draw?

And this is where I often come unstuck. Life’s so busy and hectic at the moment knowing what to draw is often the leaf that derails the brain. So, when stuck I tend to throw a line on the screen and see what happens. The pic above started off that way. I wanted to doodle something in SketchTime between breakfast and bus so that’s how the face above started (and if I get the chance I’ll post the animation to YouTube sometime so you can see how it went from line to picture). The Frog below? Well, I started with a line and thought, part way through, that it looked like a lightbulb in a window and helped me know what to draw.

So: pic above – iPhone 5S, SketchTime and cheap eBay stylus. Pic below – HTC One, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Nomad Compose and 20 minutes between doc files ๐Ÿ™ ย Hope you like. Prefer the Frog pic and, to be honest, prefer that phone too.

The time traveler’s screen.

When I wake up, if time allows, I try and do a quick drawing on a screen because, well. You know… Screens.

The top image above was drawn this morning between 5.11 and 5.38 because I just couldn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep after, either, but at least I got a scribble out of the time I suppose. The two pics below where added when I had ten mins or so between doing college paperwork ๐Ÿ™

The newest screen in the arsenal of things to draw on is a PS Vita which someone kindly sold me for a ‘couldn’t say no’ price (or at least that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it. I’ve wanted to play Tearaway for yonks and my patience gland was all used up.

But the Vita comes with a touch screen and a quick search led to two apps – Colors! (which seems to have been announced, released and then disappeared) and Paint Park (which I’ve tried out before…) Paint Park Plus (as it now is) has a few extra brushes and colours available so I thought it’d be rude not to have a play.

(although I have used Paint Park before, having confiscated a PS Vita from a student in the past ๐Ÿ™‚ )

The interesting thing for me, with this pic, is that it reminds me of a thought which often goes through my mind. Obviously Hockney has picked up screens with his typical panache and there are a wealth of amazing screen artists out there (Matthew Watkins, Ben Rabe, Stefan Marjoram, Roz Hall, Fabric Lenny, Lumilyon and so many more)… But how would the old masters, or some of the most famous painters, taken to a touch screen device. When Renoir was old and arthritic would it have been a help of a hindrance? Would Dali or Van Gogh have loved an iPad or smashed it on the floor in disgust. Would Duchamp or Picasso have drawn on a screen with a stylus or turned the apps off and drawn on a screen with a permanent marker?

Leonardo? Reckon he’d have loved a tablet. Possibly…

Some of my favourite artists, the ones above or others like Bacon, De Kooning, Kandinksy, Klimt… Would they have seen the value in zoom, undo, rapidly evolving apps and processes or hated the lack of tactility? Would they have loved a capacitive paint brush for the speed it delivers on glass or hated it for the separation from a paint brush as they had understood it? Away from paintings what would Sagmeister, Rand, Saul Bass, Carson, Brody and so on do with a screen and an app?

Intrigued. If I were a time traveler I think that would be my passion and my hobby, to visit the great artists and ask them to teach me to see as they do and to show them a glass screen, app and range of styli to play with. To have a tablet with paintings and drawings by the greatest artists of all time? A lovely thought.

And of course the artists of now? The ones who’s artwork I can’t wait to see, knowing it’s still being worked on? Less painterly but I love Yulia Brodskoya’s work, Pienkowski, Korky Paul, Quentin Blake, Bill Sienkiewicz, Noma Bar, Ian McQue, Dave Sim and Gerhard. Most of all, the artist who I appreciate the work of most, is Dave McKean and I’d love to catch up with him one day over a pint and a tablet art session.

Who knows, one day any of the above might come true and one day maybe the names above won’t leave me feeling like I’ve got a million things to learn and little likelihood of doing so…

In other news – it was my daughter’s birthday party yesterday and excellent fun it was too. The personal highlight was seeing a man in a suit dance with an alligator to ‘the time of of my life’. No alcohol was involved, which is probably a good thing too.


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ):

Chair. Frog. Bottle. Styli.


Mac and Forth episode 008.

I’m a big podcast listener (it’s pretty much taken over from radio and music for me) and, on Downcast app, you’ll find This Week in Tech, British Mac, The Big Show, Kermode and Mayo, One Life Left, Ihnatko’s Almanac, This American Life and much more, all waiting for their weekly listen, more often than not as I walk into work. For a while I timed my days by which podcast I was listening to but I’m a bit more chilled out about what gets listened to when now.

A new addition to the list is Mac and Forth, which I like a lot. It’s an irreverent take on the weekly Apple news and a good fun hour of people chatting to each other, getting sidetracked and ending up talking about important topics such as what would be the boiling point of an iKettle.

This week I had a quiet few days (#sarcasm) and part of that was Google+ing into the show prior to drawing the cover artwork in the hour that followed the recording. You can listen to the show here if you want, hope you like.

More on the week to come: Thursday and Friday were fabulous and wonderful, but that’s a longer post to come and I’m getting back to tidying the house for the family party for the 18 year old daughter ๐Ÿ™‚

Another screen splurge….

Not that I think this is going to be a weekly thing sadly, but was allowed to pop into a different PC World today – the Woking branch – for a potter about while son boy had his feet measured and so on… Very lucky man, me, to get two slots of free doodling time to myself while others do all the hard work ๐Ÿ™‚

So, armed with a pencil case full of styli I went in to see which screens they had to play with. The answer surprised me, more than the other day in Guildford.

Starting off – a Sony Vaio touchscreen laptop:

Didn’t have Fresh Paint installed on it (grr) so I loaded up Paint and had a play. Liked it, although not as much as the Vaio sliders which I think are an excellent design and have one of the best in class integrations of a stylus. The laptop (I really should take a note of model numbers and names when doing this) wasn’t really in the right position for me to draw on – I couldn’t move the screen to an angle I was happy with – but to be fair I don’t think I’m the normal shopper that PC World displays are build around.

Next up – a Lenovo laptop:

Also didn’t have Fresh Paint on it (grr x 2). It also, unusually, refused to connect with any of the styli I’d brought with me except for the Nomad Brush (which is normally one I can’t guarantee a screen will like). It wasn’t unpleasant to draw on but this fact alone confused me… I did like the design of the machine though – very eye catching and, obviously, something that is orange is inherently cooler than something that isn’t.

After that – the Lenovo desktop:

Which I like LOADS having played with it on thursday in Guildford PC World. It’s a good screen to draw on. Again it didn’t have Fresh Paint on (grrr x 3) but it liked working with nearly every stylus except for, again, the Jot stylus. Odd.

Lastly the surprise in store:

Up until now I’ve had a couple of companies that I automatically dismiss for the anticipated (and often proven lack of) quality of their screens. Acer, Asus and HP are all companies that I’ve drawn on screens in the past and found them muddy and laggy so, except for the occasional new machine that I’ve thought – give it a try – I tend to not draw on them in a shop. The HP was next to the Lenovo and it struck me that I’d not drawn on one of them for a while. I also liked the design and the idea of a 20 inch tablet (although lets be honest that’s an unusual and unlikely usecase for a good deal of the time). Even so – since I only had to step to the right by three steps I thought I’d give it a go, expecting very little.

Take it all back – the tablet was speedy, the screen flowed beautifully and they even had Fresh Paint installed so I could test it out with that. Unexpectedly (and yes, I know I spelt it wrong ๐Ÿ™ ) it turned out to be the machine I enjoyed drawing on the most this morning…

So there you have it. Back to work on Monday (sigh ๐Ÿ™ which is less an indication of not wanting to go back to work – although I’m unsure what my thoughts are on that one just yet and likely won’t really know what I’m thinking until I unlock the door of my dungeon room but more the fact that I’ve felt much more at home with myself this holiday than I expected or anticipated) so the screen splurge will calm a little. But it’s always lovely to draw on a range of machines, and chat to people as I’m doing so. Not bad for an hour of happy doodling anyhow ๐Ÿ™‚

Wonder what’s next?

(Incidentally – the keyboard on the Sony is my favourite. Not that that’s been a huge need for me for a while, although I did have a dream that I’d gone back to writing the other day, and the blogs have been getting a little more and more blathery recently so who knows. But anyhow – the Vaio keyboards are very cool if that’s a pressing need for tablet or laptop purchasers…)

Also on Styli…

Not all of my styli but here’s a clutch of them, the ones I had in my work bag today…

Which, bearing in mind I’ve lost a few recently ( ๐Ÿ™ ) is still a bit scary. More worrying is that this is pencil case 1 of 2 and the other one has a similar amount in… Hmm… I may have a problem.

A range of styli draw in DrawQuest app. Animated version here:ย http://drawquest.com/p/2bwflr

Anyhow, also on my birthday the list of styli received (the Wacom Intuos Creative being one):

also contained a Pogo Sketch Pro to replace a lost one (one of my favourites – a delicately beautiful stylus. Fragile but light and wonderful) and a Nomad Mini2 which is completely new on me. I did order a mini 1 once but it was out of stock between ordering and receiving it ๐Ÿ™

Nomad Mini 2 painted on an iPad using Sketchbook app using a… well… you can guess which stylus.

Nomad Mini 2 painted on an iPad using DrawQuest app using… well… you can probably guess correctly again…

As expected the Nomad Mini 2 is excellent. A lovely shape and works well with every screen I’ve thrown it at.

I’ve already drawn the Sketch Pro but will do so again sometime soon…

I also drew a Pogo Connect with a Pogo Connect with an app which doesn’t have the capacity to connect to a Pogo Connect. Because that’s the sort of idiot I am.

Pogo Connect, Didlr app, iPad 3.

Next on the stylus list? Nothing planned…Ahem.

But I always say that. I do like the idea of the Hex3 Nota (for the Android support) and the Adonit Evernote edition (for the thin tip support…) and the… Well, I had better stop there I think. Exciting times, as always. Screens, apps and styli are a fabulous combination.