Tag Archives: PC World

Therapeutic draw session in PC World, Guildford.

The half term break has been neither restful nor peaceful so a therapeutic draw session was called for.

First off – the Samsung Galaxy Pro:

…which I was delighted to see had S Note app installed. That made me smile – it’s something I’m more than happy to use to create a picture.

That was closely followed by an HP Pavilion 11 inch laptop:

Which I was also delighted to see had the very fab Fresh Paint app on. So delighted I completely forgot to take anything like a good photograph of (and had also forgotten to bring a USB stick with me so was doubly stuck).

That was followed by a Lenovo Yoga 2:

…which only had Paint on. That’s not terrible – it’s not a bad drawing app at all. But Fresh Paint is the first thing I always look for on a Windows 8 touch screen. I also couldn’t find a way to get rid of the ‘Touch here to find out more’ dialog box…

The last machine I drew on was the Surface Pro 3 which I like a lot. I even managed to persuade a staff member to try out the app (Fresh Paint again) and he did a pretty good job indeed for a first time on a touch screen 🙂

All in all a lovely 90 minutes drawing on a range of touch screens. If I had the money I’d have bought all of them – there weren’t any I disliked the screens or machines of.

Ironically I went in in the hope that they might have a Google Nexus 9 and had a few conversations about it… but that’s still to arrive (although the staff were as keen as I am to see the tablet. But hey, I can always pop back later and draw again 🙂 )

Adventures on Touch Screens.

It’s been a busy week at Kercal central on a range of screens…


I had a quick play on an Apple iPad Air 2 following listening to an artist talk at the Covent Garden Apple Store. It’s as nice a device as you would expect (although I increasingly wonder if their obsession with thinness needs an intervention). The screen is beautiful and, with a conscious movement towards Replay and Pixelmator coming for me on tablet I think I should be looking at updating come Christmas time (‘cos there’s no way I’ll afford it sooner).

I drew this in a Moleskine (which  I’ll find and add later) and then on a Surface RT on a train to London (using the very fab Fresh Paint app). Kudos to Arthouse Meath in Godalming for reminding me how funky a flamingo can be.

I am seriously liking the photo sphere camera setting on the Hudl 2. Click on the pic for larger formats…

And on the Shake Shack side I drew this in 11 minutes while they filmed me on time lapse. Look forward to seeing the artwork come to be on the page (well, screen). I am THOROUGHLY enjoying the art residency there 🙂 Bigger blog on that to come.

And finally we have a large touch screen in at work to evaluate. I booked two 45 min slots and came out with these pics:


MS Paint, Photoshop and Clevertouch built in software respectively.

Finally also had a quick draw on a Lenovo tablet in PC World while waiting to see if there was a Google rep near the Chrome desk (only weekends, sigh. But yes, I do want to draw on a Nexus 9 STAT!)

Screen Frenzy! 🙂

Drawing on screens that are not mine.

 

Friday I drew on an Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Sadly there was nothing on the device in the way of an art app so I loaded up Safari and the excellent Harmony drawing web app and doodled the above while the very excellent Mr Nick Thatcher walked around and bought the things we needed for EGX.

Saturday – still very much on EGX mode I popped into PC World Woking (having been to Hobbycraft to buy stuff) and drew this on an HP touch screen desktop while I was chatting to staff seeing if they had something in stock I needed.

Saturday – again buying things for EGX (spot a theme developing?)  I drew this in Argos on the demo Surface Pro machine.

Basically? I love drawing on screens, all sorts of shapes, sizes, brands and makes. I sat in a pub once with some tech heads and they were getting a little irate as we sat directly under a huge advert on the wall for a certain brand of tablet from a company which at the time (and continues to) ignore any emails I sent asking for tablet lends for my students. The advert seemed all but ignored by the general populous which walked underneath it and my use case seemed to have more bang for buck and the people I sat with seemed to be getting far more angry about the situation than I was…  I’m used to getting to Plan C at least on any project.

Hey Ho. Until all art apps are taken from all demo machines at least I’ll be able to play according to my hearts content (and free time, and shop opening hours, and so on). So that’s definitely something…

Screen Sharing (and so on and on and on :) )

Results day at college today which is always a little emotional for good and bad reasons. All of my students passed, which was good, but they didn’t always pass all courses, which is less so.

So come 3.30 it was time to escape and draw something so off to PC World I went to do 70 minutes of drawing. Which I have been known to do off and on (and on)… (and on). (As well as at the Gadget Show and so on).

I started off with a LG G3, which I’ve wanted to draw on for a while:

Which I liked loads. VERY nice screen and built in art (and notes) app which worked very smoothly. Drawn with a Jot Script stylus (as were all of the pictures below as well).

Once I’d drawn on that my eye went to an Asus hybrid laptop. I’ve wanted to draw on an Asus Vivotab 8 for a few weeks now and this was as close as they got. No idea what to draw and a brief trawl through the sludge of my memory  came up with a Cyberman so that’s what I drew using the very wonderful Fresh Paint app:

(which I also liked loads and makes me more interested than even to draw on a Vivotab 8).

And then, as I still had a few minutes left of the hour I’d allotted myself, I drew on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 edition. I’d been told that side of the shop had a Samsung Galaxy Pro to hand but that proved not to be the case but, while that side of the shop, I decided to draw on the more recent version of the tablet instead:

All in all a lovely hour (well, 70 minutes) of drawing… Enjoyed doing the Cybermen too, so may come back to them in the future.

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.

 

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…

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<<.

Doodle bugging PC World Guildford + Woking…

So Dooble bombing hasn’t been working for me as a name for a while, I’ve just been stumped for what I should call the process… (the process being me turning up at a shop and drawing on each screen that allows me to do so for ten minutes each piece, more often than not either of my two local PC Worlds where everyone’s always been very pleasant and polite and chatty).

Doodle bombing was a reference to Photo bombing – something which doesn’t have a negative connotation bar the playfulness and slight hi-jackery that it relies on. But the b word never really sat happily with me so it’s been on my mind to change away.

Thomas on Facebook suggested Doodle Bugging which, again, has a negative but less so? Am Hmmm at the moment but, I really hope, I might well be in a screen print room on Weds and I so much want to try that and aim to do a Doodle bug as the thing I do.

All of which leads me to… A couple of new Doodle bugs 🙂 Hope you like. As always click on the pic for a larger version.

The desktops are a lot of fun to draw on and the HP above is especially fab as it’s a 20″ tablet as well as a desktop machine. If I weren’t so nervous about setting off all of the alarms I’d more it around to a more comfortable angle but it’s one of the few machines I’ve returned to over and over when in the shop.

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 🙂

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 🙁 ) 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 🙁 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 🙂

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…)