Tag Archives: photoshop

Digital art Big Draw workshop at the Electric Theatre, Guildford.

As if often the case in a half term The Electric Theatre in Guildford asked me to run a couple of art sessions for 5-9 year olds. Mondays theme was traditional art and Wednesday was digital.

We started, as almost all of my classes do, with a couple of psychological tricks to explain how easy drawing is. Once that barrier is broken (about 10 minutes in if I’m taking the scenic route) we started to draw on tablet.

And excellent fun it was too, as these sessions often tend to be 🙂

On the touch screens we started with the very lovely Tesco Hudl (first generation) and used Autodesk Sketchbook to take photos of drawn owls and colour them:

Then we did a little bit of face liquifying (still on Hudl) which went down brilliantly 🙂

We did a bit of Autostitch panorama photo taking:

(click on the photos for larger versions)

…and we drew on a range of apps:

Fresh Paint app on Surface RT.

Brushes app (v2) on iPad.

Autodesk Sketchbook on Hudl.

Adobe Photoshop on Hudl.

ArtRage on iPad.

All in all? A lot of fun and, I think, a good few new 6 year old touch screen artists ready to carry on where they left off after the 2 hour session (all asked which apps and styli they should buy and all of the parents/grandparents looked relieved when I told them that the prices were generally low and affordable). The feedback was excellent with the often asked question ‘are you going to do more of these sessions’ becoming more and more pressing on my mind 🙂 Hopefully soon (although not until early 2015 that said).

I was also lucky enough to be joined by three of my College students – all very capable tablet art tutors in their own right – which meant that if I’d so wanted I could have delegated all of the work to them! I didn’t of course – doing youth arts work is too much fun to not be involved in – but it was lovely to know that I could hand off to them when I wanted the younger kids to have some extra assistance…

Next up? Half a days rest. I think I’ve earned it 🙂

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! 🙂


…but if nothing else it’s been lovely to get back to teaching. Currently focusing on Photoshop as a: I can teach that while falling asleep and off a chair (my current teaching style) and b: I’m supposed to be teaching 3DS Max to two classes but the room doesn’t have it installed in yet. Sigh.

Actually, according to one of my beloved brats esteemed students this is my teaching style… I do think a nerf gun would help me occasionally in a class.

Anyhow: 4 classes in and the students have already made abstract backgrounds for text placement, used non and destructive filters, had a brief soiree into screen ratios and pixel depths, learnt how to use the scanners and printers and knocked out a couple of hand drawn, scanned and coloured images. Hurrah.


…and for an accidental bonus, while showing the beloved brats esteemed students how to properly use the lasso tool (freehand and keyboard shortcuts FTW) We also drew technicolour lizards 🙂

Which is new to a class (I do occasionally divert from the lesson plan if the shape allows – see the taking a line for a walk pictures I occasionally do) but I think he’ll stick to the scheme of work from now on in.

Shudder. I am now blogging about lesson plans and schemes of work. The Compliance Dalek has got me. Gutted.





Love part 2.

More words to come (aaargh, I’m sure is the general response) but love’s been on my mind today, this week and for the past few months.

Picture’s that revolve around the theme of the day are:

Which I painted on my iPhone using ArtRage app and a smidge of photo reference. You can probably guess which bit is from the photo. In my mind was how lucky I am to love and be loved by some amazing friends and family all over the world, something that does lift me up far higher than I would be able were I on my own. I also had it in mind some friends who I’ve lost contact with and regret the distance. Kafat and Chad spring straight to mind for a start but I’m a hopeless case sometimes with my head often in a sketchpad or a screen. Sometimes I don’t realise someone’s gone until it’s too late.

Marmite Love which I drew on an Interactive Whiteboard during 2 of my 3 breaks at college. Couldn’t resist, nor could I resist filming it which you can see here:

And finally:

Valentine’s card for wifey which I made using Foldify app on iPad. It was the perfect size to contain (after a bit of resizing) a Walnut Whip as well, so went down quite nicely as a result…


Me, with and without a beard.

I’ve had a beard so long that:

a: neither of my children have seen me without a beard.

b: my wife can only just remember me without a beard.

c: most of my students believe I was born with a beard…

and so on…

So, if you were ever wondering, this is an abstract representation of me, with and without.

Barely informative but hey ho, it’s been that sort of a year…

Click for larger version.

In other news: we’re gearing up for the latest wave of redundancies a my workplace, a yearly event for me over the past three years. I’m safe in one role but unsafe in the other which may well leave me with very few teaching hours. No idea where that leaves me to be honest although this and next year are and have been moderately stressful so a change may very well be as good as a rest in some ways. We’ll see… But just spent a coffee break with some of the ones affected and it’s left me less eager to get up and get back to classes 🙁


Doodled this through a (yet another, sorry) day of frustration…

Not getting anywhere at the moment. So much to do and yet every step seems mired in clay and up a slippery slope to boot. Tricksome. I’m suffering from serious data overwhelm at the moment and the right course of action is  a scary one (ask to reduce hours which may see the recipient of the news reducing them to 0. Still mulling over that one…)

Did draw/doodle/paint this in Photoshop on a very dodgy college Dell PC. It struggled but tbh I wasn’t after the speed of processing so much (which was good, come to that), just pressed a button, did some work, pressed another button, did some more work and then whaled into what was left during my lunch hour and after work itself. Not 100% finished (I intend to fade the hat out, make the mouth less obvious etc but as a pic that came together with no plan nor initial outcome it’s alright… My favourite self portrait and, though it hasn’t had many comments on the forum I post work on or on Flickr – hint – the comments were nice and Adobe tweeted that they liked it). Hey ho. Only did the pic to keep myself sane, as a self portrait it probably shows how well that task is progressing…

(click image for larger version)…

(click image for larger version)…

More self centred moaning about work after this short break 🙂 ((I did have a very pleasant day off today helping my niece take her CV around shops now that she’s finished college and bought my daughter a teepee to boot so it’s not all bad. Completely forgot to pick up Tap magazine though, but as a day it was theraputic…))

Panda and friend.

Still flailing around, artistically, in as much as I know what I want to do as a creation but haven’t got the energy to start it… Hence doodling around and trying to find a moment of something or other.

This came out of a three hour stint invidulating an exam. There’s only so much watching students work silently before you can start doodling so I drew this through the exam and coloured it through my lunch hour which I managed to take between 3.45 and 4.30. It’s not exactly my thing: the character or the style (I was apeing a much better and well known comic book artist called Mitch Breitweiser and one of his pictures (to be found at www.comictwart.com, a site of which I could be better described as stalker as much as fan). Anyhow, not bad for a couple of hours work. Didn’t open a door of decision for me or anything and I’m still not really ready to start the project in my mind, but a welcome distraction from looking at the back of people’s heads in a quiet room if nothing else…

Click for larger version