Tag Archives: Samsung Galaxy S4

Drawing with a Jot Script.

Latest on the (long) list of styli I’ve been keen to have a draw with is the jot Script. It’s unusual in terms of a screen stylus as it has a thin point (rather than the – until now – accepted norm of a 6 mm wide stylus tip). Its bluetooth but, sadly, not pressure sensitive.

The second unexpected result was that it works more than happily with the Android device I tested it on (a Samsung Galaxy S4)*.

The third unexpected thing is how effortlessly it pairs to the screen and works in all apps, seeming to pair to the device rather than on a case by case app basis. It just, to borrow a phrase, works. I’m trying to work out what I think about it but the initial feelings are all very positive. Nice one Adonit.

The pics below were all drawn last night except for the Selfie which was drawn on the bus into work this morning… Stuck in traffic…. In the rain.

Stylus: iPad + Procreate.

Selfie: Samsung Galaxy S4 + Sketchbook Pro.

Stylus: iPad + Didlr. Process animation >> here <<

Hellophant: iPad + Sketchbook Pro. Drawn on the bus from my house into town so clocked in around the 12 minute mark. I forgot, as normal, to set animation going, which made me Grr. I like Sketchbook Pro a lot but the fact that some parts make me grr as often as they do stop me from loving it as the art app of choice.

… and while we’re on a hard tipped stylus vibe I had a fab drawing time with friends last night during which I got to play with a Wacom Cintiq that, when not connected to a desktop machine, runs Android software (and Sketchbook Pro). One of my friends (a very lovely person) drew a happy Tomato sauce bottle on my iPad (and she seemed to completely fall fr the Jot Script while doing so) and I drew a less cheerful one, as is my wont. I also drew the Adventures of Pizza Guy below (and hope to be able to post the original pics sometime soon).

What did I think of the Cintiq? Well to be honest Android as an OS is very good but the app store is not and the range of art apps available is woeful compared to iOS. I’d have far rather played with a Cintiq running Windows 8 and Fresh Paint (although I like Sketchbook Pro very much as an app).

Overall I liked Wacoms take on a tablet. The screen is Matte so, presumably, would be more comfortable to draw on for concerted periods of time (and is less glare-tastic as well), and I would like to have been able to draw on it for a little longer. But all in all the Jot Script was the more fun discovery during yesterdays screen time (and certainly the more affordable one).

*Brief update: I just tested the Script on a Tesco Hudl (one of my favourite 7 inch tablets) and it worked as well as it did on all of the other screens I threw it at (metaphorically speaking).

Tesco Hudl + Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Lovely, busy, creative, walky, talky day.

Back to work was as much fun as I thought it might be… So it was very lovely to have a meet up with some friends to eat, chat and go over which might be the best stylus for someone to use on a freshly bought iPad mini retina.

Interestingly half of the styli didn’t work at all with the screen seeming to have less sensitivity to some of the tips on offer (and to other competing tablets and the minis own bigger brother). That’s definitely going to be worth checking into later…

Anyhoo: the morning started with finishing off a Skribl image I’d been playing with off and on since downloading the app:

Then I started off a picture in DrawQuest which I’ve missed drawing in, (finishing it off when we returned home):

(and which you can see a process animation of the image come to be here).

Between starting and finishing it Wifey and I went to see a couple of friends for lunch and a walk. Lunch was lovely (no photos of that one) followed by a walk to a local church with a fabulous roof:

Organ pipes, Nokia Lumia 520.

Stained glass on stone. Lumia 520.

Church roof. Lumia 520 + fisheye lens (not the best output all things considered on that one).

Church roof, Samsung Galaxy S4 plus fish eye lens and a smidge of Snapseed…

And since I’d played briefly with my fish eye lens on the phone camera I took a quick shot to show how the macro lens coped on the Lumia (seems to have coped well 🙂 ).

All in all; lovely day.

The first screen art splurge of 2014.

#HappyNewYear, for a start.

Drawn on Nokia 520, Dagi stylus, Fresh Paint app.

For todays couple of hours of art therapy I started with a doodle card for a friend who’s reached ten years of fine service in a very noble cause… I suspected she’d like Bubbly Choc more than Champers (well, may be wrong on that one, may be an even tie) hence this:

(the ears isn’t an unkind thing about north of neck adornment in case you’re wondering, more a thing about the charity that’s the employer. Drawn on Samsung Galaxy S4 using S-Note and Jot Touch).

And then to finish a little bit of doodle bombing my friendly neighbourhood PC World. I do like popping in there and testing out a new screen (or three) to draw on, preferably something new, and they didn’t disappoint today with an enjoyable beginning doodle on a Lenovo touch screen desktop taking up the first half of my hour+ a bit in the store.

Stylus T. Frog furnished me with a Pogo Sketch Pro, Nomad Compose short hair brush, a Plai eStylo wooden stylus, a New Trent Arcadia retractable cloth/micro-weave stylus and a Jot Touch plastic tip pen. All performed admirably except for the Jot which wouldn’t connect to the screen at all for some reason.

After that had a quick draw on a Surface Pro, mainly using a Wacom Feel pressure sensitive stylus.And finally I finished up on a Samsung Note 3 (which I have a real soft spot for) which gave me the chance to start and end the couple of hours I had to draw on S-Note – a very under appreciated art package.

2 days. Four hours of drawing time probably. Five different screens, three different apps. Marvellous. Hoping the year continues this way 🙂

Closing out 2013.

So 2013 nearly done and dusted. Some bits I’ll look back on and smile, other parts I’ll be very glad to see gone and look forward to seeing what 2014 brings.

Loads of bits and bobs to do around the house today so only a quick splurge of blog.

The church nearest me has put OMG up in the windows for Christmas, made from fairy light strings, and fab it looks too 🙂 A very clever way of using the architecture of the building. And it’s upset a couple of people too, which is never good to do on purpose but not always bad to do by accident. Makes me smile anyhow.

My son collects rubber ducks and we decided to count them. True to form we only got part way through the beak count but we were up to 225 at the time and there was more to be done but it was fun to see them take over the living room floor.

I was given a couple of cheap and playful phone camera lenses for Christmas which I’ve not had a chance to play with too much but make me smile to know they’re in my pocket ready to be whipped out and stuck to the front of a camera:

Phones have been an oddity over Christmas with me moving on from my very well used iPhone 4S to… well, that’s the trick, I ummed and ahhed about it so much I didn’t get a phone and then, when I kind of had to as I was missing calls and messages and so on, I bought a pay as you go Nokia 520 as it was fairly cheap and also ran Fresh Paint, which I REALLY wanted to try on the mobile platform (although I thoroughly enjoy  it on the Surface tablet). Anyhow I miss a million apps on the iPhone which I’m sure I’ll get back to sometime in the future… Which leads me to…Family and I went on the London Eye at night which was as lovely and beautiful as we imagined it would be, despite son boy complaining of stomach pains on the tube on the way to it… Fortunately he managed to hold onto his lunch and we saw London clothed in an equal amount of light and darkness. I missed my iPhone as it’s the sort of thing that would Autostitch amazingly well

((for example:

-both taken last year on the 4S)).

…but it was probably a mercy to my family that they didn’t have to stand around while I took 20 or so pictures and waited for them to be stitched together. I did take the above pic on the Lumia which sums up the lights at least and, for a cheaper end camera, it took the photo very well I think.

I did take a couple of pictures on the Eye but tbh was more interested in seeing the view away from a screen for once.

(taken with a Galaxy S4).

(taken with a Lumia 520).

I also had, because Hey, London, an ice cream at Chin Chin Labs. Because that’s what’s Camden at its best, and the picture above was an insta-CCL classic: Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Truffle Crumble (with, I think, some thyme in there as well). Yum.

I had a couple of beers over the year. This is a quick doodle on Didlr app and Samsung Galaxy S4 of a Hogs Back Brewery beer. It wasn’t my favourite of the ones I’ve had this year (I prefer their AOT and OTT beers) but the HBB labels are a thing of wonder. My favourite beer this year? Hmmm. Probably Innis and Gunn rum finish, bottled (and also replete with a lovely label) and something I’d love to have on tap to see how it compares.

And, yes, this. Sometimes this year I’ve been pushing a mountain while climbing up a mountain, while the mountain was still growing. Occasionally it felt a bit futile but very often I’ve had lovely, marvellous and amazing friends and family around me helping me along and saying hi just when I’ve needed it. The best thing about 2013 has been the friends and family who I’ve shared the good and the bad with. Hopefully I’ll take both the good and the friends with me in the following year and hopefully the same for you and yours. There will still be bad somewhere along the line I’m sure, but hopefully it’ll all find a natural balance…

On Styli…

((Once upon a time I used to witter on ad nauseum about writing and the books I was doing… Oh how time changes eh?))

I’ve been on a little bit of a stylus kick at the moment, mainly prompted by the loss of a pencil case full of my go-to screen sticks. Was gutted at the time but a: it forced me to return to many I’d used and then discarded in favour of others and b: the marvellous Susan Murtaugh sent me a package of styli to tide me over in my upset grumpiness. Was much appreciated and a very timely reminder that I’m lucky to know some marvellously wonderful people both on and off screen.

So I’ve gone back to the New Trent stylus, the Stylus Sock (which I never left but lost my favourite one), the Bic Crystal Stylus, the Pogo Sketch Pro, the Jot Pro and so on. All excellent styli and good for a variety of roles. I’ve also had some playtime with a Wacom Creative stylus which I was surprised to like as much as I did… And I bought some brush tip nibs for the Pogo Connect which are… interesting. Require more playtime in this case I think.

Yesterday that tied in nicely in two ways with one of the inspiring people I know – the very amazing Nick Thatcher – making me my very own white oak and aluminium stylus as an early birthday present. It’s very cool – light, a warm material in the wooden base which, because it had been sanded with zinc oxide sandpaper and immediately varnished, was also a capacitive conductor. While chatting about it, and drawing the picture below, he also asked me if I had a stylus of a particular make which was the next thing he planned to do. To the best of my knowledge it’s not been made at all and would be fairly unique so I’m interested in what he comes up with. Not that the stylus he made isn’t fabulous, but hey, every new one is new and shiny 🙂


Thatch stylus drawn on Galaxy S4/Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using Thatch stylus 🙂

Top five Android art apps… Start here.

The start here is a note to me, more than to you, dear reader. I’ve been meaning to find the time to update the Buyers Guide post I did at Christmas and have been utterly snowballed with work and… well, all sorts really – especially as the year comes to a close.

But, since buying some Hudl tablets to do art classes with I’ve been re-evaluating my relationship with Android and have been on a search for the art apps that I can enjoy working with and teaching to others. There’s a longer post than this to come but here’s a top five of the apps I sit and draw in. I’ve arranged them (a little) in order of complexity.

S-Note: Yes. I know. It’s not really an art app, nor is it available across the Android range. But it’s smooth and quick and, on larger devices, keeps a process recording of what you’ve drawn. I like it a lot and, on the S4, is one of my most chosen go-to apps. I thoroughly enjoyed using the app on the Note 2 and 10.1s I used last year.

Didlr app: available cross platform (oh how lovely that is to be able to say) Didlr is free and lovely to use. It has a limited colour palette but remembers the animation as a matter of course and allows you to share both the image created and the animation through a range of social media outlets. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable app to work with.

PhotoViva: a photo editing app at heart it has a playful and interesting drawing engine hidden away from plain view. Ostensibly there to add a hand drawn painterly effect to a photo importing a blank image will allow you to paint on top with a brush that rotates as you go or has a scatter effect built in, or a jitter on the hue and saturation values or… well… you get the jist.

Photoshop Touch: So we get to the big boys… Adobe have a long and cherished history when it comes to art apps and Photoshop is so synonymous with digital art it has become the defining verb. So it’s no surprise to see it on the list is it?

Well, actually, yes it is. I’ve got a HUGE amount of love for Adobe and Photoshop 3.3 LE was a pivotal moment for me in art software use. But Photoshop Touch is still ‘getting there’ as an app rather than where it needs to be. The UI is very good, although  the first screen you will see (after the loading screen) is a whole lot of clumsy. Sharing is also a bit quirky. Creative Cloud is great but not fully and completely integrated and the load time and occasional render time if you’re using a large brush at half opacity…? Well… The range of options is also, on the drawing side, a bit lacking (although to be fair the same criticism could be levelled at Didlr and PhotoViva) but the editing and photo manipulation tools are very sound.

But it is good and well worth the money. It’s funny how app store economies have skewed application prices – programmers and artists still need to be paid to develop – and Photoshop Touch is pricey for a mobile art package… but not at all when you consider the desktop prices. Maybe this is why it’s so infrequently updated? Regardless – I’ve got a lot of love for Photoshop Touch but often think more about what it could be rather than what it is.

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro: While Photoshop 3.3 LE was a huge eye opener for me in what an art app could be Autodesk provided one of the first art packages that I fell in love with. While D-Paint on the Amiga was ‘the first’ Ani Pro was probably my favourite 2d animation app of all time. Sigh. Those were, very much, the days. I still remember paying ‘HOW MUCH?’ for a 486 SX with 512 m of ram (I think) to work with Ani Pro at home.

OK, back on subject. Eagle eyed readers will know that I have had a love/hate relationship with the app in the past. The UI takes a bit of getting used to and, even though I know my way around it now, I wouldn’t say I like it. The brush opacity seems bilked to the point of uselessness. The brushes are great but I truly have no idea how to associate them to UI slots nor the secret sauce of being able to swap between two brushes even though there is a button which says it will do this magically useful thing (on some devices anyway). SImilarly – some brushes will scale very large and others will not, but there’s no warning about which is which and often you have to rely on memory to remember the effect each brush type will have and whether it will be a fine or wide ended splash on the screen.

BUT – and it took me a while – it’s a fab app. On iOS there’s a process video recording tool which I hope makes it over the Android side of the fence sometime and the toolset of brushes and variables is very cool. It also works very well with pressure sensitive styli. I LOVE the symmetry paint – which I seem to remember them being the first to implement –  and some of the brushes are quirky and brilliant. There’s no real level of cohesion between the multi-platform nature of the app but, on Android, it’s probably my favourite go-to ‘proper’ art and design choice.

So there you have it: Android art apps in a nutshell. I’ll get onto an updated styli and iOS art apps list soon but this’ll have to do for the mo’. Masses of work paperwork to stop being avoided 😉

(Cheers: Didlr, Hudl, Nomad and Dagi styli, O’Hara white label stout).


Drawing on a Samsung Galaxy S4…

Latest in the list of different machines I’ve drawn on this week comes the Galaxy S4.
I like it a lot, as a machine, although to be honest Samsung hardware is so tied into the brilliance of the S-Pen that if a device doesn’t have it I find it’s missing a big something… Which is a shame as it’s a good phone in its own right.


Had a … hmm… day at work. A Monday. One of those Mondays. A complete and utter Monday in fact. So I stopped at the end of the classes I was teaching, ripped through the registers and emails I needed to send as quick as I could and drew this on Autodesk Sketchbook Pro with no stylus for a change 🙂 Not that that was a conscious choice, I just couldn’t be bothered to get one out of my bag.

The pic wasn’t a conscious choice either, I just took a line for a walk and choose which colour looked suitable at the time.