Tag Archives: Sketchbook Pro

Pogo stylus artwork.

A few weeks ago Pogo stylus ran a competition for tablet artists and, true to form, I entered a digital painting on the last possible hour which doesn’t fit into any category. Hey ho, but fun to do, even if my life is a series of progressively sillier deadlines at the moment. Regardless: I drew this as a warm up sketch: and then finished this painting which I’d been noodling around with for a while:

(Last bus home. iPad, Pogo Sketch Pro, Pogo Connect, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro).

I like Pogo styli loads. When I create a digital painting I generally hold a Stylus Sock, a Nomad and a Pogo Sketch Pro and swap between the three depending on whether I’m doing outlines, shading or colouring. Pound for pound I think the Connect is still my favourite pressure sensitive stylus – it’s certainly the one which seems to know what it’s doing the most – although some of my fondness might be because it was also the first… (the Wacom is also very good and the Adonit Jot Script is good, but not pressure sensitive). There are some times when I pick up a stylus with no rhyme or reason, just to draw the picture which is on my mind, and I’m never unhappy if that’s a Connect or a Sketch Pro.

Paperwork, the process and inspiration…

Powered through a hundred bits of paperwork today 🙁 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 🙁  Hope you like. Prefer the Frog pic and, to be honest, prefer that phone too.

Strange and random scribblings.

Wuf the dog on Nintendo 3DS XL using Art Academy software:

Art Academy is phenominally powerful for a cheap cart on what is perceived as a toy device. Obviously it’s not as full on as, say, Fresh Paint on Surface or ArtRage on iPad/iPhone/Desktop but for what it is and does I’ve got a lot of love for AA. Well worth a play if you’re so inclined. The Wii U version is also very good.

Also today: sat down for a short break in the newly opened Five Guys, Guildford. Once burger was eaten sat, drank Diet Coke and still Fanta and drew this on my phone:


Even remembered to click on the process video button 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySiPuyeBfIQ

…which won’t embed. Grr.

Also also:

A friend (hi Matt) asked me to test out my Jot Script on an iPad mini retina as it’s a screen that doesn’t necessarily like to play with styli as much as its bigger brother (nor the Hudl, Galaxy or other devices. It’s a very odd thing).

Anyhow worked like a dream, as did the Nomad play and Stylus Sock which I also had in my pocket. Hurrah. Only had five mins so was a turbo scribble but no problems noted in that time.

Drawn in the Guildford Solutions Inc, which is handy as it was next door to Five Guys 🙂

Android art apps (and styli) in five tweets.

I really should find time to update my ‘so you’ve bought/been given a tablet’ page as new styli and apps come out all of the time and my preferences have changed a little. However was mentioned yesterday in a tweet that I could suggest some of the best art apps on Android and here are my replies (because 140 chars is just not enough sometimes 🙂

Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop, Didlr, Art Flow, Infinite Painter, Watercolor pencil are my faves (in order).

Clover is interesting too in a hmm way. S Note is pretty good too if you have a Samsung.

Harmony + Webchemy work well if you have a web connection, PhotoViva is good odd. Drawing Pad good for all ages 🙂

Depending on what you have, it’s also all about stylus. Jot Script has worked on 90% of Android screens I’ve played with.

After that I tend to go for Dagi, Pogo Sketch Pro, Nomad Mini 2 or Compose + Stylus Sock for Android.

To be honest I might be being a bit harsh on Clover there. It’s a very cool, quirky and odd art app and I thoroughly enjoyed drawing with it yesterday. The only problem is that the interface is VERY unique and tends to take up a third of the screen, which is quite a lot on a 7 inch tablet. Also – I’m almost embarrassed to admit – I took a while to work out how to save/share a picture, even when I found the save button. It’s THAT obtuse an interface…

That said, in the absence of some of the heavy hitters on the Android store (ArtRage, Procreate, Art Studio et al) it’s growing as one of my favourite real world media apps on a non iOS machine. (That said: Fresh Paint is by far my favourite real world material app when I’m not on ArtRage…)

So there you have it. I can be brief, it seems, but only if I use Twitter to compose my blogs and then I’m not brief where Twitter in concerned.

I should get back to writing books. It’s obviously an itch that needs scratching.

Painting the World while it’s still there…

In a vaguely unplanned move, bearing in mind this mornings blog post, I found myself on a bus,  then on a train and then on another bus with only the Hudl to draw on and play with… (and indeed I could quite happily have played Plants vs Zombies 2 but I’m stuck on a level and it’s driving me up a wall). So time to draw it was.

Way back in the dim (me) and distant (past) I used to time my pictures by the bus journeys  I took to and from work (45 mins either way). Nowadays I tend to walk to work (different place, would be ten mins on the bus what with all the stops and traffic but is only twenty mins to walk so seems a no-brainer to me) which this gives me less travel drawing time. Today was nice in that it gave me an hour and a half to draw and I do like to create images while commuting. Hence this:

Initial scribble.

 

Cleaned up scribble. At the time I was going to do something with tablets in the paint coming out of the tube… However…. 

…when I started to block in the colours I found myself with a world/land and sea sort of colour scheme going on, so I swapped over to that.

And then, just at the end (of the train journey) I added in a background colour just for the fun of it. Probably needs muting a little, that said it looked better on the tablet and it may be my laptop which isn’t showing me the correct colours.

On the bus journey back home I made a couple of quick edits to say a ‘good luck’ to a friend who’s the excellent masterbrain behind the amazing Art of the Street coolness about to take over Maidenhead on Saturday morning.

So there you have it. An hour and a half of doodling with not much in the way of thought process. Hope you like.

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).