Tag Archives: Tablet art

Enter the Gold Stylus…

Styluminati. Asus tablet, cheap eBay styli, Fresh Paint app.

Long time readers (hi mum) will know that I’m a bit of a stylus addict. I did a quick head count of my box of styli the other day and, without looking for the ones which have fallen to the bottom of a range of bags and boxes around the house, I reached 130 fairly easily.

A small box of many styli.

There’s no specific stylus I buy more of (although I do seem to have more Nomad, Pogo, Jot, Dagi and Wacom than other names but that shouldn’t be surprising – they’re the ones who make the majority of named styli), and I’m certainly not in a position to buy all of them as they’re released, but I do love to see what each and every new scribble stick will bring to the square glass firework which I like to draw on. Some styli work best on one screen, others refuse to work on another screen. Surface hates Nomad, Hudl 2 loves Maglus and Dagi, for example. Surface RT would only work with Dagi and Jot, Jot doesn’t work, at all, on HP all in one desktops in my experience (which is odd and must have something to do with the amount of connectivity needed to pair to the screen). I mentioned the fact to a couple of HP product managers at BETT last month and they seemed surprised that it was the case or that there were so many alternatives out there (it came up in discussion because I was having a quick draw with Sprout and the stylus they chose to demo it was the Jot classic, which seemed ironic).

SproutMite by @HP. #FreshPaint at #BETT2015.

I have a range of styli that I love, which I’ll get onto later (and which is the subject of a forthcoming article in a very lovely art magazine that I’ve been invited to write for) and I have some which I don’t love. I’ve never gone into a stylus review wanting to give it a good kicking, as all have positives and a stylus which I don’t get on with may be the favourite of another artist. The very lovely Susan Murtaugh loves the Jot Pixelpoint, which I respect but find almost inexplicable, and the equally lovely Mr Matthew ‘Roz’ Hall loved an Alupen which I bought for him way back when at the IAMDA meetup which, again, wasn’t a stylus I gravitated to.

DrawQuest: Tablet art styli.

Studio 53, makers of the extremely user friendly app Paper (by 53), have in the past released the Pencil stylus which has divided opinion (another hugely talented tablet artist – Paul Vera Broadbent – hates it. I like it loads). I wanted the Walnut one but only managed to buy the black one in the end (yes, stylus looks are important to me too 🙂 which makes me, at times, a shallow screen scribble stick consumer). Now they’ve released a Gold Pencil stylus which I think looks fabulous, but which again I can see dividing opinion. Whatever… Don’t like it, don’t buy it! I think it looks striking and confident and can’t wait to use it. With the Maglus a close second the Pencil is, apart from being a thumpingly good stylus, the most beautifully packaged stylus I’ve ever laid hands on…

Stylus T. And a mouth full of blue teeth. Photoshop Touch, iPad, many styli.

Sadly, I’ll probably have to wait. In the same week as the stylus is announced I’ve had to shell out many, MANY, stylus bucks to have our house rewired. Sigh. There is a competition though, running daily from the 4th to the 9th of Feb, which I’m entering daily. The competition is to remix a stylus image with whatever ideas you bring to  the table. This is what I’ve come up with so far (and I’ll edit the post to include any that come up until the 9th)…

day 1:

No, Mr Bond... iPad Mini, Paper, Pencil.

day 2:

It's so shiny... #Paper53 #Pencil53 #StylusTFrog

day 3:

Gold stylus remix.

day 4:

Fiddy Fwee the gold eared stylus bunny.... ipad mini, Paper app and Pencil.

day 5:

#NationalDoodleDay on iPad Mini, Paper app, Dagi and Pencil.

day 6:

The Golden Stylus Surfer. iPad Mini, Paper by 53, Pencil stylus.

day 7:

Mr 53 remix.

day 8:

Mirror Mirror remix 2. iPad mini, Paper, Pencil.

day 9:

Meanwhile, on Hoth.... iPad Mini, Paper app, Pencil and Maglus.

…and A bonus update on the Golden Surfer pic as I flipping LOVE Galactus 🙂

If I did but wield this stylus...

 

Wish me luck 🙂 (that was then… I didn’t won one of the coveted ten styli boo, but it was fun to get closer to Paper…) Unless you think I need an intervention on Styli matters (quite possible)  in which case wave as I go by 🙂

Stylus T Frog says hi.

(as always, click on the picture to see a higher resolution version. No idea, now I’ve moved onto a Surface, how to centre the pictures here or make them bigger…. Techno artist I may be but some – probably simple things – fly well over my head..)

Return of the BETT.

 

Touch screen art... Engage. #BETT2015 #SMARTboard.

The past few years have been a rollercoaster and the peaks and troughs generally come at the same times… Event days and the huge amount of work they entail.

I’ve been a teacher for 120 months now and the first 60 passed by in a fairly normal fashion. Teach, paperwork, mark, paperwork, chase students, paperwork etc. Then we were asked to demonstrate tablet art techniques at the World Skills Festival which was thoroughly fabulous.

How do you follow that? With turns at the Barbican, the Royal Academy. Teentech (x4), Bohunt, Magic Summer, Europamer (x2), MCM (x3), Sky Arts, Electric Theatre and much more. So many places we’ve been demonstrating tablet art on so many devices.

And, of course, there was the Gadget Show Live:

…which was the only show where everything has gone to plan despite being the biggest we had done (until recently). 70 or so students from 6 different classes on a seven day working residential. A 120 sq m stand which we filled on a budget smaller than most other stands free drinks budget. It should never have worked… but it did and it was brilliant.

Which brings me to BETT. How does that fit into the calendar? Surely the students would prefer to work at the comic conventions or the computer games shows or the music festivals or the art galleries?

Team Friday McAwesome. #BETT2015.

Well. Yes. Those were fabulous. But this time a surprising number of students who said they enjoyed this one most of the shows we’ve done this year. I loved it, because I love BETT, but they thoroughly enjoyed it too, and it was all down to the tech.

Thanks Team SMART. Had a fab time helping you on your stand. #BETT2015 #SMARTKapp

Sometimes we’re asked to do shows with tech that the students work brilliantly and professionally with at the time but afterwards grumble about an app or a device. We’ve been very spoilt, but to be fair we’re also pretty good at what we do. This year we were asked to draw on the SMART stand (again. They asked us last year too) and we drew on devices as we always do.

#SMARTKapp at #BETT2015 (close up ") ).

Lets be clear though, this year was different. Last year we drew on Interactive Whiteboards and it was good but, at the end of the day we were just drawing on large screens, which we’ve done, a lot.

SMART board art at #BETT2015

This year SMART had a 1-2 sucker punch of devices that I loved using and want in my classroom, stat . I’m absolutely NOT saying this because SMART paid for the travel and sandwiches (to be frank they got a good deal -I charge more for two pictures than they paid for all of the student train fares and I drew significantly more than two pictures over the past four days). SMART amp and Kopp were my two stars of the show. BETT obviously agreed as SMART amp won best collaboration software. If Kapp didn’t win an award it was robbed  its a fabulous piece of tech

Drawing on SMART board. And iPad ")

I’ll write some more later, today is my VERY MUCH DESERVED lazy day following four 15 hour days in a row. However I wanted to show off some pics of my students being thoroughly brilliant, as the always are at a trade show, and I wanted to big up the SMARTboards while BETT is still fresh in people’s minds.

Interview time #SMARTAmp

It was an ace show for us, there are hopefully some very cool things to come out of it too, but for the moment let’s just say that BETT is fab, the students were too, as was SMART and, you know what? So was I 🙂

As ever as always: lovely to draw on a #SMARTboard at #BETT2015

(Apols for some of the formatting. I’m writing this on a Surface 3 and it’s not allowing me to do some of the things I want…)

Fabulous (and long) week…

It’s been a week… On Monday I reached the grand old age of 44:

On Tuesday a friend of mine and I put the finishing touch to a lovely extra camera lens to my trusty HTC One:

On Weds I did one of my last two residency days at Shake Shack in Covent Garden:

… and I ran the fourth of five tablet art sessions at the Ben Uri gallery. Much fun that is, pictures to come…

On Thursday it was a fabulous night at the HTCMeetup in London:

Where I did a smidge of drawing on One, Desire Eye and Nexus 9:

(photo courtesy of @TheChicGeekBiz).

… and I test drove the Thatch Bug camera lens by the very excellent Mr Nick Thatcher:

…and on Friday I went to see the Hobbit with a very lovely old mate who I’ve seen all six films with on release day…

More blather to come but basically? Today has been, deservedly, a bit of a rest day…

 

Teentech Surrey.

In a slightly ironic move (given Nicky Morgan’s comments yesterday) Wednesday saw the students and I deliver a full days teaching of tablet art technique to a range of year 10 and 11 students from a wide range of schools.

Excellent fun it was too, although I was utterly dog tired when I managed to drag my weary feet home… We used Flowpaper (which allowed me to talk about the very talented artist/programmer Richard ‘Dr’ Bailey who created some wonderfully beautiful procedural art images. After that we created an image in Brushes app (v2. v3 sadly doesn’t appeal to me in the same way) which allowed me to talk a little about Hockney and the RA. It’s a bit mean of me to teach on the app, really, as it’s not commercially available but it is a masterclass in UI design, even now years on from this version release and a year or so since it was pulled from the (app) shelf. Brushes remains one of the best tablet art apps which is what makes it all the sadder that you can’t buy it.

Finally, we did a picture in ArtRage app, a hugely powerful and phenomenally lovely piece of software available for desktop and tablet. It was good fun to use and, while the students all had their favourite app, this was the one that the teachers gravitated towards the most.

A lot of work then, especially as it was my day off, but it was a lot of fun. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we had some great pictures drawn on the devices. Bearing in mind each kid had less than 15 minutes to draw on the screens I think we came out with some very nice pieces of work.

As well as being my day off it was also the day of no classes for most of the students who joined me. Despite that they also did a full days work, never complaining (well, apart from not enough food in one students case) and being as good as I could have hoped. Well done them, as always. On their break, between sessions 5 and 6, the students sat around to do even more work, drawing the NAO Active Robot who made a short appearance on our stand. I got to draw for 20 minutes too, so all told it was a happy time…

(I will add some of their pics to the blog soon but as soon as I arrived back I put the iPads in the classroom and headed off home. That’s an update to come…)

This Android picture…

This picture:

…was drawn on an HTC One M8 using a Plai eStylo and the very fab Autodesk Sketchbook app. This is unusual for two/three reasons; One: I now have a phone which is top of the range, which is nice (and spectacularly unusual for me – normally I rely on the phone one or two gens behind and only if I can get it for a cheap second hand price – part time teaching not making me rich beyond my wildest dreams) and Two: the eStylo works with barely anything… As I’ve mentioned before the HTC is the screen which, still, takes more styli than any other so I’m really looking forward to drawing on it more… The third possible reason is that I’ve just reviewed Sketchbook for a well known Mac magazine which is nice.

This picture:

…was drawn on a Samsung Note 3 using ArtRage app which has recently been released for Samsung tablets (partially because of their excellent integration with the S Pens). All good stuff – ArtRage is one of my favourite art apps out there.

This picture:

…was drawn on a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet using ArtRage again.

… and of course you all know I love my Hudls, right?

 

Wacom Fineline stylus (my current favourite) drawn on Didlr app on a Hudl 2. Thoroughly enjoying the Fineline – I also drew it on the iPad the other day (still in ArtRage).

Not by purpose but I do seem to be on a bit more of an Android kick at the moment. ArtRage is a phenomenal app and I’m delighted to see it on a larger range of machines 🙂 (that’s not to say that I’m not enjoying drawing on Surface tablets and the brief dalliances I’ve had with the iPad Air 2… And I really want to draw on the Nexus 9… And the HP Sprout as well, come to that). But the HTC One M8 is an excellent phone to draw on and I’m looking forward to spending time with the Samsung Note 3, 10.1 and Pro over the next week.

More, on the Android/ArtRage side of things to come. Exciting things happening tomorrow…

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

I’m lucky that my job is often my hobby (and vice versa).

Witness the Electric Theatre Family Festivals, for example 🙂 I get to stand and run around and draw with dozens of lovely kids and their parents and grandparents and, generally, do traditional and touch screen drawings together. I’ve done various things there on Surface tablet, Hudl and iPad but the sessions which are the most popular are almost always the Shrink Plastic sessions

On Monday the ‘Leccy asked me to run a drawing session with a theme of making cities. The thing that came to mind was allowing the kids to rampage through cities as a monster or a superhero… But I was aware that when you have a dozen kids all asking for help at the same time, not to mention the fact that you’ll be tied to an oven cooking shrink plastic for much of the session, on my own, then it all had to be fairly self explanatory and easy to conduct. On a material budget of £30.

So we made masks:

and we made city buildings to be added to an ever growing Electric City…

…which anyone could be photographed in…

but, of course, the major part of the session was Shrink Plastic…

…and, all in all, it was  a very lovely five hours of creative chaos, drawing, cooking shrink plastic, chatting and laughing.

Except for when pumpkins were scarily (but fabulously 🙂 ) drawn… Aaargh. Back there soon to do tablet art again and I’m hopeful that’s an equally lovely session.

Surrey Opportunities Fair.

We are getting rather good at this.

This being juggling a bunch of students and one dog tired teacher going to a venue (this time: Epsom Racecourse) and demonstrating tablet art techniques to potential new students (and, more often than not, teachers and teaching assistants).

So yesterday the students and I got a bus at way too early to get to the racecourse ten minutes late via a horribly foggy and disgusting drive. Safety (always) first, so late was the better of the options.

One quick set up later and the school kids started piling in. And in. And in. It was fairly busy:

(as always).

One of the nicest things for me was that the students who went started drawing on the bus and didn’t stop working until we finished at 3.15.

Which is nice for me as their teacher… They’re a good bunch I have this year. Which is good as my student intake has almost trebled.

All in all? Not a bad way to spend a day. Dog tired at the end of it though. I’d say roll on half term but I’m doing tablet art at the ‘Leccy then…. Good to be busy I suppose 🙂

Eee, Gee, Echs. T minus less than a week.

This weeks been a busy year.

We’re coming up to the next student/college stand at a major event. This time: EGX at Earl’s Court, London.

Exciting. Very Exciting.

Why?

Well, basically, it’s going to be fab. I love doing events (which is good because it’s not like I get paid for it at all and each one carves a extra mile into my forehead).

(We’ve done over 30 events in the past two years).

(Blimey).

From Sky Arts to the Beeb, from Adobe to Autodesk to ArtRage, from Nintendo to Samsung to Microsoft to Sony to Dell, from BETT 2012 to BETT 2013 (and 2014), from the Barbican to the Royal Academy, from Eurogamer to MCM to Gadget Show we’ve demoed tablet art to a LOT of people. See >>here<< for some of our prior events…

Until now the Gadget Show 2013 has been my favourite as it afforded me a lot of options to design the set area. I hope that EGX 2014 will now become my favourite. There’s a lot of design involved and if it looks as cool as I’ve planned I’ll be utterly delighted.

The theme is #WelcomeToGuildford which, I hope, will become obvious when you get to us…

If you’re at EGX come and say hi (we’re delivering the chill out and art stand). You’ll be able to draw with Graph It pens on bleed proof paper and at least 4 different types of touch screen with a range of styli to check out if you’re so interested. This is open to EVERYONE! If you’re an artist come say hi and draw us a pic. If you’re a cosplayer come along and be drawn. If you’re neither but fancy having a scribble or an impromptu art lesson then come along, have a seat and draw away…

(There will also be a super secret piece of art on sale each day… Details on that to come).

If you’re a Cosplayer at EGX some say hi, be drawn or painted, or 3d scanned 🙂 It’ll be fab.

However the new thing (because hey, we have done this a couple of times now) is that at 6pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 11 am on Sunday we’ll be delivering something new and VERY COOL.

Basically we’re setting up a series of Cosplayers as a recreation of the Last Supper according to a daily theme:

Thursday: The Last Family Supper (Sega, Nintendo, Disney, Cutesy characters).
Friday: The Final Supper (any Assassins and their historically relevant victims).
Saturday: The Last of Us Supper (Ellie, Joel, Clickers, zombies).
Sunday: The Last Supper at the Alien Cantina (Star Wars, Who, Aliens etc).
Anyone who’s around come along to the Cosplay stage and we’ll set you up ready to be drawn, painted and photographed. It shall be fab.
(think this but bigger. Oh yes).
So that’s it. That’s the plan. Come and join us if you can it’ll be all sorts of cool. And Awesome. It’ll be Coolsome. And then some.

A long story about Eurogamer Expo, told backwards.

The last bit:

To whit, this:

The theme  for our interactive gallery stand at this years Eurogamer Expo  is the League of Extraordinary Guildfordians (as organised by Guildford College, run by Guildford students and focusing on artwork made by Guildford Devs).

The Cosplay diorama themes will be (dates subject to change but I’ll confirm on Monday):

The Lots Of Us (Sept 25th). Joels, Ellies, zombies and clickers all very welcome.
Syndicated Assassins and victims (Sept 26th). Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed and historical characters? Rock on up.
NintendoSegaLand (Sept 27th). Any Nintendo or Sega character? We choose you.
The Alien Cantina (Sept 28th). Star Wars, Who, Mass Effect, any alien of any flavour? Come say hi and join in the gathering.

Come and join in. If you’re cosplaying you can be painted on our stand either separately or as part of the group effort. If you’re an artist and want to paint on a tablet or Interactive Whiteboard using one of a wide range of styli then turn up and say hi 🙂 I’ll be the stressed one with, I hope still by that point, orange hair.

eg: the Lots Of Us from MCM earlier in the year

If you’re a Guildford games artist give me a shout too, would love to hook up with some at the show. We’re also aiming to do a couple of tablet and computer only art sessions around Eurogamer time so give me a shout about those dates.

So! Eurogamer! Exciting. Want to do some touch screen awesomeness? Check out the gallery stand. It’ll be all sorts of awesome.

The middle bit:

So here we are, 3 weeks before the next big one, a large space (60 sq m? About that?) in Eurogamer Expo. We’re going to do some awesome things with tablet art teaching, large screen artworking (tbc), Cosplay painting, Cosplay dioramas, all sorts of awesome stuff. We hope to have bespoke computer game artwork up (some sorted, some at the mercy of as many emails as I can send out around paperworking and new student enrolment and so on). Exciting stuff. Apart from footprint (and to be honest I don’t know whether I could ever do 120 sq m again, as for the most part this is just me sorting things out).

I’m also relating this years Eurogamer to the Gadget Show in my mind as it’s the first one I’ve had a theme completely planned out in my mind and can’t wait to see realised. Obviously what we do is important on the stage, but to know what the stage will look like, especially the image which welcomes people to our space, is cool to be thinking on…

The beginning bit:

The students and I have been on some grand events over the past few years, drawing for Dell, Adobe, Barbican, Royal Academy, Sky Arts, Eurogamer and more….

eg:

The last one is the most pertinent – The Gadget Show Live was the largest show we’ve done, 120 sq m, a small budget, a LOT of reliance on hardware loans and the excellence of students over the week. It was a little bit of an energy drain; I worked 90 hours that week (and that’s ignoring all of the set up), walked 40 miles  and fell asleep waiting for dinner with the students one evening and, um, sitting down mid way through a day causing a small man hunt as I’d said I’d only be off the stand for five minutes.

Painting at the Gadget Show Live.

A year ago (and a week, last years setup started on April the 1st) I was doing this:

This year? Well. There was a lot of talk about doing a stand again, and the students and I were certainly keen… But with some tech problems hampering student output, with an EQR just before and another to go back to, not to mention the dreaded O word coming up soon (and in ed that only means one thing) it just couldn’t be worked into the calendar. Very sad but the stress levels are high enough at the moment, ta.

So instead a friend and I went up to do the show together (to just, you know, walk a show floor without being in charge of 40 students and 20 screens for people to draw on 🙂 ) and excellent fun it was (and is, being on until Saturday I believe).

Too much to blather on about now but I shot a lot of video, which I’ll edit when time allows (but soon I hope) and I’ve got a pile of marking I’ve got to get to at some point. But here are some of the bits I enjoyed most. You know they’re going to be about screen art before you scroll down though, right?

I bought an Olloclip! Well. I bought my third Olloclip (having had a 4S version, a 5S version and now a multi macro version 🙂 ) Expect more macros. Here are a couple of 21 x shots of a 3d printed selfie 🙂


((ironically the above pic is my favourite of the 3d Selfies… Less in focus* but something about it makes me smile.. *the less in focus is more to do with the fact that I took the pic on the train from Watford to London Euston 🙂 ))

So, yes, that also meant I was 3d scanned and printed 🙂


I drew on little screens (a Nokia 1320 and another one but can’t remember what number it was…)


Less little screens (Lenovo 7 inch Windows tablet):


and bigger machines (Dell Venue 11 tablet):


Slightly bigger desktop screens (HP desktop):


…and bigger than that screens:


… and bigger than that screens 🙂


In short? Lots of fun 🙂 Drew quite a few Stylus T. Frogs and Marmite jars, chatted to loads of people, including a few friends from other trade shows and last years Gadg-a-stravaganza and did a lot of demo-ing a range of styli on a range of screens ‘cos I’m more than happy to multi task and chat when someone asks me a question…

Now my feet hurt so I’m sitting and blogging and drinking a cup of coffee 🙂 and, in my mind, I’m sort of planning next years stand, really hoping we do one.

And finishing up with the obligatory Olloclip picture of my lunch:

Macro Sushi seaweed. Yum 🙂