I’ve been working the past few weeks like crazy building and tweeking my new website and blog. Now that it’s done, I’m easing my way back into image making once again. Whenever I take a pause from drawing or painting for a considerable period of time, I always find difficulty in starting in again. Sometimes you sit down and think about the work you were involved in before you took that break. Other times, you just sit there and scratch your head and bite your pencil. This time, fortunately, I was inspired by a recent acquaintance with digital artist Jeremy Sutton. Jeremy is a fine artist and teacher and has a great blog and pages about mobile digital art. Click the links below.
Jeremy’s pages are well worth the read for any artist, digital or traditional. His own work and articles have really fired me up to get back into the pot once again. Thanks, Jeremy!
In reading Jeremy’s Thoughts on Mobile Digital Art, I was impressed by his comprehensive accounting of the evolution of digital media and his noting the artists who have pioneered work in the field. Jeremy has also elaborated on his favorite digital apps. One he is particularly fond of using is Sketch Club. Take a look a Jeremy’s work using Sketch Club at this link.
During my years working digitally on my computer and iPads, I’ve downloaded dozens of digital art apps. Each new app holds the promise of discovery. And that in itself is part of the *high* of media exploration for any artist – be the medium traditional or digital. Of all the apps I have tested, I have three which I consistently use with happy results. The first is one of the earliest digital art apps ArtRage. I love this app which has a juicy oil painting brush which feels as close to working with brush and oil paint as I could imagine with a digital app. Next is Art Set Pro. This fine app has a somewhat cumbersome interface which, with time, I have found some workarounds to speed up the working process. Art Set Pro has some great brushy and painterly capabilities which are invaluable for those used to working with real brush and paint. Thirdly, Tayasui Sketches offers some great tools for quickly realizing a design. One of these is the Pattern Transfer Tool with which you can *lasso* an area of your picture and then apply a variety of patterns. Art Rage has both mobile and desktop versions which you can download. Art Set Pro and Tayasui Sketches are for mobile devices only.
Now on to today’s new work. I have used the Sketch Club App on my IPad Air. This is the first image I have made with the new app. And I have a brand new stylus which I am testing out. It is the Trent Arcadia Stylus. I bought it on Amazon after having read about it recently on an artist’s blog. Finding *just the right* stylus has been another ongoing quest for me since I’ve begun digital painting. The Arcadia stylus is very responsive with its microfiber tip. Because I have a matte surface shield on my iPad, I have found that rubber-tipped styli just don’t *grab* and require too much pressure to activate the tablet surface. I own other mesh-tip styli and now I’m running this new one through the paces. I have modified its structure and appearance somewhat by a DIY modification. I don’t like most styli because of their short length. So I have lengthened this one quite simply. The stylus itself is retractable which is useful for protecting the stylus tip when you knock about with it while travelling or when it’s in your pocket. I have removed the click-top and inserted a tubular metal chopstick which I cut to just the right length to give the stylus more of a paintbrush feel.
Watch this space. I’ll soon be returning to talk about my working methods in making the picture above as well as touching upon my working methods in general.