A very quick, unrefined sketch of my husband in characteristic pose in ‘his’ chair. I was playing on the iPad in Sketches again, this time using the pencil tool and my finger to draw. I wasn’t worried about getting any details in, just a general impression, still trying to get to grips with the app’s features.
I added the block colour on a whim, and I quite like the print effect it gives – I can really see how this kind of app can be helpful when planning a lino print, and for reduction printing in particular. That’s something to remember.
Brace yourself, there’s going to be an influx of iPad sketches, because I’ve finally got round to finding out how to export them to WordPress (and it’s very easy).
For a couple of years I’ve been fooling about in idle moments with various free packages on the iPad. Mostly this happens when I’m too tired or have too little time to get ‘real’ media, and I just want to have a little play while sitting on the sofa.
This sketch was made using the free Sketches app, using the basic watercolour and pen tools. It’s a composite of half-remembered scenes from our travels, a Tuscan-Yorkshire hybrid, and the purpose was to experiment a little with the app’s watercolour tools.
What I enjoyed was the transparency of the colour stripes, and the ability to eye-dropper ‘watercolour’ to give the roundish blotches suggestive of trees and shrubbery. And it’s so quick and easily altered, I confess it’s rather beguiling.
I’m pretty certain that the iPad won’t replace traditional media for me, but it does mean that I can be creative even when time and energy are short. And in my world, making something is better than making nothing, however you achieve that goal.
Sometimes, you want to keep it simple. But knowing when to stop can be so hard. I’m definitely guilty of often carrying on when I should have stepped away from a picture to catch it at its best. However, occasionally a picture you thought was going to be one way turns out as something rather different.
I’m really fond of this iPad sketch done in quickly in the Brushes app. It’s my cat Peat, curled up like Smaug on the sofa. He’s black, so very black that it can be difficult to see his features in low light.
I sketched out his main curves, and suddenly didn’t want to take it any further – one of those happy cases where less is probably more.
Back to the iPad, for an impulsive evening sketch of my son, reading on the sofa in his dressing gown. It’s not often he stays in one place long enough for me to capture a picture of any sort. I pretended I was doing something different on the iPad, so he took no notice of me while I scribbled.
I am finding the immediacy of the iPad is very satisfying for this kind of snapshot, and it’s permitting me a rather carefree attitude which I find very difficult to replicate in paint. Perhaps it’s to do with drawing using just a finger, rather than a pencil or pen? Who knows, but do I like the liberating results it gives. I think I should do more of this…
Back to the iPad, for a play with Brushes. This was just a quick sketch, a bit of lazy experimentation on an evening when I couldn’t be bothered to get out any ‘real’ art materials. I didn’t even spend long thinking what to draw – just took what was right in front of me. Sometimes I think that’s no bad thing.
I like the way that the digital app permits me to make sweeping gestures and can put the brakes on my tendency to drill down into the tiniest detail. It’s also great for experimenting with colour, something I’m still new to, having been a long-time graphite devotee. The freedom to make mistakes and then undo them without penalty is so beguiling!
It was Andrew Marr’s title A Short Book About Drawing which woke me up to the possibilities and immediacy of working on a tablet.
So far, I’ve been impressed by the Brushes app for iPad. It’s so intuitive, it is very easy to get started ‘painting’ and experimenting. Although I wouldn’t want to be confined to digital art, it does offer some true benefits. One of the great advantages of drawing on a tablet is that it allows you to work in very low light conditions which present tremendous difficulties for traditional media. Plus, it requires no effort to get materials out and clearing up is a press of a button. Marvellous.
Here’s two similar pictures I’ve produced – one is using Brushes, the other’s in Conte pastels. It was an interesting experiment – the experimental digital version came first, and was much quicker (albeit not as accurate)!