Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two ways

I am continuing to report on my progress drawing and painting using the iPad. Last week at our STASH meeting I did a little demo and discussion because Gale was interested in using her iPad for drawing and planning projects. She was asking about whether one could load a photo into a drawing program and trace it. This is quite possible, so I have been playing around with ways of working with a photo. Pat said she was hoping to see some of the many Ecuadorean buildings I photographed on our trip, so that seemed like a good starting point.

Here is the first—a church in Ibarra, Ecuador. I brought in the photo and started by drawing the black line drawing on a layer in front of the photo. Once the line drawing was done, I opened a new layer between the photo and the line drawing and started painting the church. Because I was painting on a different layer I could see where the paint would go and it flowed in under the line drawing.

Here is the second—a flower shop that was around the corner from the church in Ibarra. I took a different approach to this one.


For this one I also started with the photo on the bottom layer and then I made a black line drawing on top. However, this time I drew thicker black lines. Then the painted layer went in front of the black line drawing. I painted the blocks of color so they slightly overlapped the black lines this time, not taking a lot of care about keeping the lines straight and uniform.

In both cases I deleted the photo layer before saving the painting.

So, here is what I learned. Making lovely, precise line drawings using the stylus on the iPad is difficult. (I think, in part, because you can't lay a part of your hand down on the iPad to steady it as you would do using paper) In the first piece I feel the drawing is weak. The quality of the line is not good and it has an awkward look. I wasn't very happy with this result. The second one has its own problems, but overall I like the crispness and energy of it much better than the first one. Interestingly, I realized at some point, that this technique is very much like my fabric art technique, where I fuse fabrics onto a dark background and allow the lines to be created simply by leaving space between the applied fabrics. I think the first painting of the church has a tight, busy feel that is common when working directly from a photo. If I were not showing you this as a bad example I would not want anyone to see it! I think the second piece is much less tied to the photo and has more life of its own.

15 comments:

  1. We painters use a maul to steady our hands and keep from smudging our week. Just have DH build a little bridge that fits over the longest surface of your ipad. You can use that to steady your hand.

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    1. What a great idea! I am on it!

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  2. I have a bridge as part of my ipad cover/case, I rest my hands on it all the time. Could that also work to help steady your hand? I really like the first drawing, the doors seem to glow.

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  3. My ipad cover has a little shelf that I rest my hands on when I type, maybe something like that could help, too? And I really like the way the doors in the first drawing glow...

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  4. Terry. Love seeing your progress/experiments.
    I'm assuming you are using Sketch Club?
    If you go to ArtRage and use the pencil on a textured paper you might like the lines better. Something I do to beef up the lines is duplicate the drawing layer twice and then merge those layers.
    Another tric is to duplicate the layer with the painting (works in both apps) then play with the layer modes on the top layer only - usually overlay, soft light or maybe lighten or even hue will add pizzazz to the color - you have to play around because sniffle rent colors will react differently.

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  5. Also, I've read about making a little bridge that will rest on the iPad without interfering with things. Take a small 6" rular and put felt or fun foam pieces on the ends. The felt/ff will not conduct electricity when you put it on the screen or whatever our finger "transmits" and you have a bridge to rest your wrist. Haven't tried it just heard of it.

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  6. I think you are being to hard on yourself...the first drawing is splendid for it being one of your first attempts...
    Almost makes me want to get an iPad!!

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  7. Interesting how you view the two drawings which is the opposite of what I was seeing. The first one seems much freer to me and the second tighter and busier making me think it was more a direct copy of the photo than the first. But then, I do not know what the original photos look like.

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  8. If there were little white sparkles in the first it would look like a water color. The second is definitely acrylic. Interesting and it makes me want to play. Gotta get that stylus (and I know it is the artist and not the tool!)

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  9. I like them both. The first one has a watercolor feel to it, The second feels a bit more graphic. Looks like you're having fun.

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  10. I really like your drawings. They look like memories caught in the moment on vacation. They do look like "tablet" digital art work but that's a good thing. It's a new media! I wouldn't want my oil painting to look like a watercolor. You've inspired me to play some more with my ipad.

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  11. Honestly I love both of the drawings. The first one reminds me of a lovely watercolor scene from a sketchbook. I have played a lot with the Sketch Club App but I stopped using it because I hated my stylus. I don't recall which one it is but it had a tip that didn't flow smoothly across the ipad. My ipad also has one of those protective clear sheets applied to keep the viewing area in nice shape. Are you happy with the stylus you are using? I may have to look into that one.

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  12. Great examples. I think one could do a tight, busy drawing like your first one if the lines had more character. You're so right about the character of the lines in the second one: it makes all the difference. Maybe embrace the squiggliness when using the first technique. Of course, it's for each of us to find our own "voice" in whatever medium we use and I like your bold, saturated, looser second try.

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  13. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Thank you so much for the inspiration to use ipad, stylus and sketck information, I am not fond of the stylus because so far= must always keep it in a vertical position, no slant. Oh well, if not for your intro would not have even experimented, so thanks again!

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  14. I like both of the drawings. The lighter lines of the first one seem calmer to me. The second one is more dynamic. Both would express emotion well. Just depends on what you're trying to communicate.

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