Friday, 16 October 2015

inktober day 13

Adam wanted a pic for his new podcast...
So it goes in the inktober batch.


Monday, 12 October 2015

inktober day 9

just three days behind schedule, and the star wars theme continues.


Saturday, 10 October 2015

inktober day 8

running a little behind schedule, I'll try and catch up over the weekend, but have a fair bit of study to do...

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

inktober day 6

busy day today, feeling a bit weary and not at all like drawing anything...


Monday, 5 October 2015

inktober day 5

already the wheels have come of the plan, what with robot librarians, and now for some reason a special forces tortoise


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Inktober day 4

By request today we have a robot librarian...


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Inktober day 3

I've left all my inky stuff at work, so today I rummaged in my old desk and came back with a tub of 25 year old Letratone Trria pens. They still work. 



Friday, 2 October 2015

#inktober day two

Zombie Pirate is the theme of the day...
I think I prefer the uncoloured version




Thursday, 1 October 2015

#inktober first post

I grabbed a sketchpad from the Student Shop down at Grand Parade, and topped up one of my Copic Ciao Black markers, in fact I topped it up so much I leaked ink all over my hands. A good start for #inktober.

I've got a bunch of inky things I want to try out this month, there are a couple of DELETER inks, some interesting pen nibs, and some paper that I've not tried before.
Anyway
First sketch of #inktober is a Vampire Dinosaur, I muffed the head and ended up cutting and sticking an alternative version over the top... some things don't change.






Friday, 25 September 2015

#Inktober2015 - the plan

I sat down at lunchtime today and tried to think about what on earth I'd draw for Inktober,  31 days in Inktober, means 31 inked pictures.
Without a theme its entirely possible I'd end up just sitting in front of my drawing pad each lunchtime, and draw nothing.
So I thought I may follow up on the idea at the beginning of my (still unfinished) book NDvsPR:

"There have been many
discussions about who would
win in a fight between
Ninjas and Pirates...
Robots and Dinosaurs...
Werewolves and Draculas?
What if the Dinosaur was a Ninja?
What if the Robot was a Pirate?"



I drafted a table that mixes up a few of these archetypes:



Ninja Dinosaur Robot Pirate
Ninja XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX
Dinosaur Ninja-Dinosaur XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX
Robot Ninja-Robot Dinosaur-Robot XXXXXX XXXXXX
Pirate Ninja-Pirate Pirate-Dinosaur Pirate-Robot XXXXXX
Vampire Ninja-Vampire Vampire-Dinosaur Vampire-Robot Pirate-Vampire
Werewolf Ninja-Werewolf Dinosaur-Werewolf Robot-Werewolf Pirate-Werewolf
Zombie Ninja-Zombie Zombie-Dinosaur Zombie-Robot Zombie Pirate
Space Space-Ninja Space-Dinosaur Space-Robot Space-Pirate
Super Super-Ninja Super-Dinosaur Super-Robot Super-Pirate


Vampire Werewolf Zombie Space Super
XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Vampire-Werewolf XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Zombie-Vampire Zombie-Werewolf XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Space-Vampire Space-Werewolf Space-Zombie XXXXX XXXXXX
Super-Vampire Super-Werewolf Super-Zombie Super-Space(r) XXXXXX


...and Voila I have over 31 things to draw!



Saturday, 12 September 2015

Inktober 2015


This year to make a change from the mad dash of doing 24HCD I thought I might try to join in #Inktober.
31 inked drawings in 31 days.

Inktober was instigated by Jake Parker in 2009  as a challenge to improve his already very refined inking skills.

The rules as with 24HCD are simple:

1. Draw something and ink it up.

2. Post it online. (I'll be posting here and on twitter)

3. Apply the hashtag  #inktober

4. Do this everyday throughout October.

I also have a vague notion that I might try and develop a story with the pictures... the joy of doing Inktober as against 24HCD is I can plan a story beforehand without breaking the rules.
This is a good thing, as the stories in my previous 24HCD efforts have been a little flimsy at times...



Thursday, 9 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 30 - Inkpad

Inkpad is a vector tool, like Adobe Illustrator, and I'm not very fond of the whole svg thing. I like the lines I draw to be the lines I draw rather than an algorithmic version of them...
That said Inkpad is a well formed tool, it has layers, opacity, all the controls you could want over your vector shapes, except the rather hit and miss implementation of the object positioning,which sometimes allows an object to be moved in the Z axis, and sometimes not.
Pinch to zoom works well, colour picking is good, with an inkdropper that allows you to select an object , then pick a colour for it. Undo has proper buttons,and you export to all manner of places, including the photo gallery and the usual selection of social media.

So the challenge today... the FINAL challenge in our 30 day marathon was to draw a Zombie...



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 29 - Concepts

Concepts is a beautiful app, you just have to look at the colour picker, go on look at it, now imagine it clicking round with weight and presence...delightful


So it's got brushes and pencils and layers and pinch to zoom, and a proper undo button, aaaaaand nearly all of that is locked up in the the Pro version.
I'd be really happy to spend the money on such a well appointed app, except for the fact it kept banging on about the fact those features are locked and only available in PRO. There must be some reverse advertising going on here, as the more it told me the features were available in PRO, the more I wanted to avoid them.
Anyway, it's very well constructed, and in PRO you can export to a variety of formats:

And in PRO you can have multiple layers which you can merge and adjust and whatnot:


In the free version you can draw stuff, and the zoom works well, rarely making mistakes. The Undo works fine, the brush control is easy enough, and there is stylus support, though I've left my stylus at home, so don't know whether that is in the free version or just PRO.

Draw a cup the challenge said, so after our spotting of a superb mullet man yesterday I thought I should do a lovely Billy the Fish inspired hairdo.





Tuesday, 7 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 28 - Drawing desk

Some apps just aren't worth struggling with, drawing desk doesn't quite make it into the "Awful apps" folder (yes I actually have a folder of these) but it's very close.
It works OK, if you avoid the big a banner at the top, pen selection is a bit clunky, but the presets are OK, colour selection is OK, but could do with a better way to add to palettes.
The Eraser is fine, but the undo (despite having a proper button) does some weird thing and reinterprets other strokes and applies a different colour, like in the shot below... I undid a line, and inherited a green line in the eye, and some black scribbles on the stair... weird.

No pinch to zoom, or zoom at all, export goes to facebook or twitter or budsie, save puts a copy in the photo gallery.
I won't be using this app again.

Draw a frog... halfway up the stairs is the stair where I sit.
There isn't another stair quite like it... or something



Monday, 6 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 27 - Drawing Brush Free

Tired today, lucky there's only a couple of days left in the 30 days.
Drawing Brush Free is not the most catchy title for an app, the icon is poor, but the app itself is really quite good. It offers a shed load of brush types, blenders, pencils, pens, all with variable size, opacity and consistency. It offers support for a number of active styli, layers, pinch to zoom, proper undo buttons, and uniquely in the apps I've reviewed the opportunity to plop a reference file on the page, which is a cracking idea.

The pens work well most of the time, and I really liked the look of some of the pencil marks, which felt very real, the only downside was the stylus I used would sometimes offset its tip by 5 mm or so, making line join up a bit notchy and unpredictable. 


Export is to photo album, email or social media, and there's a built in recorder to capture your process.
All in all a surprising little app, with rather nice pencils.

Today's challenge was to draw a bottle, so I did a bottle of Summer time Gin




Sunday, 5 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 26 - iPastels

iPastels does a fair job of simulating pastel painting, there are a number of styles of pastel, all in 6 tip sizes, and 4 opacities, or densities, and a whole bunch of colours. There's also a smudge tool and an eraser.
Pinch to zoom works well, and there's a proper undo button, that rolls back a limited number of times.
There are layers, but I couldn't suss out how they worked, it could be they are unlocked in the pro version, which is advertised every now and then in a pop up.
Export goes to photo album, and that's it.
I enjoyed using it.

Today's challenge was to draw awesome... not much more awesome than Godzilla.







Saturday, 4 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 25 - Forge

25 days in and there are still cracking apps to be found, and this is certainly one of them.
Forge is a complete design studio wrapped in a very well considered and constructed app. It is an absolute pleasure to use.
The app organises sketches into projects, and allows individual sketches to be duplicated to try out different colour schemes and whatnot- their built in example of a scooter design is very helpful.
You get a range of variable tip width tools, including a chisel tip that actually behaves as you'd expect.
There are a range of well matched palettes and of course you can create your own.
There are 4 layers that can each have their opacity set, pinch to zoom, and sadly two finger swipe to undo... which does work,and didn't do too many false strokes.

Export to all number of places- the only wrinkle being that if you export as a png, you'll need to stick in a plain coloured background layer as it creates a transparent png. 


Drawing a banana was the challenge today, and my effort really doesn't show this app at its best.



Friday, 3 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 24 - Daily Monster

Back in 2011 I tried briefly to draw a monster a day following the lead of the fantastic Stefan Bucher.


Not only could he draw, but he built an app that allowed normal folk to draw an ink splot monster just like him. I love this app, despite the fact It hangs, and stalls, it's just beautiful.

Just look at the line options:
You can have straight, or squiggly, or more squiggly, or hairy spider or mad cobweb.


Trying to draw lines with these tools is dreadful, so just go with the flow, make an ink splot, add some pre created eyes and what not and enjoy yourself.


Then when you are done, if the app is feeling cooperative, you can use the camera to put your weird creation into the real world

All the dialogue boxes are a delight, and it hands out badges for doing stuff... you can even add speech bubbles.
It does struggle t respond, and seems like it's running out of memory, or maybe just hasn't been updated to cope with iOS8, or whatever we're on, as I remember it running ok on my old iPad 2.
I'v checked the app store and can't find it listed any more which is a shame.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 23 Draw Free

If you couldn't afford the £1.49 for ArtSet then you might be tempted by Draw Free which looks superficially similar with it's slide out drawers of pencils and crayons.... but it would best not to.

You do get a pen which does a bit of that odd vector best guess interpretation of what you drew, which sometimes involves deleting everything (you can undo to get stuff back though).
You get a pencil and a crayon which are pretty much the same as the pen except a bit more grainy.
There's a paint pot which I think is a fill tool, but it could never find a outline and just painted the whole screen a colour.


All the tools can be resized with a slider, and you can pick the colour from some presets, or use a more sophisticated colour picker. There are also some clip art stamps an eraser, and proper undo buttons. There is however no zoom.
If you click the gallery it takes you back to a blank page, and you lose your work, completely.

If you accidentally tap the banner ad you get taken to the app store to buy "Sugar Smash" or some other app. This reminds me of some of the educational apps I used to review years ago, built to a badly written spec. This app could be really good, it's intuitive, all the controls are on one page, etc...but it fails due to really quite important details.

Save your pennies and buy ArtSet, or Sketchbook.

Today's Challenge was draw a dog, this is my grinning dog, Lola, who is far too hot at the moment...



Wednesday, 1 July 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 22 INKredible

This is really a note taking app in fact I think it used to be called Notes Plus?
Anyway by default you get a standard fountain pen, with settings for wetness and size.. which means you can drawlike Ralph Steadman.
Or you could if the algorithm that turns your line into a line on the screen was a little bit more predictable... several times I managed to lose a line, or select an area instead of drawing a line.
The toolbar is simple, and can be hidden or pinned to the page, there are additional pens at additional cost, and various different paper types, that are more of interest to note takers. Pinch to zoom works without issue as long as you are in the right mode, and there's even a funny little zoom box thing- no idea why you'd use it.

There are a couple of odd settings, like the switch to pen after using the eraser, and this caught me out a couple of times. There's no fill.
There are however proper undo and redo buttons.
Export is to photo gallery as a .png, mail or to a printer.
...and that's about it.
I like it when it does what I want it to, but its all too easy to select and area rather than drawing what I want, and I don't want to change my behaviour to fit an app.

Draw a penguin was the challenge, and I think the line is nice and expressive on the eye.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 21 Inkist

If you watch the video for inkist it looks like the best app yet, it can create custom brushes from selections and tweak almost every feature, it even has dodge and burn!

However my experience was painful, pinch to zoom seemed to work randomly, so much so I went to the tutorial to check I wasn't doing anything wrong...the sliders for the setting wern't visible, and the touch sensitivity for colour picker meant that trying to draw a dot, or small fill switched to colour picking.

See all those straight lines like rain across the image, they are pinch to zoom false detects.
I tried to like it, but in the end I just wanted to stop using it, so I expoted the image to photos, and it even messed that up, inverting the image for some reason.
I feel it's been made to fit the work style of the creator, but it simply was 

I might try a reinstall as I feel it worked so badly, with things like the missing sliders that it has to be a bug.

Anyway
Draw A xylophone was the challenge, so I drew Britain's top Xylophonist Stargazer Sir Patrick Moore.




Monday, 29 June 2015

30 drawing apps in 30 days - day 20 Pen & Ink

Using Pen & Ink is a game of "guess what feature is unlocked in the pro version".
I'd be happy to stump up the £2.29 to unlock them, as the app is pretty good, but felt a little bombarded.


Anyway, nicely built app with a range of brushes that allow their colour, opacity and size to be set- using an odd slider system... these settings stay with the brush, so you don't have to reset when swapping between tools.
Undo is hidden under the screwdriver icon, so it's two taps to get to it, which is a bit poor for such a comonly used feature.
Pinch to zoom works without issue, no problem detecting actions as drawing strokes.
Layers are available in the pro version, but I struggled through using opacity and an eraser.
Colours are presets in the basic version, with a better colour picker in the pro version. 
Export is to jpg or png or psd, social media, other apps etc.

Today's sketch challenge was to draw a zebra, which I always think of as a cross horse, perhaps I should do some research next time.



Sunday, 28 June 2015

the nog

so I sketched a version of the king of the Lewis chessmen, and scanned it with Adobe Shape, which is probably what it's supposed to be used for... I then added a dash of colour in Art Set...







Noggin

I just found out that Noggin the Nog was inspired by the Lewis chessmen, which is a delight as I think they are cracking characters, and have been toying with the idea of using them in a story.
I drew them ages ago when I was working on the interactive whiteboard common file format...