Thursday, November 21, 2013

And more sketches...

I've been playing more with Paper 53 on my iPad.  This is just a quick Christmasy scene that I made up -- mostly so I could make snowflake dots!!  I'm learning a lot about getting deep color, using the tools with white or light colors to lift out areas (the glow around the stars and candles, for example), and generally having way too much fun!!

Earlier in the week, I did a favorite little critter from my past. There's a long story behind my interest in frogs and someday when I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll share it here.  I used the frog drawing to try out the felt pen tool and also to work on my smooth washes.  I'm pretty happy with the results!!

I also got another stylus after reading reviews online.  My new stylus is a TruGlide -- with a fun red case and a microfiber tip -- and, happily, it was quite inexpensive. It zooms around on the screen like an Olympic figure skater and is great with the drawing/painting app. Between the Sensu brush and the new stylus, I should be able to create a wide range of effects.

Onward!! Have a great weekend!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

More fun with the iPad...

Almost every year, my fascination with Chinese Lanterns leads me to buy a bunch at the local supermarket floral department with the intention of sketching them or including them in a painting. And every year, I eventually tire of them sometime in December and discard them -- mission unaccomplished.  Not this year!! I am so intrigued with the Paper 53 app on my iPad that I sat down after dinner the other night and came up with this little drawing.  I'm learning as I go.  The short video tutorials included with the app cover a few basic operations and the rest is just a matter of experimenting.  I discovered I really like the pencil tool in the expanded tool kit: although it doesn't give quite the same control as a real pencil, the line appeals to me.

In the last drawing, I used the "loup" feature which allows you to create a magnified area so you can add text or fine details to a drawing. In this one, I discovered that I could reverse the areas that got a bit too dark by selecting the pencil tool and a cream color from the palette and cross-hatching the areas that I wanted to de-emphasize. Overlaying them with lighter color washes mellowed out the line work.  I'm still not happy with my handling of background washes -- they're a bit too splotchy and clumsy looking for my tastes. That's my next challenge.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My first iPad sketch...

This is a pretty simple little sketch -- my first try at Paper 53.  I just got my first iPad for my birthday, after dithering about getting one for at least a year. I downloaded Paper 53 (free) yesterday, then shelled out a grand total of $9 for the add-on tools and palette and started playing.

I also bought a neat stylus/brush that I'd seen in an art supply catalog recently. I got mine through Amazon and couldn't be more pleased.  It's a Sensu, made by Princeton Brush Co.  The brush isn't essential, but it does give a reasonably good feel of actually painting. The only thing I'd like would be a way to control the size of the stroke, but you just get a single weight line -- good for filling in some color, but not quite as sensitive as a real brush.  This is what the Sensu looks like -- it's like a travel brush, with the brush stored inside the handle.

Although there is a built-in palette with about 15-20 fixed colors, the Color Mixer add-on is a worthwhile addition. It was only a couple of dollars and it works much like the color controls in Photoshop -- slider bars let you control the hue, the saturation, and the value, so you have almost unlimited choices.

All in all, a fun app and the iPad is fantastic. Can't believe it took me so long to take this step!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My "secret project"...

watercolor, 6" x 6"
Chris Beck

I spent most of the month of August on a project that I couldn't discuss until it was finalized. Just got word that it's a go, so....

Sometime last spring, I was invited to be the guest columnist for one of the features in The Artist's Magazine. The Brushing Up column is devoted to technical matters of painting and my article covers one of my favorite art products -- masking fluid.  There are tips on purchasing and handling it, as well as ways of using this versatile product.  Schnozz is one of the paintings I did specifically for the article and there are stepped out examples of how I painted each one.

My article will appear in the January/February 2014 issue of The Artist's Magazine -- due out in early December.  I'll be sure to let you know when it's available.