Draw, Podnah!

I’m having some new kinds of fun, y’all. Several of you have inquired about my media and techniques in some of the more recent illustrations and images here, and it’s technology that’s getting me revved up these days. Who knew? I’m so dull-witted in electronic terms and yet here I am having a heyday with my new techie toys.

My dearest bought me a an iPad Air in January. I uploaded a handful of free drawing/art programs right away and have been playing with them all since. It’s fun to see what each offers in terms of virtual tools and media and techniques, how I can use them individually, what can be done by moving an image from one program to another in order to further manipulate it and alter its dependence on the potential of the first program in which it was developed. If that makes sense.

I am a newbie at this stuff. It’s kind of amazing to think that some of the early adopters have been at least beta testing this kind of thing for several decades already; me, I’m nearly always well behind the curve. But I’m having a great time drawing curves and any other thing I can think of at the moment as I get underway and strive to catch up a little.

Certainly one of the aspects of this techno-approach to drawing, painting or whatever one ought to call it is its wonderful malleability. I love that I can not only delete and erase marks without too much fuss and mess with my virtual erasers but also by removing entire layers. Even better is the ability to trade the order and placement of layers, so that I can begin with the top, outlined image and, like a kid with a coloring book, fill in the shapes and blanks with all sorts of color and texture, then move the layers around until I go from the upside-down or inside-out look of such operations to something that is closer to my original intent.

Best of all is that I am finding that digital media are just as serendipitous and cagey as concrete media: I’m just as unlikely to know from the beginning what the end result of my noodling and doodling is going to look like or what the final image(s) will be as I ever was when sitting down with pencil and paper. I don’t expect I’ll give up concrete media either, for that matter, because sometimes one just has to get grubby with silvery-grey graphite dust from elbow to fingertips in order to feel that Art is being made, but it sure does make it fun to gallop around this new frontier of mine with stylus in hand, too.digital illustration

21 thoughts on “Draw, Podnah!

    • Oh, typing on one is *hard*! I can’t tell you how much difference a stylus makes in my ability to do any kind of work on the iPad (including typing); I’d bet you might find an enormous amount of freedom in playing with the kind of tools I have right now, even if you don’t particularly like drawing/painting and that sort of thing. What it’s also very handy for is photo editing and manipulation, so that might well be a plus for you. In any case, every jot of progress I make reinforces my clarity on just how much I *don’t* yet know. πŸ˜€

      • The more we know, the less we know it seems. That’s all I know right now, lol. But yes, I’ve seen those styluses and for drawing it has to make a huge difference! My finger painting is not that good lol.

  1. I love the drawing cowboy – in a different sense of drawing. But I really like you drawing, too. And I certainly understand your excitement about the digital drawing tools even if I don’t do any digital drawing myself. But I know all about layers and their usefulness in my digital photo processing. Keep the excitement high – and the creative spirit!

    • Tusen takk, Otto! Yes, I imagine you use digital layers far more wisely than I do, and I look to you for further inspiration to keep up the effort and learn more! πŸ˜€

  2. This is exciting! Someone I know “paints” with a brushes app on iPad. Is what you are using more advanced than this? Just curious. I love what you have done in these images. Xx

    • No, I think I’m probably using similar digital tools to those (or the same ones as) your friend is using. As I say, having several programs that I can move an image between if necessary means that I can make pieces slightly more distinctive and personal than by just staying with the expected combinations. I’m fiddling with apps called Paper, Sketchbook Express, Sketchbook Ink, Sketchbook Pro, Pen & Ink, and Procreate, all in their free (sometimes truncated) versions. Each has some fun aspects and options, and each has stuff that I truly don’t yet know how to use properly or fully, so we’ll see where this goes…! πŸ˜€

        • Yes, Hockney is one of the best known early-adopters, and I will have a ton of running to do if I ever hope to catch up with the least of the *late* ones! But I’ll sure have fun trying. πŸ˜€

    • R says, Yes it is. Good ear, my friend. If, as I think, artistic ideas should be borrowed (stolen) from the best, why wouldn’t Mr. Greenmountain steal from himself, eh! A couple of the guest players in the video are people I first met when R conducted a production of Orfeo in Edmonton some years ago, so I guess there was no question they’d nail that Vespers opening. πŸ˜€

  3. Congratulations again on your digital art. You took to this like a duck to water. I cannot say you are getting better because you started off great so I can only say…..YOU ROCK πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  4. I have had an iPad for 2 years, Kathryn, and could never come close to creating the art that you’ve accomplished. I wouldn’t even know which apps to buy. Don’t bother telling me. I’d rather just look at your works. They’re so much more beautiful and far less exasperating. πŸ™‚

    • Of course, I’m still fully aware that I myself can be deeply exasperating at times, but I’m happy you’re willing to put up with it for the sake of a bit of a laugh or a look at some neophyte digital art. πŸ˜€ Thank you for that!!

    • I believe his name should be Clem. He’s hoping you’ll set down a spell with yer pencils and brushes to hand (but cautions that you shouldn’t squat with yer spurs on)!

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