Digital Painting

My Surface Pro 4 Review

Several years ago I did a job for Mission Hockey and as part of the payment process I received a bunch of their latest hockey gear. For some reason my wife is not fond of this sort of compensation package (she seems to be a big fan of hard cold cash) but I loved it …and I’m STILL using those Mission hockey gloves!

I just finished another job that had a unique payout at the end. This time I got one of those new Surface Pro 4 Tablets. For years I’ve been looking for SOMETHING PORTABLE that I can digitally paint with and the Surface Pro 4 claims it can fill that bill… so I gave it a test drive to see.

Because I use an older version of Photoshop (CS6) I had to jump through a couple of hoops, but basically got it loaded onto the tablet with no problem. The Surface Pro 4 comes ready to use out of the box with a pen and screen sensitivity, so using the 8 megapixel camera on the device, I snapped a picture of a crumpled up sermon note that was in the trash can, opened it in Photoshop and got busy. To make a long story short, it worked great. (I write really short reviews) I can now sit in front of the tv with a full blown version of Photoshop on my lap and make goofy pictures with it. I’m really impressed…

…and oh, did I mention it’s also a pretty slick little gaming computer. It runs Steam games really well to boot.

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Digital Painting With Procreate

Another quick picture (and video) I made on the iPad. I just discovered an option that lets you see the brush cursor as you paint in the ProCreate App… which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me was a game changer. Being able to see exactly what size your brush is on the picture is huge.

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Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2

Over the years, I have purchased several types of styluses in a futile attempt to turn my Ipad into a fabulous, portable, mini Wacom Cintiq. I have finally come to the conclusion, (sadly)… that’s just never going to happen… but Wacom is making the Ipad a more viable artist tool with their new Intuos Creative Stylus 2.

It comes in a sharp carrying case with a usb charging cable. The main selling point for me was the thinner drawing point. (I never knew what was going on under those old fat styluses.)

ProCreate is my art app of choice, but it currently does not support this stylus, so I fired up an app that does (Sketchbook Pro) and created this picture.

At this point in time, drawing and painting on an Ipad is just going to be a limited proposition, but in my humble opinion, at least Wacom’s new stylus gives you a fighting chance at it.

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Artist Outreach Ministry

One of the reasons I like our church is because it has an ARTIST OUTREACH MINISTRY. Included in each weeks bulletin is a piece of artist sketch paper (labeled “notes” for some odd reason) and a complimentary drawing pen! Not every church would make this sort of effort to reach out to the artistic community, but ours does! …well …at least I THINK it’s an Artist Outreach Ministry.

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Unfortunately Wacom Finally Made My Dream Tablet

A few years ago when Apple came out with this newfangled device called an iPad, I acquired one just months after it was released. My hope was that it would work as a portable digital sketch pad, and it did… well, sorta… but with no pressure sensitivity on the screen and the somewhat clunky painting apps that were available at the time, I quickly lost interest in painting on an iPad.

I work everyday on a Wacom Cintiq which is a fabulous tool to make art on. I have been hoping for several years that Wacom would jump into the portable device market with some sort of portable Cintiq, and they finally did… and while I have not had a chance to demo the new Wacom Companion, it looks like everything I had hoped and dreamed for…

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…unfortunately, then there is the price tag… $2500.00 …ouch. If the Companion was going to be my primary art making device I could easily justify the steep price tag, but for me, I already have a Cintiq, I’m just wanting something to make pictures on during the commercials of an NFL football game… so now I’m thinking iPad again…

Developers have been working overtime trying to come up with an art stylus for the iPad that has some sort of faux pressure sensitivity and I am seeing new ones hit the market every day. The latest one I’ve seen is the JaJa Hex3, and while I have not tried it personally, it looks pretty great in this video…

Additionally, developers have been hard at work improving their products and I have been especially impressed with the retooled ProCreate painting app.

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All that to say, Wacom finally created the portable digital art pad I have always wanted. Unfortunately, with that steep price tag, I cant justify getting one just so I can occasionally grab it and make a nice picture. On the other hand, I use my iPad every day for everything… so my current plan is to upgrade my iPad (I still have the 1st generation dinosaur), get a fancy new pressure sensitive stylus, and give the iPad one more chance to be my portable digital art tablet.

Heavy Texture

I’m scheduled to play bass at church this Sunday, so last night I thought it might be a good idea if I practiced a little bit. Our special music is a Coldplay song… I might have to ask the drummer to wake me up when it’s over because that song moves really slowww… but I digress… when I was done practicing music it was around 9:00 and I had nothing to do, so I experimented with some heavy texture on this little picture…

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The Hobbit

I am currently waiting for a scheduled client call to take place and rather than get all involved in a different job and then have to quit midstream in that to take the call, I doodled this little picture out instead… and no, this is not supposed to be the Hobbit… but it kinda reminded me of some of the guys from the Hobbit movie… which I saw over Christmas… and immediately forgot… not that it wasn’t good, I liked it… I just cant remember it… any of it…

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Breaking Bad

…so I show up at church last Sunday and our preacher is launching a brand new nine week sermon series from the book of Romans and he is using the tv show Breaking Bad as his theme. The stage has those iconic Breaking Bad green chemistry symbol things all over it and somehow Walter White… er… Heisenberg made a threatening appearance on my sermon notes.

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