mobile digital painting

Krita Is Kinda Awesome

The other night I was wandering aimlessly through internetland and stumbled across something called KRITA. On a whim, I downloaded it to the Surface Pro 4 tablet I was using and began experimenting with it. I was shocked with the results.

First of all, let me say I know next to nothing about KRITA… except that it’s awesome and it’s FREE! It is a digital painting program that looks, feels and functions like Photoshop… and did I mention it was absolutely free?!

I loaded up one of my little sermon note sketches and began testing the brush engine. It responded like a trooper. This is NOT just another simple little drawing app, this is a full blown digital painting program. If you know your way around Photoshop it’s pretty easy to pick up. If not, there would probably be a bit of a learning curve to it, but well worth the effort.

It worked great on a PC and it probably would work fine on a MAC (like I said, I know next to nothing about it) so if you’re looking for a good digital painting program (or a substitute for Photoshop because you can’t afford it) you might want to give this a test drive. What have you got to lose… IT’S FREE!

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My Annual Ipad Digital Painting Rant

Once a year I seem to go on a rant about the iPad and how I wish it were a better device for mobile digital painting. All I’m wanting to do is collapse into a chair in my living room in front of a football game on tv, press a button and instantly be able to digitally paint during the commercials… is that too much to ask?

I do my professional studio work on a Wacom Cintiq hooked up to an iMac with Adobe Photoshop and I’m a huge fan of all these products. I have a smaller 12 inch Cintiq (which is great) to work with on the road, but it has to be powered by a laptop computer, has six kazillion cords to hook it up with and you have to be next to an electrical socket to make it all work… not exactly the spontaneous mobile painting experience I’m looking for in a portable device…

…so I keep trying to make the iPad fill this need, and while Apple’s not doing a whole lot to help me out with this (other than to provide the most fabulous, ground breaking, magical device ever) outside developers are quickly filling the digital painting void. I’m currently using a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2. It has a finer point than a typical stylus, links to the iPad via wifi and delivers faux pressure sensitivity. The product I cannot say enough about is a painting app called ProCreate. It honestly has almost every Photoshop tool I typically use to paint with plus a few… like saving video of your work process.

This was my latest experiment to see how well an iPad could work as a mobile digital painting studio.

First of all, a traditional sketchbook, mechanical pencil, iPad and Wacom stylus are all extremely portable. I still prefer to draw with a pencil and paper, so I snapped a photo of a drawing in my sketchbook using the camera on the iPad and imported it into the ProCreate app. Because I am just wanting to have fun (and don’t want to paint a background) I fire up the iPad internet browser, find an image and import it into ProCreate to paint on top of. You can see my painting process in the short video (exported out of ProCreate) below.

My conclusion: I was able to plop down in a chair, fire up my iPad instantly with the press of a button, snap a photo, surf the web, paint a picture, export video of it and when all was said and done, the most important part of the whole thing was …it was really fun.

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