wacom cintiq

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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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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Digital Painting Class This Fall

I was recently asked to teach a digital painting class this fall at Huntington University. I have agreed to do this and I’m looking forward to sharing what I know on the subject. Being able to take the idea in your head, put it down on paper and then translate it into full color digital art (in some kind of orderly process) is our goal.

Photoshop will be our digital painting program of choice and our first task will be to tame that beast and make it work for us… not a problem. One of the really exciting parts of this classroom experience will be that each student will have a shiny new Wacom Cintiq to work on. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Class starts the end of August… this should be fun for all of us!

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Braveheart

The carnival was in town, and even though William Wallace had an epic battle scheduled for the next morning, he and his friends still visited the face painting booth.

(and that last picture is a little something for Hearthstone players)

Braveheart

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HearthstoneCard

Cowboys And Aliens

A few weeks ago, I ran across a replay of the Cowboys And Aliens movie on TV. (Spoiler Alert: the movie contains cowboys, indians and ALIENS). In the opening scene, a really interesting looking cowboy with a stove pipe hat rides into the story. Thinking he was a really unique character, I quickly sketched him and later that weekend I scratched some color onto my drawing.

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A Little Crabby

I spent a lot of time away from my studio this summer which is somewhat problematic when you make a living strapped down to a Wacom Cintiq.  Fortunately, I was able to pick up a used 12 inch Cintiq at a good price so I could continue to do work while on the road. I was home alone the other night, turned the TV on to a football game, fired up my little Cintiq and this pint sized fellow materialized during the commercials.

Crabbie

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.

Procreate

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.

My New Facebook Page

I just created a new Facebook page, and I need 30 or so “LIKES” in order for all the back end components to kick in, so if you wouldn’t mind shooting over there and pressing the LIKE button, I would appreciate it.

As I was loading the new Facebook page up, I was thinking… I finish out all my artwork on a Wacom Cintiq with Photoshop and send digital files to clients across the nation via the internet. Over the years I have blogged on Xanga, My Space, Blogger, WordPress, and the cutting edge (at the time) BrotherJones. I’ve listened to music on LastFm, PureVolume, Pandora, Slacker, Rdio, and Spotify. I use YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, DeviantArt, Tumblr, ImageKind, Society6, Dropbox, PayPal, YouSendIt  and many other web services. I shop on Amazon and my purchases are delivered to my doorstep the very next day.

About 15 years ago I boldly told my oldest son as he was leaving for college, that the computer would NEVER replace my paint and paintbrush and that I really couldn’t see any reason why I would EVER need a computer or the internet for ANYTHING. Since that time I seem to have softened my bold stance on the subject just a bit.