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)

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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.

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