Sketchbook Digest

Started this week in the digital realm: my first digital painting, done in Corel Painter Mobile on my old tablet, so it’s relatively low res (2k x 2k, though this is a low res web version). And of course I already see a spot I didn’t finish…

Anyway, good learning experience. Meaningful painting, it’s where my family fished up lobsters going back to the revolution. That’s my great-grandpa’s buoy in the water.

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Still working on Valerie Winslow’s anatomy book. This week’s copies are in my new 5.5 x 8.5 toned sketchbook. Graphite, Prismacolors and white Conte.

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I received the luscious new Ralph McQuarrie book set and immediately did a copy of the 1st cover. 9 x 12 graphite on paper.

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And some J Scott Campbell copies I did during my breaks at work, trying to sneak in more sketching time. It’s working! 5.5 x 8.5 graphite on paper.

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Testing out Android apps

Testing out a few art apps on my tablet, prefacing this with a disclaimer that I just poked around informally for a few minutes on each. First up is my overall initial favorite, Art Rage. I love the sketch tools, coming from a charcoal sketch bias it is head and shoulders better than the other two. I didn’t even try painting with it, because the charcoal tools were so nice. I loaded up a toned ‘paper’ to replicate drawing on newsprint. Image is my normal anatomy work out of Patrick Jones’ book, so this app wins for ‘feeling like I’m drawing normally.’ BIG DOWNSIDE is that on my old samsung with only 3GB RAM and a pokey old mobile cpu, it’s super laggy. With informal sketching, the experience was so superior I could put up with it a bit, but for real work it would drive me bonkers. Makes me sad that the best sketch program has a slow 😦

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Next up is Corel Painter Mobile. The sketch experience was fairly mediocre. Didn’t feel much like real sketching, though not as digital as Sketchbook. Faster than Art Rage. Since this is a mobile version of Patrick’s favorite painting app, I loaded up the paint tool for a quick test and it felt better. I’ll have more testing on the painting aspect, as I feel that is where this app shines.

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Lastly is the preloaded Sketchbook app. I think it might be a gimped version of the full app. Lightning fast, no lag whatsoever; but at the cost of feeling ‘glassy’ and digital, no real drawing feel at all. Painting also feels very digital. Not totally a bad thing, though I’m an art luddite, so it loses points for that. But it does have that lightning speed, so might be the best for quick idea dumps or concepting out stuff for traditional work.

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I really wish Art Rage was zippier on the tablet (though this experience pushed me to buy it on the Steam sale!). It’s hands-down a good drawing experience other than the latency issues, and I think the quick tests show that. No fumbling to find tools that replicate the effect of charcoal, just used two charcoal presets and BAM, I think it looks like a real drawing!

Each app has a strength to explore, if only I could have the speed of Sketchbook, the paints of Corel Painter and the drawing of Art Rage!