Using Apps to Make Art

HeadshotI am an early adopter. I love tech gadgets. I’m on my second iPhone, I had one of the first video iPods and years later I was on the geeky waitlist for the 3G iPad. I read Wired magazine faithfully and I’m online all of the time.

Paint however, does not mix well with gadgets. Well, at least I didn’t think it did. That was until I was asked to write an article on art apps for the new Spring 2011 issue of Studios. After a little research, I learned that I could easily make art while waiting in line, sitting in the car, or whenever I was bored as long as I had my gadgets with me.

For me, the secret is a little homework. I create backgrounds, take inspiration photos, and collect images that I can use at a later date—whenever I’m feeling inspired.

Right now, I’m especially enjoying the Finger Design (Cyclohexa-design Co., Ltd.) and Tracing Paper (Hesham Wahba) apps which are both downloaded on my iPad. (Tracing paper is available for the iPhone, too.)

Check out my latest creations:

Using the
Finger Design App
  photo (8)
These are a few of the crazy backgrounds that I made while teaching a Background Bonanza workshop at CREATE last year.   After adding photos of the backgrounds to the photo album on my iPad, I was able to create this collage. The app includes artsy backgrounds and things like cardboard, cork, crinkled paper, and solid colors which you can cut or tear to add to your image.
Using the
Tracing Paper App
photo (10)   MyTrace (2)
Her she is again, Bindi the Wonder Pup. She hardly ever sits still for a photo so I snap lots of bad pictures of her. This one isn’t so bad—in fact, I decide to try tracing her. The Brindle color is a challenge, but I’m up for it.   The app places a translucent grid over your picture and then you can adjust your pen color and size and start tracing. Here is the work-in-progress of Bindi. Next I’ll go in and add some more blacks and the catch light in her eyes. Although it’s meant for tracing, you can use this app like I did to actually “paint” an image.

I really love knowing that I can truly take my art with me wherever I go. Next I intend to tackle the Sketchbook Mobile App (Autodesk, Inc.). Make sure to read my article in Studios for information on these and 13 other terrific apps for you studio. What are your favorite apps? Let us know in the comments section below!






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