Entries in art (30)
With hypnotic relaxing visuals and audio, Starry Night (interactive animation) for iPad is our new favourite thing to play with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
What's it like?
In this truly immersive experience, beautiful melodies tickle your ears (especially if you wear headphones) whilst the lush colours used in Van Gogh's original 'The Starry Night' painting are pushed together and mixed into a river of moving particles guided by your touches on the iPad's screen.
It is easy to imagine there is real paint under the glass as you push these fluid colours around the screen, the motion cleverly creating what seems like resistance as real oil paint might. Using clever algorithmic calculations, the app can either continuously flow the paint at different speeds or in another mode the paint slowly returns to its resting state before starting off in motion again.
It is hard to describe what a wonderfully immersive experience it is getting hands-on with an art piece like this, you just have to have a go.
The music reacts to the motion you introduce too, so if you go crazy and madly swirl the paint around with all 5 digits on one hand, for example, the music gets louder and more intense, then fades and simplifies as the motion slows. We found that it could be a little intense at full speed, but around half speed or even slower it is a much more gentle experience.
If you prefer, you can turn the music off altogether, but there are three different patterns to choose from and we think it adds a great deal to the hypnotic effect of the app.
Take time out to explore
Suffice to say we love playing with this app and exploring Van Gogh's painting in this fully interactive way. It can even serve as a musical picture frame on your desk when your iPad isn't being used.
If you allow yourself time out of a busy and hectic day to just lose yourself in the experience that Starry Night offers you, we are sure you will love it too.
We've been waiting for this app to be updated before reviewing it here, as the first version wasn't quite Retina iPad ready, but now with Version 2.0 we wholly recommend downloading a copy.
But wait, before you do, read on for your chance to win a free copy of Starry Night for your iPad.
To be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 copies of Starry Night (interactive animation) simply leave a comment below naming your favourite Van Gogh painting.
Please remember to leave your name and e-mail address (your e-mail will not be visible to the public) so we can contact you if you are a winner.
We will randomly select 5 commenters to receive a copy of Starry Night (interactive animation) after this giveaway closes at 1900 GMT on Friday 27th April 2012.
Thank you to the App Developer, Petros Vrellis, for providing a review copy and the 5 promo codes for our giveaway.
App Store Link: Starry Night (interactive animation) $1.99 / £1.49
There are just under 4 weeks left to catch the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This one is special for us because it prominently features Hockney's iPad art amongst the works displayed.
We haven't been able to make it up to London to see it, but if you are anywhere near the Royal Academy in the next few weeks we would recommend you make time to visit David Hockney's exhibition and if you have visited already, please leave us a comment and tell us what you thought of it.
His Cyber Girl iPad painting (video below) was one of the earlier art pieces we covered that used the Brushes recording mode to show how the painting was created.
This is what Starr says about using the iPad as a creative tool:
"The iPad, Magical, Yes! After work its hard to get motivated to do anything creative. The iPad helps this by being so lightweight, and instantly turns on with tons of creative apps for Painting, Drawing, Sculpting, and Music!"
You can download a copy of the free PDF for yourself and view it in iBooks (other PDF readers are available) from the website.
There is some (mostly 3D modelled) nudity so maybe not one for the kids.
We love seeing what iPad users are creating with their 'magical' devices, and our iPad Creative Flickr Group is very active with more and more iPad created images being added every day. If you haven't been there before, or haven't visited the group in a while, you should really go over and take a look.
We wish we had time to highlight some of the more wonderful, odd, amazing, bizarre and beautiful images we see every day and it is our intention to try and share more of them with you in the future.
Here's an image that grabbed our attention today, a classic subject with an interesting idea behind it, painted using Artist's Touch and processed with Pic Grunger (an iPhone app). Be sure to click on the picture and read the comments from artist Jeannie (a.k.a. madlyinlovewithlife on Flickr).
Here is a chance for everyone to get creative, be part of an International Art Project, and possibly have your art featured in a new app. Whether you are aged 3 or 103 (note: there are no age limits), can't draw for toffee (like one of the iPC team) or can sculpt a digital masterpiece that makes everyone jealous, you are encouraged to submit your Tree to the Dancing in the Digital Forest project.
Organised by digital artist and educator Paul Kercal from Guildford College, Dancing in the Digital Forest is an art project that will encourage participating school-age and FE students to draw their own trees or colour in trees submitted by you and other contributors.
The resulting 'Forest' will be a collection of all the Trees submitted plus the students' creations, displayed in a 50m2 space at London's ExCel exhibition centre from 5 - 8 October 2011. By submitting your Tree picture you could also have it included a Digital Forest app!
Here's some details from the project's Facebook page:
...this is a doodle/art event for anyone. You can be a confident artist or a happy doodler, an unconfident scribbler or a first time picture maker. It's not about who's tree is best, it's about how amazing all of our trees look together...
All we need from you is a tree: can be colour, black and white, abstract, realistic, sketched on paper, painted on iPad, up to you. A tree which you are happy for the college to add to the app and the picture.
Please check out the Facebook page for more details and get involved. There are already some great submissions, including the lovely tree below from 5 year old Mateo Guijarro using the Brushes app on iPod Touch:
'Apps for Art Lovers', that's the title of a link we just spotted on the featured section of the App Store. There's some cool stuff in there, much of it for free.
Highlighting Gallery Exhibition apps, classic Artist portfolios, Photography Book apps, Art creation apps (like ArtRage) and other really cool stuff it is a nice little collection to browse through in a spare moment.
Now we're struggling to squeeze even more apps onto our already over capacity iPads. Check out the collection.
iPads displaying beautiful refractive Prisms; Artists creating images live on their iPads; members of the public interacting with music creation apps and fractal models projected onto the walls with creativity oozing out of every corner - this is Future/Canvas an exhibition currently taking place in San Francisco.
It opened a few days ago, on 6th June, to coincide with this year's WWDC and is a showcase of all things creative to do with the iPad.
The exhibition features the work of several iPad artists from our Flickr group (an awesome pool of talent you should really check out) such as David Newman, Julia Kay, and the super talented Benjamin Rabe, as well as other artists.
The video below of the current Future/Canvas exhibit was posted by Leo Laporte's TWiT network and gives a nice sampling of the event for those of us that can't be there. We wish there was a bit more video of the artists at work but we're sure you will enjoy it anyway.
Savage Interactive (SI) are making big claims about their new iPad illustration and painting app Procreate. We take a quick look at what the app does differently and offer our first impressions of its performance.
Artistic content creators have a whole raft of choices nowadays for the iPad but Procreate offers some unique features that the Developers believe will set it apart from these other apps, which is quite some claim given the following that apps like Brushes, SketchBook Pro, ArtStudio and ArtRage have already.
Here is what SI says about the app in their Press Release:
Procreate might just be the most exciting digital painting app on a mobile device. We've taken desktop performance, added professional features and squeezed it all into an iPad.
Blend colours on the iPad like never before. Procreate uses 64-bit colour sampling to mix paint together effortlessly, in a way that's familiar to traditional illustrators. The smudge tool has been finely tuned to react differently by adjusting the precision pressure slider-the more pressure you choose, the more colour will be pushed around.
Users will feel at home with a familiar (HSB) colour picker, eyedropper, and a smudge tool that goes beyond its desktop counterparts. On top of all this, you'll find comfort in a layering system that allows up to 16 layers, the ability to merge down and up, transform, and show/hide. Another feature we're proud to boast about is up to 100 undo or redo states. That's right. 100. Let your imagination go, knowing there's always a backup plan.
Inventing the Wheel
What really interested us about the Procreate app is that the small, four person, development team have created their own painting engine they call Silica. This is the secret to Procreate's amazing performance on the iPad.
Discussing this in a blog post and the year it took to develop a non-CPU reliant engine, SI said:
...the result is Silica, the Si painting engine written completely in OpenGL ES 2.0. And because Silica is created entirely in OpenGL ES, the performance is just astounding. Procreate can paint and push around a huge amount of pixels at a constant 60fps. Thats better than most desktop painting apps.
First Impressions - Super Snappy
We have had a quick play with Procreate today and our first impressions are good. It is really very responsive, with little to none of the horrendous lag shown by some apps on the original iPad (yes Art Rage, we mean you). The 16 layers are useful and easy to work with, merging up or down frees up layers and everything works quickly so that you can see immediately the effect of adding, hiding or reordering your layers.
Like the Paint tool, the Smudge tool is effective, infinitely variable and again very snappy. Procreate is probably one of the most responsive painting apps we have seen on the iPad. We still have the original iPad too.
Creating your own brushes is where real depth to the app lies though, we think this is something that will provide some of the most creative possibilities, especially as you spend more time and experiment with Procreate.
Brushes can be fine tuned to exact parameters, any image can be imported to define either the Shape or Grain of a brush, which when you think about it offers enormous creative potential.
Another great feature is that a brush is shared between the three main tools once created, so you make a new brush under the Smudge tool for instance and see it immediately in the Eraser and Paint tools too, a seemingly obvious but previously missing feature from most iPad art apps.
We have tried Procreate with a stylus and had no problems at all, in fact it seemed to work better than using our built in digits but that will always be a personal preference thing. We hope to try it out with the Nomad Brush as well soon and will let you know how that goes as soon as we can.
Time to Buy
Procreate is available now at an introductory price of $7.99 (£4.99) in the App Store but if you want to find out more about the numerous other features we haven't mentioned here, before buying, there is a lot of information on Savage Interactive's website including a nicely presented PDF user guide which we found really useful to get us going with the app.
To see what can be done with Procreate take a look at the video below from SI showing artist Will Robinson at work with the app:
It is Monday again and for many of us it is back to the 'day job' after a weekend of playing around and trying something creative with our iPads.
To keep your inspiration going and to maybe spark a bit of creativity on this the furthest day away from the weekend, we would like to offer a few videos from our readers who have shared their iOS device creations with us recently - we hope you enjoy them.
Plastic Man by Paul Kercal
First up, Paul Kercal's Plastic Man sketch which we liked a lot. Paul created this with the Brushes app on his iPod Touch (but he is also prolific on his iPad too) whilst on the Bus, at home and wherever he happened to be, showing off the versatile and portable nature of the multitouch interface as a drawing canvas.
Fender AmpliTube Recording by Michael Coffman
Michael recorded this whole track on his iPad using the new AmpliTube Fender for iPad and the in-app upgrade 8 track recorder. Drums were audio copy/pasted from InstantDrummer Heartbreaker. It has a great Bluesy vibe which we liked a lot.
There you go, we hope this gets your creative thoughts going for today, even if you do have to wait until you get home to try them out.
If you have anything you want to share with us let us know on Twitter or on our Facebook page or you can email us using the link at the top right. We would love to see what creative things you are up to with your iOS devices.
Steve Talkowski of Sketchbot fame has also been playing with the Nomad Brush and seeing what it can do. With Steve's permission, we are posting here his video of the first iPad painting he produced with the Nomad Brush and the Brushes app. (If you're viewing this on an iPad go Fullscreen and Portrait mode for the best experience.)
We were both impressed and encouraged by seeing what an artist like Steve can produce with just the Nomad Brush as a stylus. The amount of creative control the Nomad Brush gives you is something that has to be experienced to fully appreciate.
We love it too and, as we said in our review and video demo, the Nomad Brush is a must-buy for any iPad artist.
How would you like to win your very own Nomad Brush just for being an iPad Creative reader? Enter our competition before 1900GMT on Monday 28th February and you might just bag one for free.
You've seen the Nomad Brush promo video, you've read about it, you're curious and you want one. But is it really any good? Read on to find out...
When we heard about an iPad stylus that was actually a paintbrush we were cynical and thought 'That can't possibly work'. So we asked Don Lee (Artist, Architect and Creator of the Nomad Brush) if we could try one for ourselves.
Don graciously agreed and promptly sent a review unit flying over the Atlantic to us. After using it extensively for a few weeks now we wanted to let you know what to expect when you buy yours (although hold off on that purchase for a minute - more details later).
We have made a short video review which you can see below but first, we wanted to describe how it feels to use the Nomad Brush stylus and what we thought of it.
Short version - it's awesome, seriously awesome! - See our video for more.
Look and Feel
When you first hold the Nomad Brush it doesn't seem like a revolutionary input device. Its wood and bristles feel, well, like a paintbrush. But what was immediately apparent about the Nomad Brush is the quality of its construction.
In our hand it felt like a quality paintbrush and the bristles were soft with a very gentle, light brush as we tried it on the back of our hand. There were a couple of loose hairs on the brush, but this was an early production unit and we expected this. There was nothing about this brush that seemed much different from any other paintbrush.
So it was with a sense of trepidation and some cyncisim we fired up our first test app on our iPad, ArtRage, which seemed to be an obvious choice with its multiple textures and natural media 'paints' and this is when the first pleasant surprise hit us, the brush is responsive enough to act as an input device for the user interface. We expected to have to use our usual input device (our index finger) to navigate interface elements, but that wasn't necessary.
Having made our selections we started 'painting' with the Nomad Brush and the smile didn't leave our face from that moment on, in fact all the time we were using the Nomad was such a pleasure and at each change of paint type or tool our excitement increased as we discovered what this brush could do.
It didn't take our brains more than a moment to adjust to using this stylus as a brush. Obviously, it is not exactly like brushing paint onto a canvas but it felt completely natural to use a realistic brushing action and depending on the tool selected some real-world painting techniques are possible with this brush.
We also found ourselves quite intuitively switching back to using our finger if needed, e.g. for particularly fiddly UI elements or to blend/smudge some areas and then immediately back to the Nomad Brush without giving it a second thought. It really feels that natural to use.
Regarding the durability of this stylus, we cannot really say, only time will tell, but apart from losing a few hairs at the outset we have no reason to believe it will last any less time than other styli or for that matter, brushes.
The construction seems to be very good, as we have said and perhaps the only other thing to expect is some shortening of the hairs over time.
Although the Nomad Brush has been designed for use as an artists tool, it is obviously still a stylus, so check out the video below to see our review and also how else it might be used.
If you are in any way interested in creating art on the iPad we think you will love the Nomad Brush and appreciate the care and thought that has gone into making it. Used with any of the current raft of Art creation apps on the iPad, or any touchscreen device, the Nomad Brush will provide you with a unique and more realistic approach to your craft.
You can pick up the Nomad Brush for just $24.99 via the website and now that there is International shipping available you can get one wherever you happen to be in the world.
Your chance to Win a Nomad Brush
So we have told you why you need a Nomad Brush, but how about getting one for free? Enter our competition for your chance to win one of two Nomad Brushes.
Carmela Hogan is a UK artist who specialises in Digital paintings, including iPad created portraits. This video is one of her shorter ones, a painting of a well known TV personality in the UK, Keith Chegwin (more affectionately known as 'Cheggars').
Carmela's work was recently chosen to be featured at Macworld 2011 along with some other prominent iPad artists.
What is interesting about Carmela though is that she's offering a few paid-for iPad painting packages on her website. We're not sure how successful this has been, but we thought this may be of note to some of our readers, particularly as the question of how to sell and deliver iPad art came up in our Flickr Group forum a while back.
Nomad Brush for the iPad from Don Lee on Vimeo.
This creative (yet now someone has done it seemingly obvious) approach to an iPad stylus is set for launch in February. Called the Nomad Brush it looks really promising for iPad artists if it does work like a real brush.
The promise of a more natural drawing tool for the iPad is really exciting and we can't wait to try it.
Want to grab a Nomad Brush early?
There are very few details in the video above but you can follow the official account on Twitter for more news as it becomes available, and a tweet was sent out earlier today offering previews of the Nomad Brush.
Looking for iPad artists who want to test drive Nomad Brush. Send links of your work to nomadbrushart(at)gmail(dot)com
If you are an iPad artist and you get a Nomad Brush to preview, be sure to let us know what you think. If you fancy writing a few words about it and have some examples of using it, we will be happy to post your thoughts here, just let us know.
The thing about Sketch Club is that, unlike Fight Club, you do talk about it, in fact you are encouraged to do so, online. This is what makes this particular Art/Drawing app a little bit different. Read on to find out how.
On the face of it, Sketch Club is another, fairly competent, app for budding doodlers through to experienced artists. It has a selection of brushes, pen tools, vector drawing (line smoothing / shape closing) and even a text drawing tool.
Each of the different individual tools have the usual controls that let you fine tune its behaviour, such as opacity, thickness, velocity control and for the Brush tool a whole range of different brush styles. It is all pretty much as you would expect but we like using Sketch Club, although we aren't talented enough to get anywhere near the kind of results that some users have (see screenshot below).
We noticed some lag on a few of the tools, but it is not too noticeable on the iPad and we think the tools are presented in a very easy to understand interface which only takes a few minutes to get used to.
Where Sketch Book stands out as a little different though is with the inclusion of a built-in user community. The app is supported by a website where users of the app can share their work, as well as view, rate and comment on the art of other users.
This is great if you are looking for inspiration but also if you want to get feedback from the artist community on your own work to help you improve and develop as an artist.
You can share your work to the Sketch Club community from within the app (as well as to your iPad's Photo Library, by e-mail or to Facebook). You can also browse the online gallery from within the app, as well as browsing at http://app.sketchclub.com.
Within the online community you can earn 'glops' (like a points system) by rating others' artwork. You do this by clicking on the thumbs up icon (called 'rules') under any picture, or if you don't like it you can click on the thumbs down ('sucks') icon.
If you are not sure whether or not you like it, there is a middle icon where you can award the image a 'piggy', but each of these ratings affects the images overall ranking in the Sketch Club community. Other activity within the community earns you differing amounts of glops and if you earn enough of them you get a 'heart' which you can then reward a fellow artist with, which is a much bigger compliment.
There are also regular themed competitions running with submitted artwork being voted for by community members. There are large amounts of glops, and even some real-world prizes, to be won if you are placed among the top 5 artists in a competition.
We think Sketch Book's community aspect is a fun and interesting way to involve users of the app and it is good to see a community dedicated to the creation of art on the iPad, as well as other iOS devices.
If you fancy checking Sketch Book out it is only $1.99 (£1.19) in the app store. If you want to see the app being used in detail, the tutorial below from idrawgirls.com on YouTube shows the app in action. Although this is the previous version, it is essentially the same as the recent update.
As always, if you do try the app out and decide to join the community, let us know what you think in the comments below.
If you use Autodesk's Sketchbook Mobile on your iPhone or Sketchbook Pro on your iPad you will be seeing a lot of this image in future. Drawn by Spanish artist Luis Peso using Sketchbook Pro on his iPad, "Progress" is going to be the new splash screen on the more than 2 million downloaded copies of Sketchbook Mobile.
Luis entered the SketchBook Hero competition we told you about a few months ago and his image was selected as winner over a whole host of other artists images from many different countries.
You can see a lot more of Luis' work on his Flickr stream and he is also an active member of our iPad Creative Flickr group. Be sure to check out the link to see more examples of stunning artwork created on the iPad.
If you don't already have a copy, Sketchbook Pro for iPad is on sale now for $2.99 (£1.79) and the iPhone version is only $0.99 (59p). The video below, released around the time of the iPad launch, shows Sketchbook Pro in action.
We mentioned yesterday how much we liked to see the Creative process in action, which is why we have been fascinated to watch the journey behind the production of new Interactive iPad book Astrojammies from Demibooks.
As well as creating a gorgeous and truly interactive storybook, Demibooks and author/illustrator Stacey Williams-Ng have shared the creative development process of making the app with us via a blog and videos as they went along.
About the App
Astrojammies for iPad tells the story of young boy, Jimmy, who believes that his pyjamas are magical and make him an astronaut who can fly off into outer space (actually a very normal fantasy for many of us as we grew up). The illustrations are sumptuously coloured and make the book very attractive and pleasing to the eye.
Here is a bit about the app from the iTunes description:
"..this story includes a dreamlike original music score by Steve Dixon, professional narration and amazing special effects. Readers can launch a rocket, squish and poke a planet made entirely of goo, and help Jimmy escape the jaws of a hungry space baboon... all with the tap of a finger! These interactive features help advance the story and enhance reading comprehension."
There is a 'read to me' mode as usual but you can turn this off so that you can read it yourself, or your kids can, if you let them have a go. The interactive elements have been designed to be engaging, but importantly great effort has gone in to making these elements a progressive part of the story, and this leads us on to...
What Demibooks and Stacey Williams-Ng have done to make this project stand out for us is to share their progress towards launch of the app in a series of blog posts and videos discussing some of the thinking behind decisions being made, how they tested the app with their target group (children), what this taught them, how they responded to it and its impact on the development of the app.
The posts also cover how the illustrations were developed and animated with some interesting learning points for the team.
The whole process is summarised in the video below, but if you want a really interesting read and further insight into the creative process behind Astrojammies then we would highly recommend reading through the 9 posts on Demibooks' website, we have really enjoyed it.
If you or your kids have tried out the Astrojammies app we would love to know what you think, let us know in the comments below.
Featuring more than 40,000 paintings and sculptures spanning the years 300 AD to modern day, Art Authority for iPad is a virtual museum designed to be both educational, informative and fun to just pick up and browse. The app is available for 50% off at $4.99 (normally $9.99) tomorrow only (26 November 2010) as part of the Black Friday sale.
It seems to be 'Art Friday' here at iPad Creative. You may well have seen this already around the web, but it both fascinates and horrifies us so we thought we would make sure you knew about it too!
"iconoclastic details of devotionals of our culture...combining high-resolution photography, scanography and self-referential iPhone photography. The 12 images are large scale yet microscopic, providing a canvas for contemplating our relationship with fetish, fashion, freedom & bondage."
The images were displayed in an exhibition entitled 12LVE in San Francisco last weekend and are due to be shown in Palo Alto in December.
Given the attachment users generally have to their expensive gadgets, arguably more so with Apple devotees, the photographs are evocative and controversial. Comments on the various articles covering this series have ranged from appreciation for the message conveyed in destroying these modern expensive devices, to extreme anger at the cost and 'waste' plus disparaging comments about Mr Tompert's sanity.
Whilst it would take us personally a long time to scrape together enough pennies to purchase even one of these devices, there is a certain beauty to the images, and we take the point of Michael Tompert quoted in a very good LA Times article about this exhibition:
"the photography project was intended to be humorous and tongue in cheek. At the same time, he wanted people to think more deeply about their relationship to these ubiquitous devices."
What do you think about this? We would be interested to hear from you, let us know in the comments below.
Check out the LA Times article for more detail of the thought processes and discoveries that led up to this project.
There is a Facebook page for the 12LVE exhibition.
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York is one of the places we really want to visit but is unlikely that we will be able to in the foreseeable future (just the cost of flights from the UK could furnish us with a couple of iPads).
So it was nice to see that MOMA have released a free iPad app featuring one of their latest exhibitions Abstract Expressionist New York. The AB EX NY iPad App contains high resolution images of the pieces in this exhibition along with information about the artists and the city of New York.
There are also videos and a glossary for art terms plus other information relevant to the exhibition, as you will see from the slightly bonkers promo video above.
A useful feature is the option to share on Twitter any pieces that you find particularly interesting. More free content including audio is also promised soon.
We mentioned last month a similar app released by the Art Institute of Chicago so there are a number of these interactive guides released now for the iPad, which we think is a good thing. It seems a natural fit and for those of us who would never see the exhibits otherwise, we appreciate the opportunity to browse the interactive content, benefitting from the iPad's larger screen size.
The AB EX NY iPad App is available free in the app store now so go and get it, and don't forget to let us know what you think of it in the comments below.
A little bit garish, but offering a unique approach to displaying the time and weather on your iPad, Art Clock Van Gogh from Enclave Studios is our Friday Fun app this week.
You get a random combination of Van Gogh based art in the background, with random colours and 'artistic' fonts to display the time. There are thousands of combinations apparently which can be achieved by pinching, tapping and expanding the elements on the screen such as the background and time display.
The weather display is fairly comprehensive with temperature, wind speed / direction and humidity, as well as hand painted illustrations for cloud, fog, rain and even the Sun and Moon.
It is fun, but a little cluttered and sometimes a bit of an assault on the eyes in our opinion, but if you feel like brightening up your iPad while it is not in use, Art Clock Van Gogh will set you back $1.99 (£1.19) in the app store.
Let us know what you think?