Entries in art (32)

A Little Monday Inspiration from our Readers

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.

We would encourage you to check out more of Paul's work on Flickr and you can also follow him on Twitter.

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.


Michael has more of his musical creations over on his SoundCloud channel and you can also follow Michael on Twitter.

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 demos the Nomad Brush

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.

Nomad Brush - Hands On Review and Video

Image provided by and Copyright of NomadBrush LLCYou'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.

Image provided by and Copyright of NomadBrush LLCLook 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.

It works!

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.

Image provided by and Copyright of NomadBrush LLC

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.

Other uses

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.

Final thoughts

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 - UK iPad Artist


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.

Be sure to check out the rest of Carmela's work on her YouTube channel, where there are some much longer videos, and you can see more of her iPad and other Digital artwork by visiting her site here.

Nomad Brush Looks Amazing

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.

Join the Club - The Sketch Club

The first rule of Sketch Club is you do not talk about Sketch Club. The second rule of Sketch Club is... well, you know the rest.  (Sorry, we couldn't resist)

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.

The App

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.

The Community

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.

sketch club rating screenshot.jpg

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.

Competition Time

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.

New Sketchbook Hero Announced

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.

How to Make an Interactive iPad Book

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...

The Process

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.

Art Authority - 50% off for 24 hours

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.

If you have been thinking about getting Art Authority but the price has put you off, now is the time go and get it from the app store. The iPhone version is on sale too at $3.99 (usually $7.99).

The Art of Destruction

Photograph by Michael Tompert and Paul Fairchild

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!

Digital artist Michael Tompert of Raygun Studio (a former Apple employee) teamed up with photographer Paul Fairchild to create a series of 12 photos depicting:

"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. 

More information

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 original article by Cult of Mac about the 12LVE exhibition and another post featuring all 12 images with detailed information on each photo detailing how each device was destroyed.