Entries in art (32)

Free MOMA Art Exhibition on iPad

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.

Friday Fun: The 'Art Clock'


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?

Cyber Girl - iPad Art from Starr Shaw

Starr Shaw is another of that fine group of artists who have created some fantastic images with Brushes (and SketchBook Pro) on the iPad. He has kindly shared the video of how he painted this futuristic and colourful piece, which you can see below.

Starr is a 3D artist and illustrator creating art for computer games and other digital media, he is currently working with InstantAction, a company that enables games distribution via a web browser.

He has a full portfolio of his paintings on his website (some may find a few of his images a little bit racy so be careful if you are at work), he is also on Flickr and a member of our iPad Creative Art & Design Flickr Group.

You can also find Starr on Twitter but it looks like he needs some followers so go and give him a follow there and check out the other links to see more of Starr's impressive artwork.

MobileArtCon in New York this weekend - You Are Invited

We would dearly love to be in New York this weekend! Starting tomorrow 22nd October and continuing through to Monday 25th the first ever iAMDA (International Association of Mobile Digital Artists) Mobile Art Conference will be held at will be held at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at the Tisch School of the Arts.

The focus is on art and music created on handheld touchscreen devices, our favourite topic.

The Conference itself is on Saturday (23rd) and Sunday (24th). The Conference programme looks amazing with live demonstrations and hands-on sessions from some of the leading lights in iPad (and other mobile device) painting including David Kassan.

Healing Touch by Mia Robson (created on iPad with Brushes)There will even be a session with a live link to London where Paul Kercal (a UK based art teacher, iPad Creative Flickr Group member and, we hope, still reader of this blog) is leading a 'Team Teach' with a group of students, as he informed us about in his comment on our recent post.

We are very excited for everyone who will be involved in MobileArtCon and wish everyone the best for this weekend's activities, we are sure everyone will have a lot of fun.

Here is a bit more detail about the Conference from the Press Release, for more information and to see what it is all about check out the MobileArtCon website:

The free event features artist presentations, app demonstrations, and forums hosted by the world's most prolific artists and app developers. Topics range from publishing and printing options to theoretical discussions behind the evolution of digital art and its community. There will be hands on and interactive workshops including a Master Class demo by noted New York figurative painter David Kassan, whose Gizmodo-featured iPad demo became a 1 million-viewer internet sensation.

The conference also features multiple outside activities including a private artists' reception on October 22nd, plein-air painting sessions throughout the city, and a large scale group exhibition, "Illuminated Touch", displaying artworks generated by the attending artists on October 24th. The exhibition is open to the public and will be held 7pm-10pm at Openhouse Gallery in Manhattan.

If you are fortunate enough to be attending, or are in New York this weekend and decide to drop in on the exhibition, do let us know what you thought, we would love to hear from you.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago - from your sofa

Whilst we have a lot of great museums and display spaces here in the UK, we know that there is a whole world of Art installations and collections that we will never see.  The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) for example have one of the worlds best collections of French Impressionist paintings apparently and this collection is showcased in the AIC's first app French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The app is interesting because, as well as being a virtual tour of the collection (not all of which is viewable at any one time in the Institute itself) there are additional features that visitors to the Institute would not get on their own, such as extra descriptions of the paintings and artist biographies. The app offers a good deal of information for students of French Impressionism too, with the artwork being viewable on your iPad to study.

The HD version of the app is available with a 33% discount for at least today (we are nearing the end of their two week introductory period) making it just $3.99 (£2.39) in the app store. The iPhone version is offered with 50% off at $1.99 (£1.19).

Below we take a look at the company behind this app and how creative organisations can deliver enhanced content like this to mobile devices. But first, here are some of the key features of the French Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago app:

  • High-resolution images of 100+ iconic works—drawn from the original scans that only the Art Institute has—from the museum’s world-renowned collection
  • Informative and engaging entries on each painting by the museum’s curators
  • Biographies of the 22 artists whose works are represented
  • Videos related to the art works and to the history of the collection
  • Narrated virtual tours of select Impressionist galleries at the museum
  • A photo-rich history of the development of this magnificent collection
  • Exclusive detailed descriptions not available in the galleries

The Business Model for Creative Institutions

As well as the app itself, our interest was aroused by the video below regarding the business model and service offered by the Developers of the app Toura, a New York based company who provide a solution called Toura Mobile App Producer. This enables their clients to create multi-media tours and guides which are then distributed via the iTunes App store, as well as to Android, Nokia and BlackBerry platforms.

This method of content creation from existing resources such as current CMS systems is an interesting and developing form of digital publishing, which of course has been given a massive boost by devices such as the iPhone and more specifically the iPad with its larger display.

Watch the video below for more info on how Toura developed this model, how the process works, their funding, and their expansion plans in this industry:

More Friday Fun: Missing Vinyl Records? Try this on your iPad!

The problem with digital music is that there is nothing physical to connect with, apart from the device you are playing it on.

If you go back as far as tapes or even Vinyl records you will no doubt remember reading the liner notes and staring at the artwork held in your hands, whilst listening to your new album and making the neural connections between them.

That is the philosopy behind ReVinyl a new app for the iPad (and iPhone) from DJ and vinyl collector Christian Faber.  It sounds like rather a grandiose premise for a music quiz, but here is what Christian says about his reasons for developing ReVinyl:

...I sometimes miss the meditative ritual of putting on some wax, studying the cover and diving into the music. Taking the time out to just listen when your vinyl hunt is over and the prey is brought back to the collection.

The convenience of buying digital music makes it almost too easy. Trawling through thousands and thousands of records in innumerable record stores taught me the magic of discovering new and old music in a random and chaotic way. The record cover visuals seduce and have a symbiotic relationship with the sound of the music, and vice versa. Revinyl aims to reconnect this bond between the album cover and the music inside. Discovering new music should be fun and what better way to have fun than using and expanding your music knowledge.

Playing the Game

The game itself is quite fun to play in single player mode, this is where you see the albums represented by the cover art, thrown on top of each other on a desk, and you can pick them up, move them around and select the one you are hearing.  

This is the 're-discovery' mode of the game and relies on you knowing the song and the cover art for that album (sometimes you get more than one album from the same artist). You hear a few seconds snippet of the song at a random point in the track and the faster you answer the more points you get with the bonus question adding to your score.

The game is best when played as a multiplayer, which on the iPhone is a bit fiddly, but the larger iPad screen should allow four players comfortably.

In 'PartyMode' each player has a different coloured section of the screen and you hit your section as soon as you know the song. First one to hit their button gets a stab at answering the question. You get to choose how many questions and which level (1-5) you want to play at.

You can turn off certain Categories in the settings before a PartyMode game, so your audio books and Children's music doesn't appear in the game, but our iTunes libraries are not that organised so it didn't work for some tracks. Mary Poppins still made an appearance next to Guns N' Roses in our quizzes.

We think it would be better if you could base the quiz on certain playlists as well, which are easier to set up in iTunes to exclude albums or artists as well as genres.

We liked the graphical elements, which are minimalistic, clean and modern looking, making the game easily accessible.

Shows Potential

It is the future developments which are most interesting about this app though.  Here is what is planned for future versions:

  • Connect with other players via WiFi/Bluetooth
  • Share music to create quizzes
  • Access the iTunes music store (presumably previews) to create quizzes
  • Share customised quizzes with others
  • Discover music and purchase it immediately 

We are not sure Apple will allow some of this, especially access to the iTunes previews, but if he can deliver on that promise Christian will definitely have a winner on his hands. We just hope it doesn't take too long to update the app with these features as they will greatly enhance the value of this app.

If you are curious, there is a video of the iPhone version of the game running at the site if you want to check it out first. ReVinyl is available now for just $0.99 (59p) in the app store and it is definitely worth that price for multiplayer fun on the iPad.

A Picturesque iPad app

Picturesque by Kelibo LLC looks like a fun app for kids to get creative on the iPad but also learn about perspective in art, with a little bit of education on the alphabet thrown in.

Combined with fun music and lots of sounds that will appeal to young children it looks like a nice way to play with the kids and share their creations either via e-mail or by saving into your iPad's Photos app.

It does seem to be a little bit too animated at times, with some of the animations being reminiscent of PowerPoint's animation effects, but on the whole, for $1.99 (£1.19), Picturesque looks like a good way to get the kids involved creatively with the iPad and keep them entertained for at least a while.

If you are a Graphic Designer or Sound Artist yourself, Kelibo are looking for people like you to get involved with the app's development. Check the link for more info.

SpinArt Studio - save the mess and 60% for a limited time

To celebrate the second anniversary of the original iPhone version of SpinArt by Brian Smith (7twenty7), you can save 60% off the iPad version, SpinArt Studio, for a 'very limited time'. This makes the price of the iPad app just $1.99 (£1.19). The iPhone version is on sale too with 50% off at $0.99 (59p).

This app is great fun and such a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained on a rainy Autumn weekend (we think a few of those are on the way).

You can even share your wonderful creations (once your head has stopped spinning) in the SpinArt Flickr group or on the SpinArt Facebook page and browse other users' creations there too.

If you get this app let us know what you think of it in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, here is a rundown of the app's features from the iTunes description, and don't forget to check out the review of the app in the video above:

• Full 1024x768 HD resolution
• 15 canvas shapes!
• 54 colors!
• 3 brush types and 5 brush sizes.
• Multitouch painting with up to four fingers at once.
• Improved glitter from the iPhone version.
• Use in any device orientation.
• Ability to offset the canvas to create even more amazing designs!
• Save to your Photo Library or email directly to a friend.
• Undo

Kyle Lambert's 10 out of 10 iPad paintings

UK based artist Kyle Lambert posted on YouTube yesterday the last in his series of 'Ten Celebrity Portraits in Ten Days'. These have all been painted on his iPad using just his finger and the wonderful Brushes app.

Beginning with Cheryl Cole and ending up with Rusell Brand, via Madonna (in the video above), Megan Fox, Will Smith and David Beckham plus others, this series really shows off Kyle's fantastic artistic ability. If you would like to see the whole series here is a link to all 10 videos.

Kyle Lambert's work, among others, also helps to demonstrate how the iPad enables visual artists to create wonderful content, given the right combination of talent and iPad app.

As we mentioned in a previous post, Kyle has been getting quite a bit of media attention recently which is also helping people see the iPad as more than just a 'consumption' decice. Kyle's Beyonce image painting video currently has more than 290,000 views on YouTube.

We would like to congratulate Kyle on his series of celebrity portraits and look forward to seeing more of his work on the iPad in the future.

Don't forget to check out what other talented artists are creating on their iPads amongst the more than 2700 pieces submitted to the iPad Creative Flickr group.

Kids Paint Plus Lets the Kids Get Creative - for Free

Here in the UK it is a grim and miserable August day with rain threatening any moment, the kids are on their Summer Holidays and may end up stuck indoors all day bored and whinging, any parent's nightmare.  Help may be at hand if you are quick though.

Designed especially for little fingers and the big iPad screen creative drawing and painting app Kids Paint Plus is free for a very limited time as part of the AppEvent (a one month long showcase of apps from Dutch and Belgian developers, with one app a day being made free).


This app will help your little ones learn about colours and shapes whilst allowing them to experiment with virtually mess free finger painting which, as any parent who has had to clear up after a finger painting session knows, is a major advantage.  The app lets children pick a shape from around the screen and then touch on the main drawing area to add it. Young artists can also select colours and draw or paint into existing pictures.

When they have finished, their creations can be saved into the standard Photo Library and transferred to your computer or shared online as you can with any other image in your Library.  Maybe they can build in some Flickr or Twitter sharing in a future version?

We are not sure how long this will be free, it was this morning when we checked, so if you have little ones to entertain (it works on the iPhone too) go and grab it now.