Entries in Brushes (40)

A masterclass in iPad painting by Nikolai Lockersten

Few have mastered iPad painting quite like Nikolai. You might remember some of his iPad paintings from February of this year. Nikolai has been pretty quiet during the summer, but now he's back with a vengeance!

There is so much to learn from the way Nikolai builds the scene. Check out the two paintings featured here and be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel to catch future iPad paintings.

Beautiful iPad Art from Teacher Jenny Oakley

School of Excellence

If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember us mentioning that Cedars School of Excellence was the first school in the UK (and pretty much everywhere else) to roll out a 1:1 iPad program to their pupils.

We have been following their challenges / successes via Frasier Spiers blog for a while now and we have been enchanted by what the pupils and staff have been creating and sharing via their Flickr feed (and more recently in our iPad Creative Art and Design Flickr Group).

Jenny Oakley - iPad Art

Dawn by Jenny Oakley

Leading by example Cedars' Art Teacher (and Head of Guidance) Jenny Oakley has been prolific, using her iPad to create some beautiful pieces that we really love.

Jenny's use of colour and texture is inspiring and really shows what can be created on the iPad with a very healthy dose of artistic talent. Using iPad painting apps such as ArtRage and Brushes, Jenny achieves results which are sometimes light and playful, often stronger, darker and emotive.

What's the Story?

We are always fascinated by the creative process and the story behind an image. Jenny has been kind enough to provide us with some of her thoughts and comments about her artwork below and using the iPad with her students. Over to you Jenny...

Tree of Knowledge

I painted the 'Tree of Knowledge' just after we had implemented our 1:1 iPad programme. There was a lot of debate at the time about allowing pupils such a high level of access to the internet for fear of all the dangers and negative content they might access.

I was trying to explore this theme by suggesting that the internet is like a digital version of the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden and, for our pupils, their access is through the iPads. There is all the knowledge of all that is good as well as all that is bad out there on the internet.

Education should not be about hiding this from pupils but about educating them to make right choices in what they access and guiding them as they learn to navigate this environment. It should not be prohibitive but should prepare them for choices they will face as adults.

Box of Delights

"Box of Delights" was also painted on this theme. It shows a girl opening a box with the streaming light of many delights pouring out.

The box is decorated with computer circuitry as, in a similar way to the Tree of Knowledge, it represents the vast potential and opportunity open to us in the digital environment.

The box is a direct reference to Pandora's box but I didn't want to call it that as only dark, negative things came out of her box.

What comes out of the 'digital' box can be used for good or ill depending on the user.

Is it a box of delights or is it a Pandora's box? We need to educate pupils about these issues.

Gone Swimming

"Gone Swimming" was my first ArtRage painting. I wanted to experiment with a wider range of art apps, especially those which simulated real materials - ArtRage was the most realistic I found.

I really loved using ArtRage, especially with all the textures that I could create, the vibrancy of the colours and realism of the interaction of the simulated materials.

I have been using it ever since.


Instrument was one of my first experiments with the app 'TypeDrawing'.

I was fascinated with the possibilities presented by using text (or in this case musical notes) as a brush - it seemed so expressive.

I wanted to see how far I could develop this and used TypeDrawing and the musical notes again to paint "Cello" whilst in a Vivaldi concert in St Martin's in the Field Church, Trafalgar Square, London.

About Painting with the iPad

I love using the iPad to paint as i feel it has opened up a whole new world of creativity for me. I hadn't really done much of my own artwork over the years until I got the iPad in May 2010.

All of a sudden all the barriers of time, materials, space and possible failure were taken away and I was enabled. I could paint anywhere and at any time - I didn't need a large area in which to work or have to spend a lot of money to set myself up and find my 'niche'.

Neither did I have to set aside large blocks of time which, to be honest,  I didn't have - I could paint on the bus, before I went to sleep, in my classroom whilst pupils were working or while waiting for a doctor's appointment.

There was also no price attached to failure - it was so easy to try things out and experiment with the undo and redo facility and of course there were endless canvases and materials available.

And due to the size and portability of the device, and the immediacy of the medium, no one had to see any artwork until I was happy with it.

My favourite painting apps are ArtRage, Brushes, Typedrawing as well as Moodboard for my sketchbook. 

Painting on the canvas of the iPad with digital media is just another branch of art - it is neither more nor less important than traditional methods, it is just different. It requires the same creativity, imagination and level of skill to manipulate the media and develop work as does more traditional materials. It is a different media with different nuances, techniques, possibilities and limitations.

On using iPads with Students 

I have found creating artwork on the iPad very successful with pupils. It provides a safe, structured environment in which to experiment and develop their skills, confidence and creativity and takes away the fear of the 'blank page'.

The 'undo' feature is very significant as it allows endless experimentation and thus improvement. I have found that the skills and creativity developed on the iPad do transfer over to traditional materials - pupils have more confidence and are more willing to try.

The increased expectation of success enables them to create a more skilful piece of work. This further boosts their confidence and encourages them to try harder again and so their artwork continues to improve.

Thank you Jenny, for sharing your thoughts and experiences and also for letting us include your images in this post.

Painting under pressure: 30 days of iPad art by Iszy Iszard

Iszy has been busy. Early last month he completed a personal project, to create one colour sketch each day for 30 days using only the iPad. We think Iszy's done a stellar job with every painting, especially given the restrictions he placed upon himself. Head on over to Into The Isyverse for plenty more iPad related blog posts.

We'll be keeping a close eye on Iszy's work. He's currently using Sketchbook Pro and Brushes.

iPad art in Animal Fun Zone HD

Animal Fun Zone HD from David Nilsen is a simple game for young children to assist them in learning the names of 25 animals. It's an elementary audio-visual matching game, but the bright and quirky hand-drawn animal illustrations make it a real treat.

You should know that David created all the animal illusrations in Brushes for the iPad.

We like to dig a little deeper here on iPad Creative, so we caught up with David to get his thoughts on the experience. Over to David...

“All the animals in Animal Fun Zone are painted from start to finish in Brushes for the iPad. I use Brushes because the UI is the most natural to me. It's so simple, yet so powerful. I am completely addicted to drawing on my iPad. I actually enjoy it more than drawing with a pencil. So I would doodle in Brushes until I had a bunch of animal paintings.

All the recordings of animal names were recorded in Beatmaker 2 and cleaned up in Logic Pro. I wish I could do the programming on my iPad, but that's not possible YET.

The game actually started out way more complex, but I scaled it down based on the reactions of my 18 month old son. I would let him play it, and a lot of times he wouldn't react to things the way I expected. For example, the first thing that he would do every time was touch the animal. So then I knew I had to make something happen whenever he touched an animal. After watching him clap and smile after the firework type effects came onto the screen, I knew that I was onto something!

The one thing that I don't like about the iPad workflow is that it is SO difficult for apps to share files with each other. I am hoping the iCloud service will start to change that, but why is it safe for apps to have access to the same files over the internet, but not on the same iPad?”

We can see a day when entire apps are constructed using only iPad apps. The pieces are falling into place and we are sure that developers like David will be true trailblazers.

App Store Link: Animal Fun Zone HD and Animal Fun Zone HD Lite

iPad Art from Nori Tominaga

Nori Tominaga is a 2D and 3D artist with a very impressive portfolio (we've included his showreel below).

Nori has let us know via Twitter about a couple of his recent pieces and the Brushes videos he has produced to share his creative iPad painting process.

We like Nori's style a lot so we thought we would share these videos with you. This first one features in his most recent blog post: Seascape Plein Air

The caricature below made us laugh, but we also think it is really cool. No introduction needed:

Here is some of Nori's other, commissioned, illustration work in his showreel, it's great stuff:

Nori Tominaga - Showreel from Nori Tominaga on Vimeo.

You can see more of Nori's creations and find out more about him over on his website, and you can keep up with his new creations by following him on Twitter.

'Kilgore Falls' by Robert Miller

Artist Robert Miller has been in contact to let us know about his latest iPad painting. We're impressed, not just by Robert's painting skills, but also by the way in which he documents the experience with video. Though it must take Robert many hours to bring the whole package together, the extra effort is certainly appreciated.

Fans of Robert's paintings will want to check out our interview and his other iPad paintings that we featured last month.

An interview with artist Rob Miller

We recently featured two iPad paintings by artist Rob Miller. We were so impressed with Rob's paintings that we decided to dig a little deeper into the mind (and heart!) of Rob as he brings his impressive oil painting skills to the iPad. Rob was kind enough to share some of his latest paintings with us, including this superb demonstration video (seen above).

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your passion for art?

I am a high school art teacher (fine art and computer art) who loves to paint and draw. I returned to the easel three years ago after a 15-year hiatus during which I was raising two daughters. When I started to paint again, it was difficult for me to put into words how I felt after so many years of being away from the process, but it was like coming home. I guess that's the best way to put it. Reflecting and rediscovering the essence of who I am has been quite a journey. My medium of choice is oil, with the still life as subject matter. I excel in the mastery of light, space, color and attention to detail. The opaque and translucent properties of oil enable me to achieve stunning results ranging from atmospheres full of air and depth, to warm and inviting colors that reflect a knowledge of light and space. I create these atmospheric effects without the benefit of photographs providing an underlying structure, preferring instead to draw and paint solely from life. Though the inspiration for my work is drawn from eighteenth and nineteenth century artists (Chardin, Latour, Fabritius, and Manet), my approach is fresh and modern. My paintings are technically adept and emotionally engaging. I feel that a successful work of art connects with the viewer, stirs the imagination, and touches the soul.

What were the primary challenges you faced in moving your skills to the iPad?

One of the main challenges I faced when moving my skills to the iPad was finding the right app. When I started painting on the iPad, it wasn't a very serious commitment; I would just doodle to explore the capabilities and possibilities of the available apps. I started with "Sketchbook Pro," (an amazing app) however, it wasn't exactly the right fit. I then started to explore the possibilities of "Brushes." The interface felt more intuitive, and though there were fewer options to choose from, they were the right options for me and what was starting to happen with the doodles.

The doodles went from abstract experimentations to realistic imagery. I started to explore some real possibilities of how I could use this as tool. This all happened while sitting in a Starbucks. I decided to tackle an interior scene to see if I could capture space, depth and atmosphere. Three hours later I ended up with this piece, "Busting up a Starbucks." I then started to draw my students (Portrait 1, Portrait 2 & Portrait 3) while they were working on their assignments during class. After several sketches of various students, I began to realize what an amazing tool this is for the visual artist. I will be exploring the landscape next. I want to create a sketch on-site with the iPad, then take the sketch and use it to create an actual oil painting on canvas using the iPad sketch as my study.

How can Apple and third party developers improve the richness of the iPad painting experience?

I think the only thing left to do to improve the richness of the iPad painting experience is to enhance pressure sensitivity. I just recently ordered the Nomad Brush, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing the feel of using an actual brush while painting on the iPad.

Many thanks to Rob for taking the time out to share his thoughts on iPad painting. We look forward to seeing what Rob thinks of the Nomad Brush, it's certainly a favourite around here.

Be sure to check out Rob's 'Painting Journal'.

'Morgan Freeman' by Albert Lewis, Jr.

Bringing Freeman's distinctive features to life with the Brushes app, Albert Lewis, Jr. reminds of the simple power of confining the palate to black and white.

"This one was tremendous fun. Done on the iPad using Brushes, it took me approximately 6 hours. Working in black and white was a nice change. There was no sketch or loose drawing beneath, just going at it with broad strokes and refining over time."

There's plenty more to see over at Albert's homepage.

'Cannonball' and 'Pipes & Pottery' by Rob Miller

Rob's done a fantastic job with the Brushes for iPad. We were particularly impressed with his use of light and shade in 'Cannonball'. Check out all of Rob's fine artwork over at his website.

Thanks for sharing your paintings with us Rob, we look forward to seeing more of your iPad art in the near future.

"I've just touched the tip of what the app is capable of letting me create!"

You will surely remember the video that Shawn Harris created using Brushes on the iPad for Mania's super infectious 'Thank Each Mistake'. Shawn was kind enough to provide some extra detail about the making of the video. We are sharing Shawn's observations here as a way of inspiring others to push out into new creative territory with the iPad. Perhaps it's time to take a good look at the apps on your iPad and see if they can be used to create something entirely new?

Over to Shawn:

"The iPad video using the Brushes app started with me just noodling around with the program, which I got because it was the one that Hockney and Colombo were using to paint the New Yorker covers... it is exciting because nobody knows the extent of our new tech toy. Nearly every project on the iPad, at this point, is pushing at a frontier.  It presents limitations, but then again, so does oil, or watercolor!  Part of the fun of art is letting the medium, with all of it's limitation, steer the creation and change the way the artist works, and the feel and look of the art. Being an illustrator obsessed with motion, I immediately gravitated away from seeing the app's potential for me in fine art prints, and toward toying with the painting playback feature, and the app's ability to export the brush stroke history as a .mov file.

I realized that if I could be deliberate about lifting my finger and creating a new frame, I could control a 2D stop-motion animation by pushing colors around the screen in small increments.  Most of my frames contain remnants of previous action, trailing behind my newly drawn frame, and one frame later, I erase the older actions and fragments, and then switch back to the brush and lead the action with a new drawing.  The technique I gleaned a bit from street artist BLU, who does graffiti animation by painting on walls, and blotting out previous paintings, photographing each advancing frame. (search his video Big Bang Big Boom) I got about 20 seconds into my experimenting, which by this point, I'd decided would be a video, and restarted the project, because it looked really fun, and I didn't want to pull any punches with that potential.

In essence, the handful of exports from brushes are just one painting, from beginning to end, that I kept painting over and over and over. I felt that surge of creative potential at the beginning, and now that I've finished, I feel like I've just touched at the tip of what the app is capable of letting me create!

I've directed/edited/created all of Maniac's video content, in part because we are an independent band (in the US. we signed to a label Stop Start in Australia, but they let us do our thing, and basically just try to work the songs to radio, which is still relevant down there, because they have awesome public stations, but that's another story). We work with funds we make from our self-screened t-shirts, painted CD's and vinyls on our webstore that we run ourselves. (You don't NEEED $40k to make something fun and pretty to watch with a good song!  This animated video was the price of Brushes -$7.99 I think...  And even if you want to throw in the iPad receipt, it still comes in under a grand.)

Mostly, I do this because I love doing it. I love writing a song and simultaneously conceptualizing a video, and the next day, starting the video, conferring only with my bandmate Jake. I love putting up progress stills and clips for our fans, and getting their feedback (which is mostly, 'whoa, cool - you're showing us stuff we're not used to being shown!', and I find the enthusiasm inspiring).  And then I finish the video and put it straight online.  It's fun."

You can support Shawn's creative endeavours by spreading the word about this video, his band and his other personal projects.