Entries in Community (2)

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.

Hundreds of Photographers - in your iPad

Icon_512px-2010-10-6-09-34.png?fileId=8838404Have you ever been out and about taking photos and been presented with a situation where you had no clue how to capture the image properly, or you have tried taking lots of photos but not one of them came out right?  Us too!  Help is at hand, literally.

PhotoCaddy has been out for a while on the iPhone, but recently Aspyre Apps released an iPad optimised version of the app.

PhotoCaddy HD is basically a virtual photographer’s assistant (hence the name) offering tips, pointers and specific instruction on certain techniques for varying situations.

Covering topics such as Essentials, Outdoor, People and Landscapes each Category is broken down further into different areas, with some topics providing basic information and camera settings for the situation or subject being photographed and some discussing more advanced techniques for the photographer venturing beyond the basics.

In addition to the 500+ built-in tips, an innovative feature is the user contributed tips, allowing you to access advice and pointers from other photographers using the app. This community, collaborative learning, approach is great way to add value to the app and can provide a wealth of information from fellow photographers who have been there before, and perhaps already made the mistakes trying to capture the subject you are considering.

These kind of tips can often produce the little nuggets that you had never considered and may not be the obvious things. As well as being able to access tips from other photographers, you can also vote on them, saying whether you found the tip useful or not. Arguably, this kind of voting system for tips causes the more helpful ones rise to the top and motivate the contributors to provide quality tips that receive positive votes, providing a useful database for other photographers.


The app also allows you to make your own notes for any of the topics, a nice touch for those of us used to carrying around little pocket notebooks for scribbling our observations in for future reference and critique sessions where we pick apart what we did, and could have done better, on our shoots.

PhotoCaddy HD is £2.39 ($3.99) in the app store, and we think it is definitely worth checking out for all levels of non-Pro Photographer.