Playing around

January 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm | In arts, authenticity, creativity, ideas, just_so | 2 Comments

Last week I put SketchBook MobileX (free app) on my iTouch. For the first time in a really long time, I had fun just doodling around, using my finger. Also for the first time, layers felt intuitively easy. Keep in mind, the screen on the iTouch is teeny-weeny, yet still it was fun to doodle around…

Ok, my images are crude enough – I haven’t made an effort to draw anything in a long long while, and boy, did I get flummoxed trying to get any kind of detail around mouths or eyes using just my finger – but the point is that I felt empowered by how easy it was to put something down via SketchBook MobileX.

Since using just my (relatively) big finger tip on the tiny iTouch screen did feel frustrating, I sprung for a Pogo Sketch stylus.

It’s less intuitive than using fingers, but on the limited real estate offered by the iTouch screen, it makes sense if you want more detail.

So, in that top sketch on the right ( –>), I first used the iTouch to take a photograph of Werner and me and imported it into SketchBook. (Don’t laugh – being able to put a photograph into an image manipulation interface was a major discovery for me; I never got the hang of the gimp, and my last foray into image editing was on a really basic/ cheap version of Photoshop half a dozen years ago…)

In this image, I used the stylus to doodle over the photograph in a second layer, just to fix the position of eyes/ noses/ mouths, etc. Once I had the outline, I continued working on that layer by adding some detail and coloring it a bit, and then I deleted the underlying photograph layer. Wow, that was fun!

(I know, I know! “How pathetic,” is what all the image manipulation nerds are thinking…)

The doodle below that is another free-from face, this time I was focusing on getting the eyes in about the right position, but mostly I was fixated on getting some architecture around the mouth. Incredibly, I used to know how to do this (hard to believe looking at the primitive scribbles here) – maybe, just maybe, this mobile-on-the-go sketching tool will get me to start re-learning this, and to look at how things (including faces) are built. And that would be amazing. I know I lost a big part of my ability to look – and to see – when I stopped drawing …when? three decades ago?

I can only imagine the pure joy of what it would feel like to draw on a bigger surface (like an iPad) – if I had that, I’d buy the upgrade (which has more features). 🙂 Yes, I could just get a big piece of paper, I know. But I’m so married to digital that paper presents a barrier. Putting a drawing directly into pixels, being able to send it via email or into my iPhoto collection – without scanner hassles – is just amazing to me.

Now, another interesting aspect is how this app lets me join several approaches to capturing an idea. The other day, while waiting for a coffee date and ruminating deeply about living in Victoria, I used the app to “write” a back-of-the-napkin thing – which is much looser than writing a “proper” text:

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I felt loose enough to throw that out – and once I had that, I was able to make it “edgy,” as a longer-worded text. I’ll spare you my conclusions as formulated in the full text I ended up writing as there’s enough text here already, but basically, I need to get outta town… 😉

I’m looking forward to doodling around a lot more these days. Maybe I can eventually draw me a ticket.

2 Comments

  1. That looks like fun…. I am afraid to get it for my iPad, lest I spend all my time doodling. Because I wouldn’t be charting ideas….

    Comment by maria — January 20, 2011 #

  2. 🙂

    Well, I sort of stopped – the tiny screen is limiting, but it’s also me, of course. I need to work on my playing around skills!

    Comment by Yule — January 26, 2011 #

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