Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saguaro Moon

A classic image from the Southwest of my imagination. A place I will be in reality, just a few days from now.

This is a drawing, rather, a digital painting, I made on my iPad this afternoon, using a sophisticated painting app called ArtRage. I made this painting in about ten or twelve minutes, as I was waiting while the shop installed new tires on my truck, prior to my upcoming roadtrip.

I really like the ArtRage app, which is the most intuitive and flexible painting software I've encountered in years. It provides a wide range of adjustable drawing and painting tools, all customizable and adaptable, along with a range of paper textures, effects, and other illustrative processes. There is even the ability to use a reference photo as tracing paper, or a guide. One can work on several layers, too, so that transparencies can be built up non-destructively. i find myself able to paint and draw things easily and quickly, using a stylus, in this digital domain, that frankly I would not be able to do in the real world. (That's partly because I'm chemically sensitive, or rather allergic, to many traditional artistic materials, including aromatics like turpentine and other agents.)

For this digital painting, I mostly used a flat watercolor brush, paint tube and roller, and a sable brush, changing the color and settings for saturation, etc., several times during the painting. I found the tools easy to figure out, and using the stylus came naturally. I guess teaching myself to draw over the past years has had some benefits, after all.

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Blogger Elisabeth said...

How exciting, Art, both to be able to 'paint' like this and your finished product. Ah the joys of technology.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...


Actually it feels a bit like overcoming a lack, or maybe a disability. It allows me to do things that I could have conceived in my mind, but wasn't able to actually paint or draw. This "virtual paint" is both easier for me to use, and is non-toxic (no bad smells, no vapors). There's also the "undo" function. That makes it possible for me to do.

I'm sure there will be some purist artists out there who will turn up there noses at whatever I do, because it's only "virtual" paint. No matter that it creates very realistic results.

But then, I know that David Hockney has been painting and drawing like this, using exactly these kinds of tools, on an iPhone and iPad for some years now. Something I've always admired about Hockney is his willingness to explore new techniques, to try new things, new tools, new ways of working. His adaptability means he is always coming up with fresh ideas, and during his career he has changed his basic style several times. I admire that enormously.

There's of course no comparison. I'm not half the painter is, and never will be. But I take some encouragement from his example. Not a bad set of footsteps to follow in!

11:37 PM  
Blogger Dennis King said...

Very nice!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thanks. :) Slante!

11:41 PM  

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