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I like Clipardo.com

26 Jan

If you can draw, but don’t know what to draw, clipardo.com might be what you’re looking for. You doodle something in a window, hit the search button, and you’ll get all kinds of clip-art the service has decided matches your drawing.

I like Clipardo.com

Computers are bad at recognizing content and meaning. Normally that is a bad thing, but here it is a feature. Its “artificial intelligence” doesn’t think like humans, so it comes up with totally unexpected results. This is what you want, because, remember, your human brain couldn’t come up with something to draw. The computer “brain” obviously could.

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Live drawing on Justin.TV on January 18, 2010

19 Jan

Just wanted to let you know that on my other blog, Pencilcast, there is a post about a live drawing I did on Justin.TV. Click on the image to go there.

Robert Scoble

5 Feb

If you follow online media, you will certainly have been stumbling upon the name Robert Scoble or his blog Scobelizer. He is a busy body and is present in all online media, it seems. My self-assignment for today, as an aspiring amateur artist, was to draw him from a photo taken by Thomas Hawk, which captures Scoble’s energy beautifully.

Robert Scoble Shooting in High Def

Unfortunately, the photo suffers a bit from blurriness, so there aren’t really any fine details I could get out of this picture. On the other hand, for someone who is new to drawing, it saves a lot of time drawing all these finer details and lets me concentrate on the “bigger picture”, the overall impression I want to convey with my drawing.

This will be an ongoing rewrite of this article until I have the final version. Perhaps it’s nice to see some intermediate stages. For me it is important to be able to learn from my mistakes and retrace my steps when my drawing goes amuck.

I was fortunate enough to have the size of the frame I drew on the drawing paper be exactly the same as the size of the full screen display of the photo on my 20 inch iMac computer, 270 x 180 mm. This let me mark some points in the margins, which helped me to get the initial proportions right (I still have problems with those).

Robert Scoble 1-a

After I’ve distanced myself for a few hours from my basic first sketch, I saw a lot wrong with it. This is supposed to be normal, because drawing is a lot about judging proportions, and you need a lot of practice to get it right in one go. Nevertheless it is a bit frustrating that you have to erase parts of your original drawing.

That’s why you shouldn’t attach yourself too much to your drawing, and step away from it now and then, to emotionally detach yourself from your work. It is all too easy to leave those lines and work around it, as if those earlier lines were somehow sacred. Belief me, they are not.

So what was so blatantly wrong about my first draft? Well, the chin was too weak (if that’s the correct word). Robert has a very pronounced chin, and my drawing wasn’t showing it. I only noticed when I was drawing the exact lines of the mouth. The mouth was somewhat wider than I drew earlier, and when I widened it, and had drawn the lower lip, that lower lip was much too close to the chin.

I’m sure there are a lot more things wrong with the drawing, but at some point you have to let go of the photo. If you wanted a replica of the photo, then that is easy to do on a computer. No, in the end, the photo is only a reference for your drawing, not the norm.

Robert Scoble 1-b

Now is was hard to put the final details in, because I’m so inexperienced. I decided not to overdo it, but rather leave it as much as I could in a sketching stage.

Robert Scoble 1-c

How did I do timewise? Well, for the initial setup I needed about 50 minutes, for the second draft another 50 minutes, and for the last details 45 minutes. That is 2 hours and 25 minutes in total. I belief that is by far the longest I spent on a single drawing.

Are there things to improve? No doubt. In fact, it is probably the sole thing that keep artists so focussed on their craft. There is always room for improvement, always a chance to go above and beyond what you thought was possible. I believe I have just done that.

I think I’m now ready to progress to the next key point in the bullet point list I made earlier this week.

That is all.

Queeky Hand

31 Jan

I drew my own left hand using the online drawing and painting program Queeky.

Queeky Hand

See also: direct link to the artwork.

That is all.

Best online Painting tool – artPad

22 Jan

The online tool artPad is the best online painting tool I have found so far. The interface is clean and simple. You can select a color from a swatch, a brush size, and the rest is up to you, putting digital paint on the canvas. When you’re finished, you can put a frames around your work of art.

The Flash tool is apparently very well written, because it is quite responsive. Oftentimes, you’ll see some lag in drawing, but with this tool, the lagging was minimal.

Of course, you can use a brush as a drawing instrument. The difference between drawing and painting is in the intent of the artist, not in the tool he or she uses. I chose line over surface, so this was a drawing.

Your drawing doesn’t go to waste. You can either send a link to your painting on the website, put it on display, so others can see it, or print it on your printer.

I chose the latter, and because I’m on a Mac, I can print to a PDF file, and convert that into a JPEG image.

The painting is not meant to reflect my drawing skills, but rather to test the tool. I’m liking it much more than Digital Doodle.

Best online painting tool - artPad

That is all.

The other type of bird

17 Jan

On Digital Doodle (which I discovered yesterday) this week’s theme is “bird”. Now most people will think of the animal with feathers and wings, but there is also the slang meaning of bird. I called this type of bird, the other type of bird.

The Other Type Of Bird

There are some problems with the user interface, as you probably can see in the sketch. Sometimes it is hard to select the color of the pencil (it will not “stick”), and other times, the pencil draws while you hover over your drawing without pressing the mouse button.

Ah well, you can’t have everything. I just have to work around those limitations.

Also see: direct link to the artwork.

That is all.

Digital Doodle

17 Jan

Digital Doodle is an online service for making creative drawings.The website uses Adobe Flash. There are four digital color pencils to choose from, green, yellow, red, blue and black, and no eraser (white should be left uncolored). You don’t have to subscribe (which we love). You can clear the drawing and let the drawing redraw itself. When you’re finished, you give your artwork a name,  add your (made up) name and agree with the terms and conditions (in principle kid-safe artwork only).

Here’s the second drawing I did.

peacock

Each week there is a new theme (this week it was birds). It is a lot fun, and you should really try this.

See also: direct link to the artwork.

That is all.