Sunday, 10 September 2017

Sketchbook fright!


In May I first heard about the The sketchbook project 2018  (that you can take part in too till Jan 2018!) on a facebook post (thank you fellow SBSer). I decided this would be an ideal project to do so I bought the pack. After several delays that had me wondering if I had signed up for a scam, it arrived in June and I was so excited I tweeted about my lovely pack and did...
The pack /goodie bag
... absolutely nothing apart from pick it up from time to time, coo and put it back. 

The suggested themes for 2018
Eventually, after a month or two, I wrote the suggested themes down on the back to try and make a start. I also leafed through existing pages to see how they display the books and what seemed to work and what didn't.  I found out a bit more about  The Sketchbook project/Brooklyn Arts Library -a crowdfunded museum that runs several challenges. I wondered if I should have taken part in those instead. There's also a blog.
I did NOTHING else in the book - musing from time to time about the themes (which are merely suggestions that I am not bound by). 

It's September now, two other sketchbooks have been filled and a new one started. I've taken part in two sketching events run by the Reader Sketchers group and I've also taken part in two SketchbookSkool kourses ('Let's Make a Map' and Urban sketching). Still, nothing in this one.
 
Eventually, today, I gave up and sacrificed the back page to a sample page so I could see which tools I could use (and which I couldn't)


What to avoid:
  • Water causes the paper to buckle (not only on the page but also pages behind them). 
  • Watercolour markers with water leak into the back and the page behind. 
  • Promarkers leak into the back. 
In summary: So nothing with water and nothing with Promarkers.

What works?
  • Sharpies, Posca markers and bingo dabbers all work
  • Pitt pens work, as do biros, pigma markers (sent with pack) and lamy pen and ink (with VERY LITTLE water) work just fine
  • Watercolour brushes, watercolour pens and watercolour pencils (without water) add intense colours. 
  • Stamps work just fine.
  • Crayons work as you woud expect.
Why so scared?
It's normal to be daunted of the blank page in a new sketchbook but I think the reason why this one in particular seemed scary was that it would be on show as a single PIECE of work so I didn't want to waste anything in it. Ordinarily, I am happy to scribble as each sketch is a single drawing that I can choose to ignore or adapt. I'm also fine with people leafing through my sketchbooks, and as mentioned, had completed two since then.

If there's one thing that may have helped, it would have been a couple of sample pages (so you could see what happened to the page behind) as it's not inexpensive to take part in the project.

Now to work out what to do and how to incorporate the buckled pages AND make another start.
After all, I have till Feb/March 2018 (allowing postage time).

Any tips gratefully received.





Monday, 2 January 2017

Same line - different walks.

I joined this Drawing a day with Veronica Lawlor SketchbookSkool course and today is day 1.
The exercise was to"take a line for a walk" (which is from a quote by Paul Klee re drawing).

Now that I have access to the Slate, and I know it records my lines, I would be able to see how my eye moved and see what happened. The Slate records every movement of the pen whilst it is in contact with the paper - and because I drew this as a single line drawing, it would show the correlation between my eye movement and the corresponding pen movement. You can see what I noticed first and what drew my eye next.

I drew this in offline mode and really wanted to add to it:

Original paper drawing: 

 


Slate drawing below:




I changed the background paper using the Slate as I felt it added warmth).

Note: there is no 'brown' colour in the Slate palette, nor any 'fill' but I guess I can import into Gimp for more manipulation. 

Watching how my eye moved...(mp4 lasting 5secs) - this will be interesting generally to watch how I move/see.

video


I liked my line drawing and wanted to add a splash of colour to it using watercolours (quickly)
You can see how that panned out below

with watercolour
original paper and biro

Saturday, 31 December 2016

From layers to a giphy via the Slate


The Slate claims to "Give digital life to your paper creations".

Today, I thought I'd have a go at creating a mini-animation using it. On the way, I learned how to use giphy as well.

Start on a piece of paper and draw (this is a nice way of still feeling like you're drawing rather than drawing on a screen)

You automatically end up on layer 1

 Add a layer (layer 2)
Now use the 'eye' icon to keep layer 1 visible as you draw layer 2

 Now use the 'eye' icon in layer 1 to make it invisible so all you see is layer 2.

Add as many layers as you want - each one effectively being a new frame.




Replay regularly so that you can see what you are doing (but it doesn't hide the layers in the replay)

So, hide all the layers and then make each one visible and export as a gif using the Export command.






Now go to Giphy (check the terms and conditions as you may not wish to share this and upload these images to end up with a resulting giphy)
End resulting giphy which you can also download (see below).


Once you know what you want to draw, it becomes easy as the steps themselves don't take much time at all. 
The time it has taken me to draw the images and work out that I needed to:
  • use layers and export them as jpegs, 
  • use giphy (for the first time)
  • write a post with these steps
  • grab screenshots of layers from Imagink for said post
  • export the screenshots of Imagink of from tiff to jpeg
was less than an hour (and that's including the faff for writing this post)

If you prefer you can also use something like Clayframes and a sheet of paper (last I used it I couldn't import the images).


Friday, 30 December 2016

new tool!





Playing with the Slate (iskn) and getting to know it quickly. Love how it stores the lines.

Attempt 1 -  in offline mode - to my delight it stored the movements (and mistakes).

sketch 1

video


Attempt 2. This time plugged into the app. Flowers in a vase
sketch 2 - flowers in a vase


video

Attempt 3. This time using the different settings of the app a Robin.

sketch: Robin
video



My first request - a melting snowman

Sketch: melting snowman
video



sketch:houses

video

making mistakes is ok - sketch
video



Some notes:
What I loved about the Slate is that it was so easy - I drew something offline - it appeared within a minute of 'collecting' it. Then I could change the background image. I could add layers and I could have a recording of the strokes. It was incredible that I could use it in 'screenless' mode and could travel without the app.

When I managed to use it with the app (after finding a compatible Apple product and updating it) the time it took to draw, export as a jpeg/movie and then upload these to a post was trivial. But having this on a computer means that I am 'tied' to it when using the app. However, it also means I can reuse paper and draw over several drawings.

I also love the idea that I could use it to trace and maybe use as a way of animation.  In fact, when it hadn't managed to note my marks, I could retrace/redraw over the drawing.