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My “materials”

Although I normally paint in watercolour my blog illustrations are drawn on a tablet with a stylus.  My first tablet was an Android, the Motorola Xoom.  I tried a lot of drawing and painting apps for Android and the one I liked the best is Fresco.  I didn’t even have to buy the pro edition, the free one works so well.                                   Motorola Xoom with Fresco Lite (and Targus stylus)

Then I got an Ipad as a gift and couldn’t get Fresco (for androids only) so had to start again in finding an app that I liked (I’m picky).  Art Studio works well for me.  I bought the pro version but the “lite” (as in free) works well too, especially if you’re starting out.

                                       Ipad with Art Studio (and Targus stylus)

I wish you could try all of them before purchase but that’s not always the case.  I’d suggest finding one with a free version with option to upgrade.  I had bought another app, Procreate which to me is more for the fine artist if that’s what interests you.  However for illustration which is all I do on the tablet, ArtStudio is my app of choice, followed by Sketchbook (another app that comes with a free version that works well too).  For the actual drawing there are several brands and types of stylus on the market. I use “Targus” which is the only one I could find when I started out on the tablets .   After searching the web I’ve found others.  There is one with a fine tip called the “Dagi Pen” that I might buy one day.  It has a fine point with a shield on the tip to protect the screen.

 On computers and laptops I use Adobe Photoshop (first edition) for drawing.  I know it’s a photography program but it works well for drawing (at least for me anyway).  Wacom is a company that has a lot of neat products for computers and laptops.  I’ve still got the very first stylus tablet called Graphire that I guard with my life because they don’t make them anymore.  But the newer ones, bamboo and intuos work well and are actually more advanced .  You can check these all out here (this is a fun and interesting website to visit!)

  I still prefer to do my fine art, (horse and pet portraits) the traditional way on paint and paper.  But the way things are going (sad to say) there will come a time when paper, pencils and all the art materials we take for granted will go the way of the film camera (I still have my old Nikon SLR for sentimental reasons, the adventures we had!)

I hope this information is helpful and if anyone has any questions please ask me, I’ll be more than happy to help!



2 responses »

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! The whole business of tablets and styluses is completely new to me so I have a lot to learn. I’ve had a look at the wacom site and I really like the look of the inkling. My initial concern, however, is that I sketch with a very fine tipped pen (0.05) and the inkling nib looks pretty chunky. I’m no great artist but I do like to doodle and I’m putting some little drawings in my books. The way I do it at the moment is draw them and then scan them, but the quality isn’t as good as it might be when it’s printed out. At the moment I have to stick with that because I want to get my book to the printer in a couple of weeks, but for the future I would really like to learn more about doing things the way you do them. I wonder if I can go into a specialist shop and get someone to talk me through it all. Where do you buy your stuff, online or in a shop?

    I didn’t think I’d ever get used to a digital camera and didn’t want to give up my old film one, but now I’ve got used to the digital one I think it’s great, so maybe it’ll be the same with digital drawings too.

    • Hi
      I know what you mean about “chunky” nibs. It took me a while to get used to the tablet stylus. However I was thinking that what might work for you (to begin with) is the Bamboo stylus from Wacom for computers (and laptops). It’s a lot less expensive than an ipad and you use it instead of the traditional mouse. It’s also a lot easier on your wrist as well. Do you have any art programs on your computer? You can always use “paint” which comes with Windows. I’m not sure what Macintosh has but I’m sure they have something similar. There are some free art programs online too. Some people say it takes a while to get the hand to eye coordination going but if you already draw with a mouse you’ll pick it up right away. Once you get started with these things you just keep going and you learn a lot that way but it would be nice if you could find someone that could talk you through it in person for the basics at least.
      You can order online but I usually go out and buy them. We have two stores in Canada that I use. One is an electronics store (Future Shop) that sells everything from computers to refrigerators. The other one is an office supply store (Staples) and they have a lot of computer accessories. I find that the prices are the same online as they are in a store too.
      You might find that drawing right on the computer and then printing it out will give you a better quality drawing.
      What is your book about? Your tea room visits? I’d love to see it when it comes out. I’ve always wanted to be a children’s book illustrator but the competition is so fierce in Canada. I went ahead and submitted my work anyway and got three rejection notices in one day! Not the most encouraging start.
      I hope this helps you a little and definitely ask me if you want more information.


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