Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Painting App Sketchable: All in the Family

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There is a new Win-based painting app on the block, Sketchable by Silicon Benders, now available at the Windows Store. Description from the download page:

Sketchable provides the best creative digital journaling experience on the market. Whether you import an image, snap a photo, or start from a blank canvas, Sketchable puts the creative options in your hands. No matter the context, Sketchable is the perfect app to breathe life into your ideas. The elegant interface is designed to get the most out of each device and fast fluid brushes allow for an uninterrupted workflow.

Sketchable is tablet-friendy and pairs nicely with the Wacom-enabled Surface Pro. The app is a free download with and comes with brush and eraser tools. In-app purchases offer 7 additional painting tools. I'm happy to say that I had a bit of involvement with this new app; I created its textures and brush presets.

Silicon Benders is the brother team of Miles & Ryan Harris. Painting apps appear to run in the brothers' genes: their dad is Jerry Harris, co-author (with Keith McGregor) of early Mac paint app PixelPaint Pro, the first full-color paint application for the Macintosh. Jerry is now a Principal Computer Scientist on the Adobe Photoshop team.

Sketchable is designed to be easy to pick up and start using with a minimal learning curve. It is a particularly pressure-sensitive savvy app offering a wide range of expressibility in concert with its tools. Sketchable has a simple interface with plenty of room for expansion. I have a feeling we'll be seeing this app grow over time. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Waterlogue App Advances Digital Watercolor Ease-of-Creation

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My friend John Balestrieri, in collaboration with Robert Clair, have released Waterlogue for iOS. Waterlogue is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad running iOS 7. From the press release:

We wanted to come up with an easy and fast way for people to create images based on the kinds of aesthetic decisions an artist makes when he or she is painting.

The technology we developed for Waterlogue transforms your photos into spontaneous, unique, and brilliant watercolor sketches that look like real paintings. Waterlogue distills your environment down to its essence—just the way an artist would—and turns even an on-the-fly snapshot into something luminous and sublime.

We designed Waterlogue to create the most authentic and aesthetically true watercolor interpretations available, and we hope that as soon as you start using the app, you’ll start seeing the world differently.

I've been playing with Waterlogue for a few days, and I have to say: This app advances the ability to easily create convincing watercolor art from photographs. John and Robert spent a year examining traditional watercolor and have created a deceptively simple app that faithfully replicates all of the hallmarks of its traditional counterpart.

At $3.99 from the App Store on iTunes, this software is a steal. John and Robert have indicated that Waterlogue will continue to evolve with additional features to be added over time. Highly Recommended!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Painter X3 Essential Training Released

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I'm happy to announce that my newest lynda.com title, Painter X3 Essential Training course is now live and available for viewing by lynda.com members. Here is the course description:

Get your creative ideas out of your head and onto your canvas. John Derry, one of the original Corel Painter authors, teaches the tools and techniques that will get beginners up and running with Painter X3 and help old hands harness the best new features.

Learn the basics of painting on a computer, and learn to set up your system (your Painter preferences, tablet and pen, and your palettes) so it works best for you. Then John shows you how to mix and manage color, wield Painter's brushes with maximum control, work with layers and selections, and integrate with that other digital painting powerhouse, Adobe Photoshop. John also covers perspective-guided strokes and the Universal Jitter control for adding analog-like sensitivity to your artwork. Dive in now and get your creative juices flowing.

Topics include:
Working with a pen tablet
Creating, opening, and saving files
Configuring panels and palettes
Controlling and mixing control
Calibrating brushes for maximum stroke quality
Working with jitter brushes
Working with digital watercolor brushes
Selecting with the Lasso and Magic Wand tools
Preserving transparency in layers
Cloning artwork
Comparing Photoshop and Painter
Troubleshooting Painter

If you have X3, I think you'll find this course highly useful!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Last Rodeo

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This is a painting I did a few years ago for a client. I had totally forgotten about it. It was a poster for Brooks & Dunn's farewell tour, The Last Rodeo.

The artwork ended up not getting used but I had fun putting it together.