Using New Technology to Bring Back Drawing

March 14, 2011

See the full post for thoughts and a link.

That's what David Hockey feels he's doing when he draws on his iPhone or iPad. If you are a subscriber to the New Yorker you'll already have seen a couple covers that he drew using his iPad.

Now you can read about how David Hockney is using this new technology to create the next stage of his art. More important you will want to read about his attitude about creating past 73 years of age. It's very inspirational that he is going strong; proof that learning new things keeps us young.

So go check out the interview, check out the art, and then go learn something new today. It doesn't matter if you use a new technology or an old technology. Just learn something, let your brain and your hand-eye coordination be challenged.

Note: I checked out the iPads last year with a friend who was looking at a new Mac. Since I always have my journal handy and my small watercolor palette, and a Niji waterbrush (someone should send David Hockney a Niji waterbrush!) I can make paintings wherever I am, whenever I want without any electricity/battery power, using traditional materials instead of technology. And that's my preference, because I work at a computer all day. HOWEVER, I was seconds away from purchasing an iPad when my, "If you can't learn it in the next two weeks no new techology or software comes into the studio" mantra kicked in. This doesn't mean that I have to master something in two weeks, which isn't possible for me in any situation—my mantra simply reminds me that in the past I've been so acquisitive that new technology has sat neglected past the return/exchange period on too many ocassions, until I developed this mantra. And on the day I was investigating the iPad I faced several serious deadlines with no breathing room. Now that there is breathing room on the horizon my eyes are turning to the seduction of the iPad once again. The only question now is, shouldn't I wait until the new version comes out? No, that's not the only question. The serious question is can I carry anything more in a pack already bulging with essentials (and I travel relatively light!)? We'll see. Right now I'm still chugging away at learning some new software I need for work. It's endless; but ultimately we live in interesting times as far as software options are concerned.

(Thanks Diane for finding this great article link.)

  1. Reply

    Hi Roz,
    I was given an iPad as a gift, and have been working steadily using the ArtStudio app. It’s not hard to learn, especially if you have Photoshop skills, and because I’m exercising different parts of my brain–if only by using art skills in a new way–I think it’s good for my creative development.

    Nothing will replace my notebooks and pens, but this is a great addition, and I can play music on it too! It’s been a very handy tool, and I love having it. There are a very few drawings on my blog if you care to have a look. Good luck with your decision.

    • Chris F
    • March 14, 2011

    I’m fascinated with the Brushes app on Iphone and Ipad. Can’t invest NOW but I think of it as stretching me in a different direction and with a different skillset. Never in place of but always in addition to…

  2. Reply

    Roz, get the Ipad, you won’t regret it and it doesn’t take 2 weeks to learn it, more like 30 minutes and if you use a Mac already which I assume that you do, maybe 15 minutes. However, if you already have a Macbook, get the Iphone–totally awesome!

    • Mary
    • March 14, 2011

    Hi Roz…looking forward to viewing your journal workshop over at Strathmore that begin in May. You mentioned something about a Niji water brush in your post above…I got a new one last week and tried to fill it with water. I tried filling it as suggested but I can only get about an inch and half of water in it…it never fills. Is that normal or what am I missing?

    • Miss T
    • March 14, 2011

    The iPad is a very cool device, but I’m amazed that someone who actually had jackets custom made with special pockets for his journals has never discovered Niji waterbrushes!

    • Diane Wesman
    • March 14, 2011

    Hockney has given me another reason for iPad lust. You brought me back from the brink by reminding me that Niji brushes don’t need batteries. Thanks!

  3. Reply

    Kim, I’m not anticipating any trouble learning the iPad because I work in Photoshop part of every day. But I am worried about the time it will fritter away while I’m meant to be doing other things.

    I’m particularly interested in having it when I teach because I can have my blog and a lot of images on it so I can constantly look up things with it and with a tiny projector (I’ve seen some) I can even project stuff—But I’m also teaching less and less; again because of the need to focus.

    So there you have it. Tremendous pull, balanced with tremendous will power. (If only I could have such a relationship with chocolate!)

    You’ll hear all about it when I do fall Kim.

  4. Reply

    Chris F. I think one of the great things about all the software I use for my work on the Mac it all helps and challenges us in different ways to look at things and come up with new solutions. So it’s all good. But I love paper so much that I know I’d never switch completely or even predominantly.

  5. Reply

    Donna, I refuse to get an iPhone as I hate to see how people waste time on it and are not even talking with each other any more. I actually have friends who have stopped to look things up on the iPhone in the middle of conversations. Things aren’t that important (unless of course the other person asks you to look something up—and then it’s always nice to have at least one friend with an iPhone).

    I’m not worried about learning the thing, just wasting time with it. Too much is pulling on me right now for any diversions like this.

    Between meetings today I’ve already stopped to draw 3 times and the pencil is more satisfying than the electronics.

    Will I have an iPad at some point. I’m pretty sure I will. But right now I have to get back to my journal!

  6. Reply

    Chris, I’ll go check that out. Thanks.

  7. Reply

    Miss T,

    As for my mention of the Niji. I was struck when I read the article that he made a deal about having to get up and get water. That seemed to me that he couldn’t know about the Niji, which allows us always to have water on hand.

    Of course he could know about them and choose not to use them for persnickity reasons. But he’s a great artist with tremendous skills and if someone like my lowly self can bounce between regular brushes in the studio and Nijis out and about I know he could. It seems odd.

    And as you say, he can pretty much have whatever he wants made for him!

  8. Reply

    Mary, so glad you’re going to join me—spread the word, it is free after all!

    As for the Niji, don’t know if you’re reading my instructions (don’t know if I’ve posted any I keep meaning to) or someone else’s, but NO you should be able to fill it all the way to the fill line on the barrel which I think is about a half inch down from where it screws together with the brush top.

    I don’t know how you are filling it. If you hold the barrel, with the black plug still in, under running water and squeeze repeatedly it should fill in about 15 seconds or 5 squeezes.

    If you take the black plug out (don’t loose this as it regulates flow) you should be able to pour water directly in, replace the plug, screw on the brush and get going.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Reply

    Diane, You’re welcome. That’s what friends are for! Unless you want to go deeply into digital in a way that our discussions show you aren’t comfortable with doing right now, you need to keep on walking past the iPad. Keep slinging those paints!

  10. Reply

    Roz – wait awhile as the Ipads will get lighter. IPad 2 is now out and iPad 3 is expected later in the year. The new one is 30% lighter and has a good/robust cover. The prices will also start to get cheaper if only because all existing iPad owners will start upgrading and you can expect to see some come on to the second-hand market.

    I’m enjoying experimenting with mine – mind you I’m moving stay wet oil paint all over the screen! I’m still at the umming and erring stage between being content with finger painting and wanting to get a stylus.

    The iPad is ace for being able to show other people really good quality images. Really good for artists with portfolios they want to show off……

  11. Reply

    Katherine, that is great advice. Lighter is always better for me!!!!


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