Friday, May 29, 2009

Brushes on iPhone

In the last edition of The New Yorker the front page was painted by Jorge Colombo. No big deal, other than our pal Jorge actually finger painted that cover on an iPhone using Brushes, a new iPhone app. Brushes cost: less than 5 bucks. Moreover, Jorge sells his finger paintings for a hefty 20 bucks. It's fun to watch his stop motion TNY cover building up on the clip shown in the link above.

Of course, I wouldn't be worth my geek status if I didn't try that myself. Decided to revive Cezanne's apples and made a mess of it, but anyways... Here you go... I also posted it on Twitter under the title "Eva's apple" as my contribution to the hushtag #liesgirlstell.

On a serious note, I believe Brushes to be an ingenious app. Compared to other apps on actual personal computers it lacks thousands of extra functions etc, but in fact it proves that you don't need more than 5 or 6 bits to make some stunning pieces, like Colombo's (forget mine).

If you got an iPhone and like drawing some BS doodles during boring meetings, this is your thingie!

However, if you wanna be serious with it, don't forget the following 10 commandmends:

1. Visualize the final result before you actually drawn one line.
2. Work in transparent layers... many... as many as you can
3. Start with the background parts of your image and move gradually to the front parts.
4. Use transparency extensively. Using it skillfully creates the impression you used many more colors and strokes than you actually did.
5. Don't forget to undo bad strokes... Brushes has got no gum, yet...
6. Zoom in and out regularly by pinching to work out more detail or see the entire piece.
7. Use variations of colors as much as you heart desires... Millions supported.
8. Zoom in, choose a thin brush, and sign your masterpiece.
9. At regular intervals make back-ups of your work, in case you want to restart from one point forward.
10. If you happen to know the known best practices about lighting, shadows, contrast, and composition, please apply them to the max. Always helps you to do good.

UPDATE: All by accident I discovered a function which I think is FUNDAMENTAL in getting more efficient with Brushes (that will teach me never to read 'help' and instruction guides). If you touch and hold your finger on the screen for a few extra secs (maybe one, max two) it causes the color selection tool to pop-up. That's super cool when you have advanced your drawing somewhat... all you need to do is select a brush and then keep painting without changing views too often, because you don't need to move to the app's 'colors view' to pick a new color. Just touch the screen and hold. Once the color selection tool pops-up you slide your finger to an area of your desired color and when the latter shows on the selection ring you let go. In so doing, you actually locked-in the new color, like dipping a real brush into the color pasta on a palette. You then go on painting without an interruption... That's how I made this last one shown here (vases on a table). Took me as much time as the 'Eva's apple' but it's way more sophisticated, I reckon. Anyways, I'm not a pro painter at all, just a semi-retired technology corporate officer, nowadays wasting time blogging and playing around with iPhone apps and gadgets. So, take my geeky advice with a grain of salt...

Gee, this update probably qualifies as the 11th commandment!

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