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Towel Day!

May 25th is International Towel Day. If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” series you’ll know exactly how important it is to know where you towel is at! Check out http://towelday.org/ to see what events are taking place closest to you.

I drew Bleeker and his towel on my iPad using the ArtStudio app. I really like this app so far. For drawing comics it gives you a good ink-like line and has a pretty simple interface. Also you can quickly draw comic panels or word balloons. It would be helpful if it had rulers to know how big to make the panels but overall it’s been fun.

http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/artstudio-for-ipad-draw-paint/id364017607?mt=8

iPad Drawing #1

I got my new iPad 2 recently and immediately started looking around for a good drawing app. I picked up a stylus by Hard Candy (looking forward to trying the new Wacom stylus at some point) and started browsing through the App Store. There are tons of video reviews out there but unfortunately it really is a trial and error approach to find something that feels right.

To date, I have now downloaded 5 different drawing apps. Some have a more painterly approach as opposed to drawing or inking (I’ve never been good at painting…my painting professor at art school offered me “any mark you want…just promise me you won’t take painting anymore”…sounded like a great deal to me) Also, I think it takes a bit to adapt to this new device. You can’t rest your hand like drawing on paper and there is a slight delay in your line showing up on the screen. (plus the stylus tips are always big and bulky) Another thing I’ve found is the auto-smoothing of the line varies from app to app. Some smooth too much so every sharp¬† corner turns into a curve (Bleeker’s ears go from being rectangular to ovals) while other programs don’t smooth enough and the line looks jagged. I’ve looked for adjustments to this but haven’t been able to find anything as of yet.

The drawing above is done with Sketchbook Pro. It reminded me a lot of doing charcoal sketches back in drawing class. It was fun to play with but I realize there is going to be a bit of a learning curve with the iPad. I think for most cartoonists, drawing their characters, it is almost like signing their signature…very fluid and automatic. So far, I think the iPad forces you to alter your technique a bit which, for me, throws off the flow. However, that being said, it is really fun and these programs are amazing considering the most expensive one was $7.99 (what does Photoshop or Manga Studio Pro cost? …I know they do a ton more but still…) I think the ability to draw up a quick little comic on the go or import a finished drawing into a comic is what makes the iPad so exciting. Part of the great thing about using a new medium is it forces you to think of new ways to get those ideas down. I’m sure a year from now my “paper and ink” comics will have a different look and feel to my iPad comics.

I’ll keep posting drawings as I get better at them and I find the right tools to work with. These are the apps I’ve downloaded so far (any new recommendations or favorites, let me know)

iDraw, Adobe Ideas, Sketchbook Pro, Brushes, Art Studio

Team Cul de Sac

There’s a great project underway, spearheaded by Richard Thompson and Chris Sparks, called Team Cul de Sac. It’s a comics fund-raiser to support Parkinson’s disease research. If you’re a cartoonist, check out the links and get involved…or if you just want to support a great cause, go to…

http://www.teamfox.org/siteapps/teampage/ShowPage.aspx?c=bkIUJbNQKoLaG&b=6376363&teamid=4033853

For a really great article on Richard go to…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/comic-riffs/post/the-comic-riffspost-magazine-profile-cul-de-sac-creator-richard-thompson-faces-lifes-cruel-twists-with-artful-wit/2011/05/18/AFiNaT7G_blog.html#pagebreak

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