These days all of my drawing is done on Sketch Club. Draw Something is over and most of the people I had become friendly with moved on to other drawing apps. I tried a few drawing apps and after drawing on Art Studio, Paint Studio, and Procreate, I decided to use Sketch Club because it seems to be the easiest one for me to use. Sketch Club has a very large, active group of people who draw a lot and post their work daily. Sometimes several times a day. There also is a very active social aspects to the app. People comment on drawings and there are competitions and groups that set challenges, so anyone who uses Sketch Club can become involved in the social activity and in the drawing.

At first I found the social aspect daunting. If people like your work they say something nice. If they like it a lot they can give you a heart. Then you, the recipient of the heart ought to leave them a message thanking them for the gift of a heart. In order to get hearts to give to people you need to win challenges, enter competitions, like and comment on drawings, and other ways within the app that I may not be aware of. I discovered that it is possible to buy hearts from Sketch Club from their web site. The purchase is made through Amazon.com and for me, this has been the easiest way for me to reciprocate hearts and give hearts to drawings I like.

Sketch Club is actually an enormous art fair. In it one can find fantastic well drawn super realistic digital drawings, amateur drawings, professional drawings, cartoons, childrens art, and tons and tons of copies of other peoples art lifted from internet sites such as Pinterest. The issue of people copying art has concerned me because not only does it go into the area of copyright infringement, it is stealing or plagiarism. Many of the artists on Sketch Club do not know the difference between using a reference and simply copying or reproducing someone’s art and then referring to the image copied as a reference.

I plan to write about this and other features of Sketch Club in my next post.

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On March 5th, 2013 I wrote with a great deal of enthusiasm, about a new drawing app called Draw Something, by Zynga, that provided an easy to learn digital drawing platform. This game was my introduction to digital art. It became the primary drawing application for thousands of new digital artists and generated a number of Facebook gallery pages devoted to art created by active Draw Something participants. I also joined the club and participated in the games, the drawings, the contests, and the socialbility. I wrote about the art and the games. We called ourselves Draw Something Fanatics, or Draw Something Addicts, or some other accolade referring this new digital art experience. A game called Monkeysidebars that I have written about was invented. A social network of new art friends communicated with each other and liked and supported the drawings people created.

Two years later, after hundereds and hundreds of drawings made by enthusiastic fans, the game is about to be over. Zynga announced the ending to be on April 1. At first members thought this must be an April Fools’ joke and the facebook social comments of digital artists and those on Instagram expressed disbelief. Next there came a demand and an internet effort to force Zinga to reconsider. Plans were made to plead for the game, or find another company that might buy it from Zynga. Save Art with Friends is the sad battlecry of the many people who feel cheated by this loss of a much loved game/drawing app.

Draw Something stimulated a lot of people, artists and and others who never had drawn, to learn new skills, hone their craft, and make art that was seen and appreciated by a large audience of others like themselves. I believe this is an unprecidented expansion of artistic expression that became available to anybody who was interested in trying and developing the skill of drawing something.

Now that so many people like to draw digitally on their tablets or phones, everyone in the social networks is looking for another easy drawing app. Art with Friends is powerful, as well as easy, and has many drawing tools that are incredibly easy to use and access. I don’t believe that any of the other drawing apps I’ve tried are as easy and satisfying to use as Art with Friends. That is one of the reasons so many people are so dissapointed and upset about the end.

The question is, which drawing app. will people go to in order to continue to learn skills required to become better digital artists? Will there be another comunity of artists who will be supportive and who do interesting drawings? I think I have found the right drawing app for me, and that is Sketch Club. Next time I’ll write about my impressions and experience with that application.

My mother, who died at age 101 often said in her last few years “everything is past…” and I would tell her that there were events and experiences that were yet to happen. I think of that sentiment now whenever I experience anything new in my life. It reminds me to savor each experience as it happens.

I spent the month of July on a vacation to Vancouver, Alaska and Seattle. The Alaskan part was a two week cruise that included several interesting side trips as well as much beautiful scenery that inspired me and became source material for my art. I took photographs with my IPhone but not as many as I wish I had taken. Now I look back and realize that my memory is the only visual evidence I have of the Alaskan experience. The consequence is that I know my drawing will represent a personal evocation of my Alaskan Experience.

Just one iceberg floating by

Just one iceberg floating by

Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau Alaska

Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau Alaska

I See but Know Nothing

This digital drawing is in response to the Monkey Sidebars word Surreal. I had no preconceived idea of what I was going to draw but in the spirit of surrealist imagary, I started with an abstract composition and then let my mind respond to the colors and shapes I was creating. It is a drawing I would like to make into a larger painting. The drawing was created in the game of DrawSomething2 without any additional work done in any other application.  When DrawSomething2 works, it is a very good drawing app.

I am now firmly committed to drawing digitally. The drawing game of Draw Something has taught me a lot about digital drawing.  I have learned how to manipulate digital drawing tools and I have met  artists from all over the world.  However, recently there have been numerous problems with the game of Draw Something2.  Lost drawings, server crrashes,  and other issues have resulted in my becoming interested in trying out other digital drawing programs.  The app called Sketch Club is the most popular and has been recommended to me by several of my Draw Something drawing partners and Facebook friends.  It has many marvelous features and fantastic drawing tools, although the learning curve is proving to be rather slow for me. Nevertheless, the best thing about this app is that there are so many tutorials available on You Tube and within the app itself.  It also is a social app in that there is a chat feature and there are many opportunities to interact with other people who are also drawing. I have been using it a lot for my Monkey Sidebars drawings.

Digital drawing has made me into a miniaturist.  Previously I had been painting  very larger canvass or drawing and printing on  paper  that is 22 x 30″.  My digital drawings are on a standard IPad, 9.4″ x 6.6″ and the size of each drawing is very small.  These drawings can be reproduced in a larger size, but the fact that the drawings are so small changes the relationship of the image space in a very fundamental way.  Not only size, but the time it takes to draw an image is radically changed.  I may spend several hours on a drawing, but with an actual large drawing, it may take me days or even weeks to complete the work.  All this means a complete change in the way I think about constructing a drawing.  A digital drawing can be changed constantly.  Ideas can be expressed and tossed quickly.  A drawing on paper means that the gestures and marks are more permanent and therefore, more thought needs to be put into each line and stroke and color.  Digital drawings can be tried out in different color schemes, particularly when an app has many layers to work on.  An actual drawing is one layer.

Digital drawing is much more spontaneous than drawing on paper.  There are endless possibilities for experimentation in terms of colors, textures and shapes. This spontaneity makes it a particularly exciting format for abstract art.

Science Fiction

Monkey Sidebars word was Science Fiction

I have previously mentioned how the game of Monkeysidebars has stimulated my imagination by providing words to draw that may be unusual, provocative, or out of the odinary.

Waiting for Godot

Monkey Sidebars word was Absurd

I drew an imagined otherworldly landscape in reponse to the words Science Fiction.  The word Absurd made me think of Samuel Beckett’s classic play “Waiting for Godot” now playing on Broadway.  I’ve seen the play several times and each time I came away from the drama with many questions and numerous ideas about the meaning of life and art. This isn’t abstract and I used a Google  reference I had seen some time ago referring to the play. But in this case I wanted to express the isolated loneliness engendered by the dialogue in the play. It is a fairly literal depiction.  Sunday’s word is quagmire.  I don’t have that drawing yet.

Image

Abstract Sketch Club Drawing

Monkeysidebars words, selected by members, are announced in time for  Wednesday and Sunday posting.  My problem is that although  the words may have a particular and useful definition, the visual interpretation can be difficult for me.  My intent is to transform visual terms into an abstract image that will suggest the meaning of a word.  This image is my interpretation of the word “Ebullition.” By drawing a sense of explosive force I think I did do that. But it is up to the viewer to decide whether or not I achieved that goal. Today the word is “Herald” and it can mean an announcement or a standard bearer at an event.  Or portents of things to come or about to happen.  For example Daffodils are a herald of Spring.