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.

An amazing thing is happening on the internet. Hundreds of people all over the world are drawing every day  and posting their images on smart phones and tablets using an app called Draw Something. Not only are they drawing, they are making beautiful and interesting drawings.

The most amazing thing about it is that it is a game in which you are required to draw a word for another player. It is like charades using drawings.   The object is for that player to guess the word.  However, people who like to draw have been using the game more as a drawing app than as a game app. Instead of worrying about guessing the word, people are working hard at drawing a very good picture of that word. I am not talking about the many players who draw stick figures and doodles. I am talking about artists, like myself, taking this opportunity seriously. It is a motivational driver for creating art. The game provides the tools in the form of color palettes and a few different line sizes. In addition, there is a limit on the amount of “ink” you are allowed to use in a drawing. This is really a file sever limitation because many artists, myself included, run out of ink way before the drawing is finished. When you have played the game for a while you learn how to manage your ink supply. The game serves as a learning tool for finding out how other artists work. The partner player needs to watch the drawing as it is being made in order to guess what is being drawn. Even if you know what it is beforehand, most artists playing watch the creation of the entire drawing before guessing the word.

 

imageFor an artist to be able to watch another person think and draw an image is an incomparable resource to their own creativity. Many of the artist players use these drawings as preliminary sketches for more complete drawings that may be drawn by hand using traditional methods, or they may expand their drawing experience into more complex digital drawing using various drawing apps that are also available for smart phones and tablets.