iPad Art

For the record let me declare, with all enthusiasm, that I have become a true devotee of the portable art studio that is called the “iPad.”

Since my husband and kids gifted me with this tool, I have been constantly exploring the endless possibilities of how it can replace drawing on paper, taking/altering pics, as well as satisfy any painting desires. I am even extremely satisified with performing likhita japa on it.

Most of the digital drawings in this blog, were performed in a very simple (yet powerful) drawing app called “ASKetch.” I  prefer drawing in black and white … I’m not one to get seduced by color choices or little “tricks and frills.” As our drawing teacher back in art school used to say, “you get what you draw.” Also, I feel this app is like working with a sketchbook and charcoal — the only difference is that its much cleaner! I use a Griffin stylus with my drawings (and writing) … it just feels more natural to me.

There are many excellent apps out there, some for the hobbyist and some for the serious artist. And I do admit that I own quite a few, but these are the ones I always end up using:

ASKetch by Andrew Kern
Sketchbook Pro by Autodesk, Inc.
Grungetastic HD by JixiPix Software
Pic Grunger by Stephen Spring
InfiniFX by Janos Barkai
FX PhotoStudioHD by MacPhun LLC
ArtRage by Ambient Design Ltd
Iris Photo Suite by Pranav Kapoor
PhotoCopier by Digital Film Tools
FilterStorm by Tai Shimizu

Click here to view some very interesting (and diverse) work by iPhone/iPad artists from all over the world. (Allow yourself a chunk of time, because you will definitely want to go through all the galleries)

Steps I take for creating
digital likhita japa art.

1. I decide on my likhita japa.

2. If I am not using a treated photograph, I will draw an image in ASKetch, paying close attention to form, composition, light and shading.

3. When I am content with the drawing, I then enter the processing phase. For me, this is where the surprises really start to happen! I spend countless hours trying different composite filters, color mixing channels, and “weathering” effects. I save all the interesting ones in the Photo Library … putting aside the good ones and discarding those that didn’t quite make it to the finals.

4. After this creative process is over, I review all of them and choose the one I want to use.

5. I import the image into Sketchbook for my next phase. When I use Sketchbook I always work in layers. I never, never alter the image directly. This is the stage where I add textures, colors and patterns onto the image — one layer at a time. When I feel that an addition is just right, then I merge the layer onto the image and keep working in this fashion until I receive that “Okay, you’re done — no more!” message.

6. When I feel the image is complete, then I begin my likhita japa (which is always done in the Sketchbook app). Now I settle in and make some decisions  … i.e., What mantra am I writing? What language will I use? What will be the color of the likhita japa? What pen/pencil feature will I use? …  and so on.

7. After all decisions have been made, I then create two more layers. At this point I have three layers in total – one is for the finished image, one is for the likhita japa, and one is for a grid template. (I prefer using a template behind my writing, because this helps me keep track of where I am when I write . In order to write small you must enlarge your screen to at least 400%, and then “scroll as you go.” This may seem a little awkward at first, but once you do it a few times it becomes a breeze and starts to feels quite natural.) Also, I hide the image while I write … don’t want to get distracted.

8. When the likhita japa is complete, I turn the image back on and see how the two elements work together. Here is where t I take the eraser tool (in the very lightest mode) and begin blending the likhita japa into the image (still working in layers.)

9. When the inner voice instructs me to stop, I merge the likhita japa layer into the image — making one complete picture. Now I’m done — no more alterations!

Drawing in ASKetch

Processed in ArtistaHaiku

Likhita Japa written in Sketchbook (drawing is in “Hide” mode) There are
two layers shown here: one for writing and the other for a grid paper template.

Image is turned back on so I can see the two elements together.
The grid template is turned off (or deleted.)

I blended and erased at this stage. I knew I was going to perform the finishing
touches in Pic Grunger, so I needed to to erase the writing on Ganesha’s body.

The final manipulation was done in Pic Grunger. I created, saved
and reimported at least 4 or 5 times — until I got the desired effect.