Pearl Finds Herself in The Brushes App


Today, I am making a brief foray into “how-to” blogging.

I am a great devotee of the “Brushes” app for the iPhone and iPad. The “Brushes” app is a painting program; because it is devised for the iPad and iPhone it is actually a finger-painting program.

You might think that painting with one’s finger is clumsy–and certainly, it is much easier for many (including myself) to draw with a stylus. But the Brushes program is designed with an array of possibilities allowing for a great deal of fascination, if not always finesse.(If you get really good with it, like artist David Hockney) subtlety and finesse are possible too.)

The tricks are (i) stroke styles; and (ii) layers. The program allows for a large array of specific brush stroke styles that can be varied by spacing and size. This allows for automatic flowers or splotches, very fine or thick lines, various levels of translucence, lines of little blocks or circles or grasses or even fur. These same strokes can be applied to the eraser, allowing for lots of options there as well.

The true magic comes with layering though, and this takes some learning. Up to six layers are allowed in the iPad app. These can simply be used to allow for layers of detail, background, foreground. (The backdrop of solid green, for example, or the grass that goes behind the dogs.)

Layers can also be used in more elaborate ways. A photograph can be layered in to your painting, as a template. You can outline the photograph on a different layer, and then trash the photograph itself. Similarly, the iPad Brushes App (as opposed to the iPhone app) allows for the copying and transposition of layers. A layer showing one little dog can be imposed and rotated on top of another little dog, for example, or a bunch of little dogs. (I used this for my tangoing elephants a week or so back.)

Here your eraser feature can be your friend. My initial dog, above, was drawn in a few different layers, to allow the features–eyes, nose–to be on top of the fur. In order to repeat the dog without using more than six layers, I converted it to a finished image (like a photo), which I then transposed onto a duplicate painting. A photo is not a transparent layer, so I had to erase all the grass and background on the second dog to allow it to fit into the first painting without blocking it. This can be a little laborious, but the technology somehow makes it feel more interesting than drawing a whole new dog or bunch of dogs.

(Apologies, this post was first uploaded in blank.)



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2 Comments on “Pearl Finds Herself in The Brushes App”

  1. divine art.

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