painting with pixels …

I’ve rarely painted domestic interior subjects, but i enjoyed this… the warm glow of the lamp, the loose treatment of the jug and flowers. I may try it with actual paints sometime… 

I created these using the iPad app ArtRage. I find ArtRage a really good painting/sketching programme (cheap for iPads but costing more for the comprehensive desktop version). It’s the best painting app I’ve come across so far, with lots of control and choice over materials, tools, colours etc., even the size and type of grain for the work surface. I sometimes use the Sensu brush I recently treated myself to, which adds a new dimension to the experience, but is not necessary, a good stylus will do. 

It took me some time to get used to this painting app – my early efforts were more like schoolkid graffiti until I had chance for some intensive practice back in September while passing time invigilating at my own exhibition in King’s Lynn. (An earlier post shows results from that practice if you’re interested).


Reading lamp. iPad sketch. Mari French 2014

To get the effects here I was using a largish flat brush with the with the autoclean option on and instadry option off. I like to play around with various combinations of options and when I get one I like I save it as a preset, so I can use it again. I’m just amazed how pixels can be made to react like wet paint, blending, smudging – love it!

A consideration occurs to me, however, as to how the digital painting will effect my usual ‘physical’ painting/sketching practice. It may (hopefully) free up my brush technique and use of colour for instance… 


will I find myself reaching for the ‘undo’ option which is so useful on the digital app (as is the layers facility, where various layers can be added to the work in progress and turned on and off at will to view the results). I remember with some amusement, when I worked quite intensively on an Apple Mac as a graphic designer some years ago; I would often find myself, when at home, rearranging furniture or perhaps pictures on a wall and then be mentally grasping for an ‘undo’ for the easy way to set it back as it was!  

hydrangeas. iPad sketch. Mari French 2014.
hydrangeas. iPad sketch. Mari French 2014.

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