I can’t begin to express how excited I am at the direction and level that my efforts in visual art have begun to take. When I bought Brushes for my iPod Touch, I was excited about being able to draw and paint on a pocket device, but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be able to accomplish the level of rendering that my last two paintings have demonstrated. It feels like an incredible accomplishment for me.
It’s not just that I’ve accomplished results that I’m very happy with on my pocket device, although it constantly amazes me to live in a time when that’s possible. More than that, I’ve never, ever accomplished paintings or drawings of this caliber, not on my notebook computer, not in a sketchbook, not on canvas, nowhere, never. I’ve been decent with line work and cell shading for a while now, but this is a few steps beyond that, to a place that I never even thought about reaching.
So here’s the point of this semi-narcissistic rant. Brushes on the iPod Touch has been far more than a novelty for me. The nature of the platform has reduced what used to be terrifying, insurmountable leaps of artistic accomplishment, down to something more like a fun little game. Anytime, anywhere, whether sitting in my office, laying on my couch or bed, riding in the passenger seat of my car, sitting at a party being unsocial, waiting at the doctor’s office, etc., I can pull this little device out of my pocket and start with a doodle. If I like the doodle, I can play with it for a while and make it look better. If I still feel so inclined, I can play around with some colors and shading. Each step, each stroke, is like working out a little puzzle. How can I paint fog? How do I make this look like glass? At any point I can put the device back in my pocket very quickly, and come back to it later just as quickly and easily. I have the option to continue with a previous drawing, or start a new one, any decision I make is fine, and has no consequences whatsoever. The painting in this post took 2 weeks, but that was 2 weeks of playing around every now and then when I wanted to relax, when I felt like playing a game. No, literally, sometimes I would play Fieldrunners, and sometimes I would play Brushes, both were really fun games. Then one day, I was done. I won Brushes. I beat the game, and instead of a high score, my reward was this amazing little painting that I could show to my friends.
I even got to listen to all my favorite music along the way. :)
If this is where the benefits ended, I would be in heaven. But there’s more. During this time of fun and games, I was actually learning new painting techniques and understanding the painting process from A-Z much better. I’m becoming more and more confident that I can accomplish paintings this good or better using my notebook computer and Cintiq, on a high resolution canvas.
For me, Brushes is serious. It’s been a surprise catalyst that has helped me get past more than a few psychological blocks in my growth as an artist. You convince yourself day after day that if you’re going to get anywhere with anything, it’s going to take blood, sweat, and tears. Then something like Brushes comes along and takes away the pain. Magic.