On my retirement from parish ministry the move from a vicarage to a smaller house meant that space was limited for storing all the art materials and canvases. I have always been interested in working with various media and took the opportunity to acquire an iPad when the parish presented me with a cheque. I have had the iPad for about six months and have been experimenting with various drawing and painting apps.
My initial inspiration came from David Hockney and his book 'Drawing in a printing machine'. My interest grew more and more when I saw the iPad drawings in the book of his exhibition 'A bigger picture'. There are lots of artists now producing work on the iPad and I have found it a very good tool to work with.
I began experimenting with drawing directly on to the iPad and to help me to do this I bought a rubber tipped stylus. The finger works very well after all the iPad was designed to work with the finger however the stylus gives me little more accuracy. My initial concern was that I didn't have a desk top computer to transfer my work so that it could be printed. By by doing some research I discovered that a desk top is not necessary, everything can be done from the iPad wirelessly.
I invested in a good colour printer which also scans and copies and have been able to print my drawings this way. The scanner facility on the printer also enabled me to scan all my A4 fine line pen drawings onto the iPad and with the camera I can photograph my larger pen drawings. The apps that I use for my drawings have a copy function so that I can transfer my scanned drawings from the photograph storage facility in the iPad.
It is early days yet but with time and patience and a great deal of practice some worthwhile work can be produced.
Summer in the Country by Stephen Williams
The beauty about working with the iPad is that it can be taken anywhere. I can also work without having to have a larger space in which to paint. My wife had a stroke two years ago and that together with a busy parish meant that I had no time for painting. The iPad has changed all that and I can now produce my art work while keeping my wife company. It has given me a freedom and a new medium with which to work and in some ways in greater detail than before. It is possible to use individual pixels to pick our highly detailed features in the drawings.
Gothic Towers by Stephen Williams
One concern was the printing clarity of the finished art work. Would the definition be clear? Would the pixels dominate the finished print? I need not have been worried, the A 4 prints are very sharp and distinct even printed on standard printing paper. The definition and colour is even better with glossy photo paper and I am about to try printing on high quality art paper. The definition is so good that I have produced a collage print as I call it.
I have a publisher app on the iPad which enables me to transfer my drawings, not only that but I can enlarge each drawing section by section. By doing this I have been able to produce A4 prints of enlarged sections of the drawings to produce large scale separate prints which have then been put together to produce large scale prints from an iPad drawing which measures no more than 4 inches by 6 inches on the iPad itself. The larges multiple print of A4 sheets so far is 46 inches by 35 inches made up of 24 individual A4 sheets of paper.
As I said it is early days yet and there are many artists working in this medium, but for people with limited space and time the iPad is a tool well worth considering.
Aspects of Britain by Stephen Williams