This drawing was made during an exhibition in London, this time it is from observation and again I did limit my use of the iPad to line only, I have done this because line is my preferred drawing method and I can hopefully approach the drawing in a similar vein to my normal working method, and therefore make more astute observations about my process as I watch the video back.
I noticed I start with the head, nothing especially exciting about that, most people do, but it is clear that I placed the head in the middle of the page and continue to follow the arch of his back finally coming to the phone in his hand before I have established whether the whole body will fit on the page – It doesn’t. Fortunately it is of no real consequence as the focus of the drawing is on the relationship between the face and phone. I notice that I am tentative with the lines building up the tone very gradually and that I do something that I wouldn’t do normally and that is to go in to the detail of the logo on the shirt, as I can zoom right in to the drawing it is easy to get in to detail – is this positive I ask myself.
Before I finish the drawing I redo the face, entirely rubbing it out and starting again at a different angle, this is the only element I change on the whole drawing, the element I drew first. As I watch this I think to myself wow that was risky, but that never occurred to me while drawing it.
This was the second drawing I made and was the first time I had used the iPad full capabilities; I drew on location, an old ruined church in a remote part of Devon. After speaking to Rob I decided to try and limit my palette and to use layers to see how appropriate it may be to expect the students to do this also. It started well and the drawing progressed to what amounted to a rough sketch, I enjoyed the more ‘drawing’ like approach to the line and I moved around the church to start another drawing (the one visible here) and dropped the opacity on the first layer and started drawing on the second. This does work and is of no real inconvenience than starting a new drawing, and then it started raining. I hadn’t considered the rain as a problem but I was actually unsure if the iPad could handle rain. I went to a café and looked at the drawings playing them back to see what I was doing, but the more I looked at them the more I realized ‘I don’t actually care about these drawing’. This is worrying; I fear the students may have a similar response. I got out a real sketchbook and pencil and drew all afternoon.
Today I’ve been testing the iPads to see how easy it is to get them setup correctly for our investigation. Our first consideration is the number of devices we need to use. We are aiming for around 9-12 ipads as the student groups are of 18 and so we are planning to let half the group use a device on alternative weeks. We also want a couple for backup.
To get started I popped into town this morning and bought 2 gift cards. Having done a little research it appears the maximum number of devices we can have linked to one itunes account is 10 so we need two accounts hence two separate cards. By going down this route we don’t have to register any credit cards to the accounts which could potentially lead to all sorts of problems. This is indeed a bigger issue within education as managing a number of these devices isn’t particularly easy.
Once this was sorted I then logged into iTunes and redeemed a card for each account. 2 copies of Brushes were purchased at a cost of £4.79 each – one for each account. We then looked at setting up the iPads. It’s at this point I should really acknowledge the help Mark Lyndon of the University Technology Enhanced Learning team. He manages their iPads along with other members of their team and has helped us with many discussions and ideas as well as on this occasion helping me speed up the task of setting up a large number of devices.
I have to setup the following on each iPad
- wi-fi (using a university email account, also linked to an itunes account)
- sign into itunes
- download a copy of brushes (already purchased)
- setup email account (using our second email account – on gmail) This is needed to send the brushes files off each device
So far it all seemed to work nicely which is good. I may look to see if we are able to create or save an iPad as a image which we could restore iPads too quickly and easily in future.
I’ll post more soon about how we plan to run the session and how I plan to manage the tech side of things.
It’s been a busy few months for Dean and myself. We’ve been ordering the relevant equipment for the project, planning the sessions, working on the questionnaires etc. I’m pleased to report we’ve received our ethical approval which is a big step forward. We were contemplating a session in December to allow the students to have a play with the ipads and brushes software but decided to postpone this until January when the students have their module briefing day.
The the project has been moving along nicely. Dean and I have been planning the sessions we will be running. We have discussed the structure, tasks and questions and things are starting to come together nicely. I’ll try and provide an update on this next week.
Today I have been working on the purchasing of the equipment, software and some stylus devices too.
I have also finalised the process for creating and sharing the illustrations created on iPad. Once the students receive the links they are able to embed them into personal websites or blogs. It is worth noting that we will be keeping the content as unlisted within youtube and flickr if possible.
I am eager to see if this concept works for me – to make drawings on the iPad and using the play back setting, critically reflect on my own drawing. Perhaps too eagerly I made this first drawing, with no reference (golden rule number one broken) and with little or no exploration or experimentation of the mark-making available to me (golden rule number two broken)
The first thing I noticed was the need to make an ‘ipad drawing’ which is quite like me; to fit in to the tool as apposed to using the tool to explore my own creative voice. But this is worth flagging up as it could be a big hindrance on the students, technology is powerful and digital drawings tend to look like digital drawings.
This said it is evident that regular patterns of behaviour, that permeate my normal (pen on paper) working methods are happening – having to ‘spoil’ the page first before I can work on it, going to ‘line’ too quickly, needing to see the picture pull together faster than it should and finishing to early (or giving up as I should be referring to it if I am being critical). and these are the things I need to concentrate on wether I make an iPad drawing or a Dean Owens drawing.
What do I do next? make another drawing but this time on my terms – make a line drawing and finish it, I am too quick to decide if the fight is worth fighting for, if the drawing looks like its not working, I drop it, start another if that one looks promising I usually drop it because I am scared of making a mess of it. Maybe the next one I need to be a bit more positive about.
Earlier this month we had the anual Vice Chancellors Teaching and Learning Conference. Dean and I were there to collect our award amongst other things.
It was a really positive conference this year with lots of good work being showcased and more on the horizon.
Our initial ideas are based around using the Brushes app. In addition to their core app they have a piece of software called Brushes Viewer which allows you to copy off the videos from the iPad and export them in as a high resolution video or image. In order to do this the iPad connects using the wireless network and appears to use a web server. You are provided with an IP address which you can then type into the web browser on the mac in order to access the brushes artwork (see screenshot taken from iPhone version of Brushes).
I thought it would be sensible to do some initial testing to see if this works on our University of Plymouth wireless. The university uses eduroam which is a world wide wireless service for education.
The results were promising. I was able to connect the iPhone (haven’t got brushes for iPad yet) to the wireless eduroam and share my brushes account. However when it came to accessing the IP address I found an odd quirk, it worked on networked machines (on cable) but not ones running on wireless. Not quite sure why this would make a different, networking isn’t my area but will investigate it further. However it was a good start.
Dean and I met up on Friday to talk more about the project, plan some meetings and so I could have a little look at around the Illustration degree students work – the final years were exhibiting.
Dean incorporates some great ideas into his teaching on the module we will be looking to incorporate the iPads on. The idea is not to focus on the technology, more what it can facilitate.
We intend to look at reflection in particular and are interested to see if the iPad combined with Brushes software can help the students reflect on their creation process more easily. We are also interested to find out whether the software and process of creating works on the iPad can be used to encourage them to try techniques outside of their comfort zone.
Finally we are interested in finding out if the iPad changes their perceptions towards technologies in the arts, both as a medium for creation and as a tool for other work related tasks.
Welcome to our project site. Dean and I were pleased to find out this week that we have been funded to so research work with Illustration students. We’ll be posting news of our progress, outputs and any other information about the project on this site.