About once every few years, I remember that I don’t completely suck at drawing. I forget that I get angry at myself for drawings that don’t look like what they’re meant to look like. I ignore the fact that good artists actually practice, train and stuff like that.
The iPad and the incredible Procreate app, and subsequently iPad Pro and Apple Pencil have significantly improved my capability to undo my mistakes and produce pieces that don’t infuriate me too much.
A diagram for a friend’s PhD thesis (2012)
Database entity-relationship diagrams can be dull, so I offered to improve a simple informal sketch for a friend doing a PhD thesis in aerospace emission analysis following the volcano eruption in Iceland — a volcano with an unpronounceable name I shunned in favour of “Magma Magmasson”. I don’t think she ended up using my version of the diagram. I’m not sure why.
The Critical Kermonculus (2015)
A caricature of Dr. Mark Kermode, Cinema Critic and Broadcaster, co-host (well, “contributor”) to the film review show on BBC Radio 5 Live. He has gigantic flappy hands.
This was my first use of my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, and serious use of Procreate. It’s a bloody good piece of software to use, and so much more natural than the plain stylus I’d done the previous image with.
Oh, and Hello to Jason Isaacs.
Peter from Germany (2015)
The other co-host of the BBC Radio 5 Live film review show, Simon Mayo, would describe his childhood fantasies and obsessions: carrying a handbag, wearing a blue jumper, using a German accent and calling himself Peter, and pretending he was a fish when he had a bath.
Mister President (2016)
A week after Trump’s win, it sunk in. There’s nothing nice I can say about that “man”. I couldn’t capture his fat smug petulant visage, but I had a go. While it’s not my best work, I did manage to cram a look of vinegary hate into it. I knew he’d start acting like he’s king (hence the crown), and he’d never get sick of that obnoxious thing he does with his hand. Clearly I was mistaken about him turning the White House into a golf course; instead, he’d just turn his golf course into the White House.
An odd editorial cartoon (2011)
…and Draw Something (2012)
Like many others, I was gripped by Draw Something fever for a short time in 2012, before everyone forgot about it forever. A similar phenomenon happened with Bejeweled Blitz in Facebook, which ended with me writing an AI to play it at ultra-high-speed. After an evening’s work, the first try scored several million points.
Anyway, Draw Something had the appeal of a limited palette, no tools to speak of, no editing, a limited number of brush strokes, and the patience of whoever I was sending to. Not only that, I was using just my finger and an iPhone 4 and/or the equally-underpowered iPad 1. These limitations made the fast sketch creativity fun. I’m glad I took some screenshots along the way.
Right. That’s about the sum total of all my drawing over the past decade.