My experience drawing on the iPad

Not too long ago, I got an iPad as a birthday present.

It was something that I’ve wanted for a long time as I thought that it would be a useful accompaniment for drawing my comics, plus, iPads were the only type of tablets which supports Affinity Designer, that I have on my windows laptop, which I’ve been using all the while for my rinaz cartoons. So hypothetically, I could work on my laptop and then continue working on it, on the iPad if I wanted to. 

It’s funny because it weren’t for this software, I probably would have gotten an android tablet instead. HOWEVER! Despite so many claims on how easy it was to use, there was a steep learning curve for me and after 4 months, there are still things that annoys me greatly about iPadOS… but that’s probably material for another post.

Nevertheless, I was quite excited to play with my first tablet and here was one of my first artwork with the apple pencil!

Cute but needs a bit work … hahaha.

So what I did was to I watch a number of tutorials on YouTube. At first for Affinity Designer naturally, but eventually saw plentiful of videos recommended for me on Procreate. It looked fun, and it costs about 10 euro, and finally I caved in to all the hype.

At first, I didn’t quite get it. Because I normally worked with vectors. I had to take a short course to understand better. This lesson by Brad Colbow is really good, but if you want to sign up, you should wait for their sale which they tend to have on a regular basis.

But it was only when Inktober was live, was when it got me really started on my groove. Inktober, by the way, is an event held in October where artists (there is also one for writers too) have a theme to draw with a different theme each day.

It was something that intrigued me for a long time and I decided to participate for the fun of it using procreate. 

First it looked like this :

Day one : Ring

Day 2 : Mindless

Theme : Mindless

Which weren’t bad …

But it was the next theme – “Dizzy” … which inspired me. I thought about what made me dizzy and remember a happy memory I had as a young girl, and living at my old house in Singapore.

It was then that I got inspired by that to do a continuing theme using my childhood…

Day 26 : Dark

I had such happy memories during the mid autumn festival, playing with my paper lantern with my good friend Micheal and his sister.

Day 29 : Injured

My mom was a seamstress so I had access to a lot of threads and needles which I practiced using on my teddy bears whose paws tend to get loose. I pretended to be a doctor and they would have their surgeries to help them feel better.

Day 30 : Catch

This was supposed to be a scene of my best friend E1 and I in the swimming pool when I pushed him in the pool without realizing that there was someone in the pool! And he hit him! Oops! Sorry! I was a very mischievous kid and I am surprised that E1 didn’t scream at me then.

I tried drawing a pool but it looked horrible, so in the end settled for this simple picture of us playing catch instead at the shophouse near the school.

Not sure if you noticed, but kid me is wearing a yellow dress, my favourite thing to wear then. I don’t know if can ever find a real picture of me since practically all of my pictures are at my parents’s house in Singapore, but hopefully I’ll try to remember to take a look the next time I visit.

Sadly, I didn’t managed to do complete each day because of real life commitments but Inktober was so much fun and extremely inspiring to me and I try to continue to draw when I can.

Autumns are one of my favourite season. I love how the leaves of the trees changes colour to a beautiful red, orange and yellow. Even after so many years living here, I never get tired of seeing this magnificent, spectacular view.

This piece is something that I am very proud of. A cartoon version inspired by a photo taken by the extremely talented Inge Morath where she snapped a photo of a llama in a car in New York. It intrigued me … what on earth was a llama doing in a car?!

(Sidenote, there is an exhibit on Inge Morath at the Trastevere Museum right now. It’s a MUST go. I really recommend it. I enjoyed it a lot

And in case you were interested to play with procreate here are some links you might like :

P.s Just blogged this completely on the iPad. Yeah I prefer my laptop. 

My experience drawing on the iPad

Adventures with Synfig

As you’ve noticed, I haven’t been creating my cartoon strips for a long time. That’s because I’ve been having issues with the software which I used for drawing ever since I’ve reformatted my laptop after getting hit by a malware time ago.

It took a while to find a suitable software to replace that but for now, I’ve been settling on Inkscape – an open source vector graphic. The drawing tools are notably different compared to Adobe Flash – especially the part where you could easily subtract shapes and pull out curves directly from the native shapes. So my first drawing, looked quite rudimentary. Inkscape

(Oh yucks!)

But I think I’m starting to get used to it, and try to improve and am looking forward to publish my cartoon strips again. It’s a huge pity though that I have to start from scratch all over – the characters, the background, the props and over 4 years of drawing, since I can’t use my old software and I don’t know of anything else that can open a .fla file. Feels daunting, but one day at a time.

In the meanwhile, I also downloaded a couple of other open source software like Krita and synfig just in case I needed it. Not sure if I’ll be playing much with krita, since I don’t have a drawing tablet but animations has interested me for for a while. So Synfig is a nice software to have.

You know, I’ve been feeling profoundly sad, especially since I came back from Singapore slightly over a week ago so I try to keep my mind busy.

So far synfig has been a good distraction. I was randomly playing with it earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised to see that it could import svg, which is a native inkscape picture.

(Although now I think it’s easier to import images as a .png instead which Inkscape is able to do anyway) Synfig Studio

Even though I have a little bit of experience with animation using Flash, oh boy. This software has a pretty steep learning curve. It isn’t intuitive for a first time user – it took a long while for me just to understand how to move a shape, because you had to grab the green node because you can’t drag directly using the left click.

Fortunately, synfig has a series of video tutorial which I went through and now I have a slightly better understanding of it and feel quite motivated to do a very simple animation. And here it is!

It’s not perfect and there are a few adjustments that I’ve done since uploading like hair and the strumming arm. A couple of things to take note :

  • Synfig only imports .wav as audio. Recording audio on my mobile phone is in a .m4a format. Which means that I had to take time to convert the recording.
  • When rendering, I can only export as .avi as a video format
  • The rendering DOES NOT export the audio together in the video. Which means that I have to use a separate video editing software to combine them together.
  • I use Adobe Premiere Elements to edit my videos. It does not import in a .avi format. Which means that I had to take time to convert it into .mpg

Wow, it’s extremely time consuming. Plus you don’t have a clue about the estimated time when your video will be finished. And it’s especially frustrating when the finished product isn’t what you expect it to be. Like how it renders the images outside of the bounding box. So you have to do it all over again. And again if it still doesn’t come out the way you like. And again …

Nevertheless, despite all the hair pulling and the frustration. I’ve been enjoying myself. I’ve still a lot to learn. I doubt that I’d be doing this on a regular basis, but it has been an interesting challenge so far.

How I celebrated my birthday

First of August is my birthday! It was a fun filled day spent seeing the Yayoi Kusama Exhibition at the National Gallery Exhibition in Singapore. So much colours! It was a treat for the eyes!

Thank you so much for spending time with me! <3