zaterdag 15 juni 2013

Easily draw a perfectly symmetric Butterfly on the iPad

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In the last few weeks I had to travel by plane quite often for my work. I prefer hand luggage, but this means that there are restrictions on what I can take along. No scissors, no tweezers, things like that

My hotel is situated along a high way, so nowhere to go in the evening and I get easily bored watching TV every night, so I read a lot. After finishing all my e-books I had the idea to start drawing again. It had been so long, luckily I had brought my Bamboo iPad stylus

After some research I decided that SketchBook Pro would fit my drawing needs best. While playing around a bit, I was immediately intrigued by the symmetry button which sits quite prominently on the top ribbon and wanted to draw something using the option...Butterflies of course!

Since I haven't seen enough butterflies up close enough to draw one good enough from memory I searched Google for a nice photo of a Monarch butterfly (my favorite one after watching one of BBC's episodes of Great Migrations (I think... it was a documentary about Monarch's at least :) )

All I had to do was turn on the symmetry option (red circle) and draw a wing shape until finally I had a shape that I could use as a base



From Adobe Photoshop I was already used to the concept of Layers, incredibly useful! And thankfully, the image doesn't adjust when you turn the iPad upside down

Several layers, a lot of brush strokes and even more hand swipes (Undo) later I had created my first Monarch, actually having only focusing on the left part, the right part was created simultaneously by SketchBook. As you can see, I prefer a mildly rough way of drawing, not trying to make every line perfect




Another night, wanting to draw another butterfly, I chose the beautiful green New Guinea Birdwing to draw, again first searching a nice photo online. The problem was that I couldn't quite choose my colors in SketchBook to match the ones in the photo. Searching online some more for solutions, I came across an incredibly useful app called Palettes. It does exactly what the description says

"Palettes is a powerful productivity tool for creating and maintaining color palettes ... Grab colors from a photograph, a website ..."

So I loaded the photo from the Birdwing into Palettes and it automatically found the colors I needed



Now I only needed to remember the corresponding RGB code, use it in SketchBook and finally I had the green I was looking for. Below is the resulting butterfly, again taking about 1-2 hours to draw



I am very pleased with all the options of SketchBook Pro. Only downside of drawing on the iPad that I found for now: the stylus has quite a big diameter, so drawing small lines is difficult, because it usually doesn't end up on the exact location I wanted it. But this can be solved by zooming in quite a bit (except when the line will become very long and doesn't fit on your screen anymore when you zoom in). But it beats the price of those amazing Wacom Cintiqs ;)

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