David Hockney’s recent exhibition, A Bigger Picture, contained rural images painted not with a paint-brush, pencil or charcoal, but on an iPad. Would you get creative with your tablet?
We interviewed David Hockney in this week’s Tech podcast, where he described the iPad as a ‘fantastic tool’ for creative people.
He added that manufacturers ‘often don’t know the full ways you can use’ new technology, and that it takes artists like David (or ‘mad people’ as he describes them) to experiment with it and take advantage of it as a new medium.
So, how good are these arty apps? Is the iPad the big new medium? We decided to download some painting apps (Brushes and Paper) to our office iPad to try them out. There was no shortage of volunteers to draw for us – an indication of how popular these apps are.
At first it’s a little bizarre drawing directly with your fingers rather than with a pencil or brush, but you soon get used to it. In fact the app was surprisingly good – it’s easy to change colour, alter the saturation levels, as well as the type of brush stroke. With the premium version you can even add layers to enhance the perspective.
Numerous drawing apps
There’s a wealth of drawing apps available for tablets and smartphones, including games like Draw Something, which has already been a worldwide hit. Similarly, photography and music are also getting the tablet treatment with apps such as Instagram and GarageBand.
Instagram, like many other apps of its type, let you apply filters to photos to give them a more stylised and often ‘old-school’ effect. My housemate is obsessed with it, recently taking shots of everything from the kitchen table, to me watching TV. She claims that the Instagram effect made them ‘art’. I’m doubtful of that claim, but it certainly kept her entertained! And she’s not alone – Instagram is one of the top ten free apps downloaded from Apple’s app store.
Whether you’re a budding artist, or a parent trying to keep a child amused on a rainy day, these arty apps are good fun and surprisingly versatile. The rise of the tablet is inspiring amateurs and professionals alike to experiment with new art forms, which is surely a good thing.
Are tablet paintings art?
Some have questioned whether this constitutes real art, but I agree with David Hockney that tablets are another medium and therefore, so if you’re up to the job, why can’t it count as art?
Have you used a tablet to create a piece of art or music? What apps would you recommend? Oh and check out this gallery of our arty iPad efforts – if you’d like to send in your efforts please do!