Tuesday, June 29, 2010

David Jon Kassan paints from life on an iPad

David Jon Kassan paints from life on an iPad
David Jon Kassan, a Brooklyn based artist I wrote about in 2008, recently posted a short (7 minute) video to YouTube in which he is shown in time-lapse Finger Painting on the Apple iPad from the live model.

The iPad, for those who have been living in a cave in Tierra del Fuego until this morning, is Apple’s new touch-screen device, so Kassan is painting with his finger, a pretty blunt instrument compared to a brush, pencil or stylus.

Kassan is painting in Brushes, a very capable digital painting app for the iPhone and iPad that allows for most of the basic tools of digital painting, including, of course, the ability to zoom in on the work.

Though it doesn’t allow for variations in pressure, a factor most of us who do digital drawing and painting have come to rely on, it does allow for changes in brush size and opacity, as you can see in the video.

(For another mention of the Brushes iPhone app, see my post on the New Yorker covers of Jorge Colombo.)

Most of us associate digital painting with work from the imagination, particularly given its popularity in concept art and science fiction and fantasy illustration, but a number of people use it to sketch or paint from life.

I’ve used a laptop, Painter software and a tablet and stylus to sketch and paint from the model, but it’s a bit of an awkward proposition. The lack of pressure sensitivity seems a fair trade-off for the easy portability and simplicity of the iPad (though you would want to make sure it was well-secured to your easel – grin).

Unlike the use of similar applications for the iPhone and Nintendo DS, the iPad is large enough to do more than small sketches. Kassan takes the painting pretty close to the state of a finished portrait.

Kassan has updated his website since I last wrote about him, including new work, a blog, and more videos.

David Kassan - Drawing Closer to Life

In particular he has released a new three-hour instructional DVD, Drawing Closer to Life (images above), that follows him through a day in the studio, documentary style, as he develops a fully realized charcoal drawing (using the same model as in the iPad painting, if I’m not mistaken). There is a trailer for the video here.

[Via Daring Fireball]

9 thoughts on “David Jon Kassan paints from life on an iPad

  1. Em

    I just tried typing on an iPad yesterday for the first time and can’t say I enjoyed the experience much, though I expect one would get used to it soon enough.

    The drawing here is impressive as are David Jon Kassen’s portraits. Thanks for this post. . .it certainly opens doors to some possibilities in digital art.

  2. Mike Regan

    Em said:

    “I just tried typing on an iPad yesterday for the first time and can’t say I enjoyed the experience much, though I expect one would get used to it soon enough.”

    You can sync a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad. I do and it definately makes typing with the iPad alot easier.

    I’ve been using Sketchbook with the iPad, and have liked it. Brushes and Sketchbook seem to be the most popular and developed progams out there. Does anyone have experience with both and is willing to share their insights?

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