Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Snow Gnomes

The Snow Gnomes - iPad using Procreate

A whirlwind holiday season made it difficult to give my little blog the time and attention it deserved. That will be one of my New Year's resolutions - more blog love.

Currently, I am creating this post through my newly acquired creative partner, a full-sized iPad. It's taken a few years of scrimping and saving to finally bring this fascinating little gadget into my life. I'm not one to jump onto the latest e-fad, but I've wanted one of these since Star Trek: TNG went on the air. Of all the Trekkie tech to be featured, this was the one I was most looking forward to seeing in our time. It only took 20 years or so.

Among the things I can do now are tree-friendly sketching, read books and mags in a space-saving fashion (which I desperately need), and watch online shows, movies and tutorials while pedaling away on my elliptical. And typing on a tablet has come pretty easily, too.

The above illustration was created in an app called Procreate . I've tried several - Sketchbook Pro, Brushes, Ink, Adobe Ideas, Eazel - but Procreate has been for me the most intuitive to use and most similar to Photoshop. It has layers, palettes, a great selection of brushes for painting, sketching and effects and the interface is so comfortable.

You can find many different iPad art demos on YouTube. The range of styles and detail is amazing. Illustrators Will Terry and Dani Jones use it often for their preliminary work. Dani Jones has just released a book called "iPad for Artists" which offers 144 pages of creative instruction and tool reviews for the iPad.

My illustration "The Snow Gnomes" is a peek into the workings of those little flake sculptors responsible for the winter wonderlands enjoyed by many each season. It is also my contribution to Aquariann's Snowflake Blog Hop. Hit the button below to visit and participate.

Happy New Year to all!

aquariann's Snowflake Blog Hop


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience with the iPad. I'm thinking of getting a tablet this year, mostly for entertainment purposes, but maybe I'll find it useful for my creative work as well. I still don't know if I could give up my big monitor screen.

  2. I think you will love a tablet. There are so many to choose from, you're sure to find one that will suit you. I chose iPad because I am Mac-based and it's practical for me. Since I don't have a laptop, it'll come in handy for client visits, portable portfolios, etc. But I still have a regular computer and will do most of my work there.

  3. Cute concept! I am delighted you joined my Snowflake Blog Hop and look forward to seeing more blog posts from you in 2013. :D