I think you all know that I’m a total techie, right? And that I’m totally addicted to my iPad mini and my iPhone? So you can imagine that when I can combine creativity and tech tools I’m as happy as a … ummm. On second thought, that’s not a good visual! Anyway …. One of my very favorite iPad apps is ArtRage – a relatively simple app that lets you use your finger to create art! If you’ve used Art Rage on a Mac or a PC, you’ll find the iPad app very similar – just condensed for the smaller screen. You can choose a paper color and and grain (watercolor, canvas, sketch paper, etc) from one of the presets, or you can make a custom paper, choosing a custom grain and roughness. Once you’ve chosen your paper, you’re can choose from (and switch between) a variety of tools – everything from a watercolor paint brush to a palette knife, roller, paint tube, crayon and more! Within each tool, you can choose the size of the tool, how pressure sensitive it is, how thin the paint is, how “loaded” with the paint brush is – and even more! It really is remarkable how specific you can get! There’s also a color palette, where you can mix and even save custom colors! ArtRage uses layers, just like the full version of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements! – this app is not meant for digiscrapping tho – and you can control the opacity and visibility of each layer and there are even lots of blend modes to choose from! You can even import images (jpgs and pngs) from your iPad photos and use them for tracing (!!!!). You can save your “painting” as you go and export the final (flattened) version (in png or jpg format) so you can share it with your friends or to your social media. And if you use a desktop version of Art Rage, you can exporting the painting file, open it in the full version and then export those layers out for use in Photoshop or PSE! It’s very, very cool. I’m not an artist at all – as you can clearly see – but I’ve been having tons of fun playing and sketching out ideas for new products or mixed media projects. It does take a little while to get the hang of painting with your finger, but you can always “undo”!
It’s like having a set of travel painting tools – without the mess! . You can download a demo version or buy the full version directly from the ArtRage site. Oh, and did you know that if you have an iTunes account, you can “gift” an app to someone else? All you need is an email address for the recipient. The, find the app you want to give and then: If you’re in the iTunes store on your computer, click the drop down arrow next to the price of the app and choose “Gift this App.” If you’re in iTunes on your iPhone or iPad, view the description of the app,and then click the little share icon and choose the “gift” icon. If you’re even more adventurous, you might want to try one of the many styluses (styli???) now available for the iPad. My favorite is the Sensu Artist Brush. It has a soft foam tip on one end and a real paint brush on the other! I really love the paint brush side – it feels very realistic (from a hobbyist’s point of view – as I’ve said, I’m not qualified to speak as a “fine” art artist. I also have the Wacom Bamboo Duo 2-In-1 Stylus with Pen which was my first stylus. One end is the foam tip and the other is a real pen – so I carry it in the pen loop on my mini’s case. I love these cool tools that let me experiment with art – and I’m pretty sure the creative person in your life will love them too! Feel free to share this post with your friends! I hope you and your family have a very happy Holiday season and that the New Year brings you all good things! PS – are you interested in hearing about the other creative apps and tools I play with?