Inktober 2017 day 18

So yesterday I experimented with my current ipad pro and the cheapo wacom stylus. It was workable, but not a great experience. I didn’t think I cared about pressure sensitivity affecting line thickness, but when I don’t have it it turns out to be a bit of an issue.

The same was true using the stylus on my old ipad air. It seems I need a bit of pressure sensitivity for things to feel right.

Creative stylus 2

So I dug out a Wacom CS600 creative stylus2. This device uses bluetooth to connect, and offers pressure sensitivity, and a couple of mappable buttons.

It was horrible. The pen allows a range of settings for “writing style” all of which seem to offset the pen tip too much, so the point of contact isn’t the point being inked.

The ipad pro and the pencil is definitely the best drawing set up I’ve come across, and it would be good to compare it to something like Jeremy’s Wacom Companion tablet, or a generic microsoft surface. I’ve a few more bits of drawing tech to test, and will post the results here as I go.

Autodesk sketchbook settings

Inktober 2017 day 17

In the words of Bon Jovi…”Whoa! Half way there!”

I’ve been super impressed by the dedication of folk to Inktober, and have been learning an awful lot myself. I’ve changed my entire workflow from paper/photo/photoshop to ipad pro and pencil with Autodesk sketchbook. This week I’m going to try and find the edges of that setup, and whether it’s the Pencil that makes it work, or the app itself. Today I’m going to swap out the Pencil for my old Wacom Bamboo stylus. It’s totally non active, being basically a rubbery tip on an aluminium stick. On the plus side it’s far cheaper than the Pencil, and works on older iPads too. Today I’ll try it on the ipad pro, tomorrow my old ipad.

Wacom Bamboo stylus


inktober 2017 day 12

I’ve been digital inking the last couple of days, drawing directly on an ipad pro with an apple pencil. I’ve used Autodesk Sketchbook, and have to say it’s been really very intuitive.

When I’ve tried this sort of setup in the past with a wacom Creative Stylus and an ipad air it was a bit of a fight, so it seems the technology has settled down. The Pencil connects without a fuss, and automatically turns off other rogue touches from fingers and palms, meaning I don’t have to hover my hand in the air. The system is sensitive enough to know when I’m pinching and dragging though, very clever.

K is for Kraken

The line control is good, and the pressure sensitivity gives a bit of variation. I’ll carry on with the ipad sketching this week, and maybe dig out the old ipad and wacom stylus to compare.

Meanwhile at Moulsecoomb Marion has been sketching her chickens for inktober.

Inktober 2017 day 11

Wow, day 11, that’s over a third of the way through. Social media seems awash with Inktoberists, as is the real life Inktober wall up in the litho workshop.

I also managed to try a bit of digital inking with the new SHARP touchscreens we’ve got down at Grand Parade. They have an overlay which works as a whiteboard, but also allow a different approach to drawing with tools like photoshop. I’ll try and record a demo. I did manage to catch Duncan trying out the pens.


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inktober 2017 day 9

I’ve been getting my inktober images into the blog with my iPhone camera.

Inktober elf

My iPhone takes a picture that’s about 2.3Mb in size, and 4032×3024 pixels.

The screen on my iPhone however is only 1334×750 pixels so the image is much bigger than the screen, which is great as it allows images to be cropped without losing quality. However a 2.3Mb image will download slowly and use up a fair bit of bandwidth so If you are sharing images on the web it makes sense to keep them to a reasonable size.

A reasonable size for images most web pages is about 1000 pixels wide, and about 150-200Kb.

So how do you make the file smaller. Some services will do this automatically, Instagram for example reduces uploads to 1000x1000pixels. But if you want to reduce the size of an image it’s super easy.

On a mac you just double click the image to open it in Preview.

Select Tools>Adjust Size, and then set it to somewhere around 1000 pixels width. With the scale proportionally selected the image with keep the original aspect ratio.

Once done Export, and add a little compression, around 60% is a good starting point.

Inktober 2017 day 6

Lots of Inktobering going on this week, social media seems quite full of inky goodness. Claire Moore has been doing some fine inky landscapes:


Fiona MacNeill has been following the Brighton Inktober Prompt List, and gave a yabba dabba doodah Pebbles:

Today I’m going to have a chat with the UoB Level 4 Illustrators about using studentcentral, and will give Inktober a plug. Hopefully next week we’ll have a few more students joining the fray.

This weekend I’m also going to try and add a couple of short videos on image sizing, compression and file formats for the web, as it’ll be useful not just for Inktober but for reducing the sizes of assignments to squeeze into Turnitin.

Inktober 2017 day 5

High in the lofty eyrie that is the University of Brighton Litho Workshop, there’s a wall of Inktober offerings that is growing daily.


Some folk are feeling a bit shy about posting in public, so the semi public wall gives folk a chance to join in the challenge without getting nervous. Scarlett Tierney is looking after the wall, and the folks, and joining in the inktober activity over on the twitter:

Inktober 2017 day 4

Pauline Ridley has joined the Brighton Inkoberists.

Pauline has been encouraging folk to draw for a while, and worked on a previous University of Brighton Big Draw project which involved the drawing-a-day map, a fantastic fold out for gathering a whole months worth of drawing in one place.

Fold out drawing a day map

This Inktober Pauline is following the Brighton prompt list, with a twist… hips instead of hipsters.

I’m continuing with my A-Z of slightly fantasy inspired things with D is for Dragon.


#inktober #inktober2017 #brightinktober day four and the rhymes are getting predictable apparently

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