now I want a stylusby robin awan
Recently I went to see the just ended David Hockney Exhibition at the NGV.
I love Hockney. He is a great artist of our times, and he has shown just that in his exhibition, named Current.
Current is a great collection, mainly consisting of his digital art, created on his iPhone and iPad. And that’s what is so special about it: his fine art style mixed into modern technology. The iPhone room was great, more devices than you could count all mounted to the walls showing small detailed artworks. Then more artwork on big screens, showing slide shows of more masterful compositions.
Although not original in the true sense of paint on a canvas, you could picture the art coming to life in the location he created it, a bit like a polaroid, it’s what made them so special. You feel they are made on the move, with his phone and a stylus pen in his pocket, the most modern way for an artist to capture a moment without a camera.
The detail was unbelievable, the layering and the way he captures light. They filled the rooms with intense colour. The vibrancy is what struck me most with these works. Even in the printed versions, there was a nice quality to the colour. it didn’t feel like CMYK or RGB, it felt like real paint. Colours created for how that scene looked to Hockney at that exact moment in time.
I came away from this exhibition wanting to have a go at this same technique. To create art like Hockney does on the iPad you need a pressure sensitive pen – these are the bluetooth ones – that’s really important. The best app I can see (I’ve tried a few) to create the art would be ProCreate, but Photoshop Sketch has superior watercolour. I bought an Adonit Pixel pen. That or the Apple Pencil are the best in my view.
I won’t be chucking out the Moleskine just yet though, there’s something more romantic to me about good old pen and paper. But digital sketching is still awesome and very rewarding. After all it’s painting without the mess.
Images sourced via NGV website and Google.