Part 5 – personal project preparatory work, digital seas

Finger drawn in Flamepainter for iPad. One layer.

Flamepainter for iPad is a free app and it’s wonderful for quick, if somewhat erratic, sketches. The process is easy to work out – choose a brush, set the size and other parameters, change the colour if you want to, draw. The last part is the trickiest as the ‘light’ zooms around the canvas as if possessed. Best plan is to try one combination of brush and speeds and get used to it before altering anything else! The image above is made on a black canvas using a number of brushes to pick out the light that might be from the smudged moon or perhaps from something beneath the waves. This is a speculative piece that has its notional inspiration in the kinds of light made by some phosphorescent sea creatures, rising submarine laboratory pods, or maybe … maybe …

Rebelle3 is far more manageable and allows importation of physical work by digital image so that new ideas can be built up in layers over the original. This series, from my own sketch, added colours, black pen lines, and white swirls in different layers.

sea-beach-from-drawingPhysical drawing in charcoal and conte imported and detailed in Rebelle3. Three layers.


This is Flamepainter again showing a different side. A blend filter created the horizontals from a few dashes of colour, the rest is a combination of different brushes, some of which lighten or darken the digital pigment beneath. The ribboned traces created a stylised sea which, with some blend effects, could be softened and misted in a step towards reality.


Made in Flamepainter for desktop. Several brushes, erasers, modifiers, and fills. Three layers.

Finally, for this episode anyway, a sketch in Rebelle3 painting software using the ink pen, blend, water, and eraser tools along with tilt and rapid dry facilities. I used just one layer for the whole, to be consistent with the physical context where a layer can’t be conveniently deleted but has to be worked until it either fits or the thing is scrapped. To some extent this was influenced by a video I saw today (thank you SM) of Andre Desjardins who uses graphite powder which he scrubs, sprays, and massages into huge canvases, adding sharp lines and small dabs of colour later in the process. My piece bears no resemblance to his work but was nevertheless birthed there.

black sea

This real time video capture shows the process:

This is my starting point, a seed bed from which bigger and more developed ideas will hopefully grow. I like gardens too, more metaphors may follow!


I bit the bullet and made a Flamepainter video. This is a very simple, one brush digital painting with no layers.



6 thoughts on “Part 5 – personal project preparatory work, digital seas

    1. I love it, and it’s relatively cheap so more accessible than the likes of Adobe or Corel Painter. I also find it more versatile too, more dynamic. For real dynamism though, Flamepainter is an experience not to be missed, just don’t expect to be in control!


      1. I think it’s a bit expensive. I just wanted to dabble. I can do quite a bit in some other painting apps I have and I have a good version of Photoshop too.


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