Santa brought me a delightful book on doodling [Doodling for Papercrafters (Leisure Arts #4313) – $14.36] which has been keeping me occupied for the last couple of days. I’ve been playing with ArtRage [iOS – $4.99, Mac & Win – $29.90] on both my Mac and iPad. The goal is to create custom clip art for use in my digital storytelling projects.
I’m using the book as a workbook to practice creating loops and swirls which will soon be combined into flourishes, borders and text that will be saved as clipart – and even turned into brushes (Photoshop) or stickers (ArtRage) for use when building scrapbook pages. One of the things I like about ArtRage is that when you choose a tool – pencil, pen, brush, etc. – you can set a smoothing level along with color, width and other attributes. This means that if my hand is a bit shaky when drawing a curve or swirl, the tool will automatically smooth it out. I’m loving that! And then there’s the always wonderful UNDO button. When that line you’re trying to draw takes an unexpected detour, the Undo button gives you as many do-overs as you need to get it right.
In the example below you see the difference smoothing (on the right) makes. The settings pane you see is for the pen tool and is displayed by tapping the gears button in the bottom left corner.
This is just one of the many features available in this very impressive drawing/painting app. In addition to squiggles and swirls and swooshes, my next favorite feature is the tracing feature which can be used to turn that not-so-good photograph into a treasured sketch. And, all of this comes in a very affordable package.