Balancing Act

Stopping to smell the pixels.

For the past few days I’ve been focused on trying to regain whatever skills I developed with pencils, a few years ago. Slow-going, lots of missteps and frustrating messes. I used to be able to draw eyes. Good ones! They looked the way I wanted them to! Now, because I didn’t draw for so long, I draw the eyes I drew when I was learning to draw them the first time. Not good ones! They don’t look the way I wanted them to! 

It’s humbling. It’s also making me want to break a few pencils after I scribble all over those not-good-eyes.

But pencils are expensive and I can’t destroy honest attempts. Instead, I took a break with iPastels and made the silly face above.

Silly is good. I enjoyed my little escape and can now return to pencils, renewed. 

“But I didn’t order a jelly donut!”

Last night I downloaded a tiny but powerful app called iPastels (see link below). It’s PASTELS! Really – it looks like pastels. I don’t know much about how pastels behave but I think that iPastels does a good job of creating the same kind of experience. There’s a free version (which is what I got) and an upgrade. If the app works on desktop, too, and if there’s a way to make larger canvases, then I may pay the $4.99 for the upgrade. Maybe, maybe. 

Anyway…the weird image above is my initial test of the tools. Here’s the second test:

Haaaaa! I tried to do a little landscapey thing, with evergreen trees and a stream, but (1) I don’t especially enjoy doing landscapes and (2) no matter how hard I try to do other things, faces always show up. And then (3) I got aggravated with myself for allowing yet another face to plunk itself down in the middle of a landscape, which made me overwhelm the poor app with too many clicks and strokes too fast. It froze. No wonder! When it unfroze I started writing on the canvas, complaining about the freeze. Oooof.

In spite of my mini-tantrum, iPastels worked brilliantly. Here’s a link: