Bright Colors Spinning

Today I created my first from-the-ground-up image using the Pixelmator Pro program. First, I did a simple (but colorful) digital painting. Then I started clicking on the various tools that Pixelmator Pro offers. Wow! They are numerous and powerful.

You can see the result, “Bright Colors Spinning,” on the two Redbubble products above. The shapes appear to spin because of a circular blur.

Even though it’s only my first non-photographic attempt with Pixelmator Pro it’s making me smile so I posted it for sale – on the full line of Redbubble products. 

Can’t wait to make more goodies using Pixelmator Pro!

Hello, Vectornator!


A few minutes ago I downloaded Vectornator for Mac.

Vectors and I have a contentious history: they have no use for me and I’m very suspicious of their precision…their freaky neatness. How can anything be that sleek and tidy and clean? ::shivers::

Vectors are impossibly pristine and I’m Pig-Pen. What hope is there for our relationship?

So far, my vector explorations have been limited to Inkscape and a couple of phone apps. Maybe a different platform/interface will help us find a way to get along and enjoy each other. I’m hoping!

That’s where Vectornator comes in. Here’s my first Vectornator image:

“Clicking and Hoping”

Uhhh…LOL…it’s a start, right? The violet blob with the not-so-happy face is me, surrounded by vector confusion. I ran into trouble right away because the “Help” articles seem to have useful words but some of their supporting images don’t match what I have on my screen. They talk about tools that aren’t always where they say they’ll be, and some of them don’t have corresponding icons to look for.  So: I made that first image by clicking on everything. 

Clicking and hoping isn’t the easiest way to learn but it’s a lot of fun. I’ll figure it out!

Pixelmator Pro: Quick Look

Original (©️Robin King)

Three days ago I downloaded a 15-day free trial of Pixelmator Pro. Because of a leg injury I can’t sit at a computer for more than a few minutes at a time, so I’ve been trying to explore (and learn how to use) Pixelmator Pro fast.  

My first quickety-split discovery was how to resize an image for web use. Excellent! 

The second thing I found – and figured out how to use – was a set of editing tools that included the usual curves and slides. What surprised me was the fascinating array of presets that can also be adjusted. It’s this set of tools that enabled me to make the first photo, above, from the second. Quick clicks, easy slides: big changes.

Even though Pixelmator Pro isn’t Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (which I’ve used for years) I’m loving it so far. But I need it to work well when I create digital mixed media multi-layered images, so tomorrow I’ll try to make and edit layers.


Here’s the Pixelmator Pro site:

That’s Not An Alligator

©Robin King

Really! That’s not an alligator up there. It’s a tree limb masquerading as one. I recently found this photo in my files from 2004. Well, I found the original. It’s dark, less saturated, and has no twinkly places where the sun made the water sparkle. What you see here is the newly-edited version.

Background: I’m currently doing a trial of Affinity Photo and, after thousands of years of using Photoshop Elements, I’m at sea with Affinity. It seems to be great and I’m sure that if I could sit at this computer for extended periods of time, frequently, I’d be a whiz using the software before the trial ends. But due to a leg injury, sitting here leads to problems. I can’t do it for more than a few minutes at a time or I can’t walk afterwards. 

In spite of that I’ve done a few things with Affinity – such as edit the non-alligator above to make it more vibrant. Very easy!

But my “normal” work isn’t editing photos. I generally add photos, scanned traditional art (drawings, paintings, collages), and scanned cut paper assemblages as layers into a software program like Photoshop Elements – then edit, digitally paint, etc. the multiple layers until I create something I like. Doing THAT in Affinity Photo doesn’t appear to be straightforward or easy to learn. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what “Develop” means and why I have to adopt certain “Personas” to do certain things. 

Because of those challenges – and the fact that I don’t have Photoshop Elements (too $$$) on this computer, which leaves me unable to make most of my art!!!! – I thought I’d take a look at Pixelmator Pro in a trial, too.

I downloaded Pixelmator Pro a few minutes ago, found the tools and workspace to be deliciously familiar.

I’m hoping that one of these programs will do the job for me and not cost much. Sooo…I’ll be spending time trying to learn the two programs in order to decide which to get. Can’t have both.

AND: If anyone’s wondering where I’ve been for the past few days here’s the scoop: my internet has been out sporadically, intermittently, inexcusably. I’ve spent days/nights troubleshooting the equipment and the signals. No luck yet, but today it’s working! So YAY!!!!

Do you use Affinity Photo or Pixelmator Pro? Both?

What do you find to be the most useful tools? Why?


“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: