Monday, February 3, 2014

Electronic Sketching With The Galaxy Note 3

Over the holiday season I was in Best Buy and stumbled upon their displays of Galaxy Note phone and tablets. I discovered that the Note 3 phone had undergone a serious upgrade in October and has now hit a serious sweet spot as far as ability is concerned. I snatched it up and haven't looked back.

The photos are a little deceiving. Since the Moleskine sketchbook is so large in comparison, the phone looks pretty small. But as most of you know, the Note is one big honking phone.

It's an electronic sketcher's dream machine. The stylus is a little thin, (about the width of a piece of vine charcoal) but its a Wacom stylus, which means quality and superb pressure sensitivity, and the phone comes with the Sketchbook Pro app already installed. The phone has 3gb of ram and whatever the latest Samsung chip is so it's got plenty of processing power to make the art experience enjoyable.

I wish I had more options art app wise, but that's the way it is. The Android OS is what it is as well, but I figure Apple is never ever going to offer a native stylus, so this is definitely the way to go if you're interested in smaller electronic sketching. Unfortunately its loaded with a bunch of crapware that I can't get rid of, but that's the tradeoff. The 8" and 10" Galaxy Notes don't have this much horsepower so I can't recommend them at this time, but the Note phone is definitely a winner.

Once they come out with better versions of their larger tablets they will be even bigger winners. But they won't fit in your pocket.

It has a super dense screen, and you can make sketches that are 1438 x 2560 pixels with 6 layers. The software comes with a bunch of different brushes and also a fill tool, so you can make a super quick outline of a shape with a smaller brush, then select the fill tool and it will automatically completely fill the enclosed area (a great time saver). Its great for value studies or grey scale sketches when you don't want to get into the involved issue of color (not a lot of fun when you have the huge color gamut offered to you on an RGB device… most colors are so bright they are unusable).

But BEWARE!!! In a lot of ways it's an artistic dead end. As you can see from the portraits above, they are no where close to being as interesting or rewarding as the actual watercolor sketch.

Having said that, the phone is a lot smaller than a sketch kit. And the three greyscale on site people sketches below show a nice simple approach to people sketching that's both quick and rewarding.

The plein air greyscale landscapes above show an approach to value studies for landscapes. The portraits below were drawn from freeze frames on the tv. I'm looking forward to refining my techniques with this wonderful piece of equipment until I can really whip out a sketch super fast.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Excellent stuff! I have a note 2 and it has the S-note app. I use it to fiddle and plan ahead on paintings all the time. It's much easier then popping into photoshop and I can do it on my front porch while trying to pretend spring is almost here. Now I have phone envy... first time since I got my note lol. Good work, love the electronic sketches of people. I might have to try that out myself. Cheers!