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iPad Artist Spotlight: Paul Bloomer

iPad Artist Spotlight: Paul Bloomer

iPad art turned into Fine Art Prints by Fine Art Solutions

In the last few months we’ve had an increasingly large number of new customers for fine art giclées and limited edition prints to be produced from artworks created digitally using tablets and smartphones. While such software as Adobe Photoshop has been used to produce original art for many years and is accepted as an art form in it’s own right, with many successful artists, it is a relatively new concept to create fine art using more portable formats such as smartphones and tablets, however it is already finding a place in some artists’ hearts. Intrigued, we decided to speak to professional artist and Fine Art Solutions customer, Paul Bloomer, to ask him what had swayed him to adopt the iPad as his media of choice:

“The drawing and painting apps for iPad and iPhone are exciting new artistic media with great creative potential that have opened a new era in digital painting.

I have been working with this new media for about four years and it has been a very useful addition to my creative process.

Initially I saw this as not much more than a portable, digital sketchbook in which ideas can be captured quickly and in full colour, however when David Hockney exhibited a room full of iPad prints each one measuring 6 ft high at the Royal Academy of Art in London the full potential of what is possible with this new media started to be unveiled. By utilising the latest in printing technology these images glowed from the page transferring the quality of a backlit screen onto large sheets of archival quality paper in vibrant colour. Overnight my perception was changed from seeing the iPad as not much more than a portable sketchbook to a serious artistic media with huge creative potential.

paul smallDigital painting is nothing new and programs like adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint are essential additions to any design studio, however the artist is effectively tied to a desk and a sometimes convoluted programme that can hinder creative spontaneity. The touch screen of the iPad and iPhone opened a new door of creative freedom in that  there is no need of a mouse or drawing tablet to make marks with and instead by using a finger you are effectively drawing with light . This immediacy enables and encourages spontaneity and a close emotional connection with the image being created.

The portability of the iPad means that it can be taken anywhere at any time split second ideas or fleeting images can be captured quickly in full colour. The manic nature of modern life where time and space to create can be hard to come by for most of us makes iPhone/ iPad painting a very attractive proposition.

‘Drawing with colour’ is one of the great challenges of any painter and the iPad almost forces the artist to do this and thus stretches and enhances the visual vocabulary.  Critics of the technology might say that this is not really painting and is just an illusion of painting, however that misses the point completely, in that every media has its unique personality. Remember the iPad is not going to paint the picture for you still need to be able to draw and  use colour to create anything of worth it merely enables a speed and directness that is unavailable anywhere else.

The ability to save and duplicate each stage of the picture means great creative risks can be taken giving the freedom to keep pushing the image further and further without fear of ruining it. This trait alone is very liberating enable multiple ideas and compositions to be experimented with in split seconds and every stage saved for further development if desired.

The speed of drawing enables very complex visual ideas to be worked through and resolved in a few hours whereas on a canvas this might take years.  Whilst it is true that the time and struggle spent on resolving a canvas adds a depth to the image there is also the danger that the initial idea can be lost as the distractions of life take over.

There are many drawing and painting apps available each one with different functionality. My favourite is called ‘Brushes’ (version 2). Unfortunately version 3 of this app is not so easy to use and lacks key features such as the ability to export at hi resolution which is essential for good quality prints. Painting apps change all the time, other current favourite ones include Sketchbook pro, Procreate, Inspire and Art Rage. Apps are cheap to buy so experiment to find one that suits. If you intend to print, look for one that will export hi resolution images to the computer.

Some of my iPad works are finished pieces in their own right and some are further developed in traditional media in the studio. iPhones and iPads have ushered in a new era for digital art, and whilst I’m not suggesting it will overshadow traditional media they are a very useful addition to the artists armoury.”

Paul Bloomer


September 2013