Thursday, June 08, 2017

Plein-air onto tablet and some pleasing #AIart

Me deeply absorbed in sketching on my tabletYesterday I bit the bullet and tried out drawing my daily sketch directly on my HP spectre in Tablet mode, using the HP pen. There is a massive disincentive to working with the tablet, in fact anything with an LCD screen, in the outdoors, the screen is quite reflective and fine detail (and specifically small icons and text in the likes of Corel Painter are almost impossible to read) so sketching soon becomes a frustrating squinting, dabbing, missing, and confusion resulting in random lines all over the place. Thus I figured I’d start with a simple application, and the free version of Wacom’s Bamboo Paper fits the bill perfectly. There are hardly any on-screen control’s and they are big anyway. Further updates to the Microsoft ink workspace (that seemed to arrive in the Creator update to Windows 10) have improved the response of my pen and added a couple of levels of pressure sensitivity. There are only a pencil and highlighter style marker pen, with three width options in the free version of the bamboo paper app but that seems plenty to start with. Its also very natural to use. There is a colour change/select feature but accurately choosing colours in the glare didn’t appeal so I tended to pick the stronger colours and not worry too much..
My Pein air sketch using Bamboo paper app on tablet
I found a good spot, got out the tablet, shaded the screen with my body and made a start, timidly at first but I got brave and sketched lines and coloured over them with the highlight marker brush then back for more lines. Suddenly about 20minutes had slipped by and what I had done looked ok. I moved under the shade of a nearby tree and it looked better, ok better for my first outdoor attempt. It was after all just a field sketch (see above).
Sunny Day at Table Rock, Beaumaris
Today I stitched together 3 photos I took of table rock from the same vantage point and thought I should try improving the colouring (and tone of my sketch). It didn’t take long to realize this would be a perfect little test for the Neural Style feature of google deep dream generator. What I tried out was to use my bamboo paper sketch as the neural training image to filter my photographic panorama BUT to borrow the colour scheme from my photo rather than the sketch. In other words adopt the line work and flat highlighter style shading.from my sketch but stay close to the photographic colours (and tone). I must say I was impressed. I’m not sure how to take this AIart (Artificially Intelligent art) further but it does produce something with the sense of my touch and the way the place felt, something excitingly worthwhile.
The deep dream results, combining my sketch linework & photo colours

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