Monday, February 18, 2008

2/18/08 - Colors!

We all know the vast potential of computer tablets and such programs as Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop in the creation of digital paintings and drawings. Those of us that drool over the next big thing in digital art know all about the delights of the Wacom Cintiq and tablet PCs. But, what we probably wouldn’t expect is that a Nintendo DS could be turned into a portable digital sketchbook.

Colors is a homebrew program designed for use with a capable Nintendo DS or DS Lite. By capable, I mean you likely need an R4 Slot-1 Solution for your DS and a micro-SD flash card. You download the program to the root menu of your SD card, plug it into the R4, and put that in Slot 1 of your DS unit. Once you open the program, you find that it really is like a very simplified version of Painter. You use your stylus as the brush pen and paint using the DS touch screen. You toggle to the color selection screen, and there you’ll find you have settings for either a hard-edged brush or a soft edge. You can also change the opacity and brush size, as well as set those attributes to be pressure sensitive. There is a zoom option for creating more intricate illustrative details, and you can even play back the finished product from start to finish.

Once you’ve made your painting or sketch, getting it to your PC is a simple matter. Just remove your SD card and pop it into a card reader. The files are stored as .PNG’s with a fairly decent resolution. It really leaves little excuse for doing sketches on the fly if you have no paper or pencil, but have your DS on hand. It does take some getting use to, though. You’ll be toggling constantly to and from the color/brush selection and zooming. But because there are so few features right now, it’s easy to just jump right in. The only thing it lacks is an undo or eraser feature. So, in that sense I think the lack makes colors a great learning tool for those of us who need to hone their more painterly abilities. Any mistake you make either has to be worked back over, or become a part of some new evolution in the painting. It makes you think ahead and problem solve when programs like Photoshop have the handy Ctrl+Z and the problem goes away. I recommend everyone with a compatible DS give this program a try. It’s, at least, a fun way to while the time away.

Colors can be downloaded here:

View the Colors community gallery here:

Credit to "Moatdd" and "Tsenzen" for the illustrations found in the Colors gallery.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

02/17/08 - Happy President's Day

Here's a little Photoshop painting to commemorate President's Day. I've been recuperating from a lengthy sick spell so I've had time to work on my digital painting skills. Word to all you interested in this - I hope to set up some get togethers and or workshops covering digital art in the coming year. Let me know if you want to participate or know more.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

02/14/08 - Coloring Tutorial

Lisbon, Portugal creator Ginmau serves up an interesting mini-tutorial on coloring within Photoshop. By reading his primer I picked up a few tricks for working with images and I'm sharing as it's an interesting approach.

Check out the full tutorial over on Ginmau's Deviant Art page located here. (Click the image when you get there to see the full size image of the tutorial.)

Also, for a fun visual drawing tutorial check out Draw Like a Ralph from the drawing board of Brian Ralph. It's a great little toon that can be found here.