The Art of Expressive Colour


Wherever you go with a smartphone, you go with a camera. Oh yes, you can shoot everything in sight, but really you can’t beat the freedom of sketching to express what you feel about what you’re looking at.

A photo is a record but a drawing is a memory.

You see more intensely when you draw than when you simply snap a photo of a subject.

Sketch on a tablet, phablet or phone and you have a full studio toolbox with you as well as a camera.

Expressive colour makes mood moodier

Most mobile drawing or painting apps include a rainbow palette of colours, literally at your fingertips – without the fag of carrying a paintbox or bundles of crayons.

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Doubtful Owl. An iPhone Painting.

Hmmm…, originally uploaded by purple0wl.

How do you draw a doubtful owl? Hmmm…

Luckily sleight of hand comes to the rescue when you’re drawing facial expressions. (Or rather, sleight of finger in this iPhone drawing.)

Facial expressions are always a mixture of unconscious and deliberate grimaces. On paper (or as in this case the iphone screen) the artist, caricaturist or cartoonist has a further repertoire of gestures at his disposal.

All kinds of marks can symbolise states of mind.

This iPhone finger painting was made with an app that’s new to me, LiveSketch. I added a few touches in the old favourite app, Brushes, and increased the contrast in PhotoFX.

Spider Assesses a Web Page

Spider Assesses a Web Page, originally uploaded by purple0wl.

Why does fine art have to have the monopoly of abstracts? Actually I think most cartoons are abstracts. They use notations to express actions and emotions that are not at all what you actually see in real life.

Here we see a web spider, doubtless one of Google’s tireless army of minions, poring over a web page. Like all web spiders, he sees only words and is colour blind.

How was the image made? I shone a rainbow (made a while ago in Corel Painter) on a scribbled doodle (made a while ago on paper).

The rainbow was projected on my iphone, using an application called DXP (Double Exposure), and finished in Brushes app.