FingerPainting On Tablets, Phablets and Phones


for fingerpainting

on your tablet or phone

klimt style  - 2

This early effort at fingerpainting was done in the style of Gustav Klimt on my iPhone.

What? with all that detail on a tiny screen? (This was an early iPhone with a screen of smallest small.)

Yes. Multi-touch on touch screens lets you pinch to zoom, which enables you to magnify an area you are painting or drawing on with two fingers in a pincer movement. This means you can draw or paint with quite a bit of detail, even on a tiny screen.

…And even with fat fingers. A disadvantage of finger painting on a tablet or phone is that your finger covers the point on which you are drawing. Many apps allow you to set up an offset distance. This places your brush point a little way ahead of your finger tip.

Is an offset a good thing? Not necessarily. Varying offsets can upset the way you are training your finger. You want your finger to move with pinpoint accuracy. Not all apps offer an offset, and it may not be possible to set exactly the same position in all apps that do.

Oh bother, I forgot to bring my fingers…

No chance of this lament!

Practice is the secret of fingerpainting success. Before you start in earnest, it really helps to give yourself an exercise or two to increase your accuracy.

water bird

Open a good painting app like Sketchbook (Express, Mobile or Pro). Sketchbook is available for both Apple and Android tablets and phones. It offers layers in all versions.

Place a line drawing on a layer. Add a layer above it and trace the drawing in a different colour. If you do this a few times, you’ll find your speed and accuracy increase as you train your finger.

Why not use a stylus?

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Six Face Expressions Everyone Can Read

The six basic face expressions all the world understands

Raised eyebrows or a shake of the head can mean different things in different parts of the world. But these six basic face expressions can be understood wherever you are.







The expressions may be mite exaggerated here. Even, heaven forbid, not totally accurate!

All the same, these ‘six basic facial expressions’ are taken from research by the anthropologist Paul Ekman.

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Is That A Genuine Smile?

Is that a true smile
or just the cheese variety?

What made the smiley smile?

Like them or not, use them or not, smileys and emoticons can be useful. They can show your mood more directly than words when you are not talking face to face.

Smiley faces have been about for years. The first smileys had no eyes. They were just a big yellow disk with a smile.


You pinned the grin on your lapel, which was supposed to cheer people up as you walked along the street. It left so much to the imagination that everyone thought, yes, they were looking at a genuine smile.

Add a couple of dots and there’s the smiley we know today.


The circle is traditionally yellow so can stand for the sun. Maybe another reason why the symbol is so popular.

…But is this a genuine smile?

It’s easy enough to make one of these symbols yourself. Grab a bit of paper or a tablet. Draw a circle. …Er, well then, draw a potato or trace round a coin. Now add two dots and a smile, then widen the grin.


Surprise, surprise, the face looks even more pleased.

Now black those eyes in. Make them bigger and darker.


The pupils of our eyes dilate when we see something we like. Bigger eyes increase the sensation of gratification.

Phew! Spooky isn’t it? That smiley’s getting positively steamy.

..But wait a minute.

Take a look in the mirror and give yourself a false smile. Maybe you’ll notice you’re only moving the lower part of your face. Your eyes hardly change at all.

In contrast, think of how someone looks when they’re really delighted. Their eyes almost disappear – in fact they are so bunched up that they crease around the corners.

You can’t ‘do’ a genuine smile in the mirror. It’s unconsciously controlled. You may crease up your eyes, but you can’t fake the way your eyebrows move of their own accord.

Something to remember when you’re taking a selfie. When you are on your own, your face can go to sleep.

It’s easier to improve the smiley you just drew.

Just draw another face with a couple of upturned crescents for the eyes.


Can you go even better? You can if you break a rule. Who says all smileys have to be circles?

This time draw a wide oval, (or oval potato) and add all the features so far.


Your symbol may not look like the sun any more – but it’s over the moon!

You can draw the essence of all kinds of expressions with these few lines.


I made this face by accident and called it ‘Aw Shucks!’ because it looks so bashful.