Monday, May 23, 2016

Overdue: iPad, Procreate painting

Wow, I can't believe I never posted this:

Painting of a ferret using Procreate on an iPad.

I uploaded it to Youtube in January.

My daughter is mad on ferrets so I took a few photos of them one afternoon. They are impossible to photograph, by the way. They never stop moving, and they move fast. Except for the smell, they are quite fascinating creatures.

The video shows a time lapse painting done from one of the blurry photos. It was done in Procreate on an iPad using a cheap pen stylus that I got for free from somewhere. It has a ballpoint pen on one end for writing and a big rubber tip in the removable cap, to use as a substitute for a finger on touch-sensitive devices like smartphones and tablets. It also includes a tiny LED torch in the other end.

The pen is not pressure sensitive but it is marginally better than painting with a finger.

Blogging is somewhat on the backburner as my art life has taken a bit of a left turn. I haven't picked up a paint brush for a very long time but have spent a lot of time restoring 400-day clocks. They are among the most frustrating of timepieces, and are widely despised by professional clock repairers, but my wife loves them and I seem to enjoy bringing them back to life. We now have almost 40 of them running and we really need a lot more.

400-day anniversary glass dome clock collection

If you have one of these clocks, also called dome clocks, torsion clocks or anniversary clocks, and if you don't want it any longer, then please drop me a line. Or if you know where there is one (in WA) that someone is throwing out or selling, then please let me know that too.

My digital art life has also taken a lot of my time. Late last year I delved into motion graphics and worked on a few TV and cinema commercials and this year I have been teaching animation at the local TAFE which has been a blast.

I have had an interest in animation since I was a kid and can remember animating plasticine and Lego in my teens, using a super-8 movie camera. A bit over ten years ago I discovered 3D animation and had some of my work published in guides for Blender, including writing two chapters for the official guide. I was also technical editor on another Blender guide book.

Here's an animation I made of a matchstick stand-up comedian, about eight years ago...

The opportunity to teach animation has been amazing.

Soooo, anyway, that's why I haven't been blogging or making plein air painting videos.

What I do hope to do, one day, is to take the iPad out into the field, and do some digital plein air sketches and paintings.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

iPad finger-paintings

I received an iPad from the family for Christmas and just had to have a go at finger painting.

I downloaded an app called Procreate as I had seen this before in the (in)famous, viral, Morgan Freeman finger-painting video, then messed around to see what I could do with it.

At less than $10 Australian, it's an astonishingly capable program that would give Photoshop a run for its (considerable and never-ending) money if it was ever available on the desktop.

I've uploaded a video of my first fumblings in Procreate. Don't judge the program by my efforts, though.

Friday, November 6, 2015

New video graphics tutorial - Lens Flare

My other blog is currently undergoing redevelopment so I'll post this here for now.

I downloaded Motion 5 a few months ago and one of the first projects I used it for required lens flare effects. Motion 5 only ships with a very simple, two-dimensional flare generator, so I had to find ways to make the desired effect myself.

I muddled through, learning Motion 5 as I went, and ended up with something half-decent, but it was an impractical way to achieve it so I set about finding a better way.

I banged my head against it for a couple of weeks and eventually, after several false but promising starts, I stumbled across Parameter Behaviours and unlocked the secret I'd been searching for.

I just uploaded a video tutorial explaining the building blocks of this method and hope it proves useful for others trying to solve the same problem.

Apple Motion 5 Lens Flare Effect Tutorial

Motion 5 Lens Flare Youtube Tutorial link

Monday, September 28, 2015

Malcolm Turnbull caricature video

I have uploaded a video of my latest Malcolm Turnbull digital caricature.

Go to my new blog for more info.

Malcolm Turnbull
Original 500x500px
Digital Caricature
© Andy Dolphin

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Malcolm Turnbull - another caricature

Don't forget to visit my new blog.

Malcolm Turnbull
Original 1000x1000px
Digital Caricature
© Andy Dolphin

Malcolm Turnbull - digital caricature

Following a tumultuous afternoon and evening in Australian politics, I've posted this over on my new Andy Dolphin blog.

Malcolm Turnbull Prime Minister digital caricature by Andy Dolphin
Malcolm Turnbull
Original 1000x1000px
Digital Caricature
© Andy Dolphin

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Announcing my new blog

floral fireworks still life painting in oil by Andy Dolphin
Floral fireworks
12.5cm x 22.5cm oil on ply panel.
© Andy Dolphin

I've had a bit of a break from painting but things have been happening - a lot of it has more to do with antique clocks than painting, but things have been happening.

One big change is that my blog now has a new home on my new website, made by my son Michael Dolphin.

If you have this site bookmarked or memorised, you'll need to change your links, or rewire your neurons, and make note of the new address at

To launch the new site, I have uploaded a new three-part video to Youtube documenting the painting of a small floral still life in oil.