Artists like David Kassan are using the iPad to create master works of art, but there’s no palate, paints, or brushes in their iPad case.
The iPad continues to surprise us with how it can be used. More than anything else, Apple’s first foray into the world of tablets has provided a next-generation platform for expanding our ability to interact with mobile technology. Because the use of gestures is at the heart of the iPad, its very interface is inextricably connected to being human, making the possibilities for groundbreaking apps endless.
While many have postulated how the tablet and gesture control could improve business productivity, communication, gaming, and networking, few have overlooked the artistic possibilities of the iPad — until now.
Artist David Kassan, along with an emerging community of iPad artists, have put iPad art on the map by using its easy-to-overlook finger painting or “brushes” app. While the vast majority of iPad users may see the app as a simple freehand paint program, artists like Kassan have taken to utilizing the app as a virtual, completely mobile art station. Much like the portable art easels, the iPad can very simply be positioned on a tripod and painted on using the fingers just like a small canvas. And with the various textures available to the app, artists can use a variety of mixed medium techniques to create incredibly life-like, realistic works of art.
Kassan’s video has gone viral over the past few days, showing him at work in his studio with a subject right in front of him. However, the mobility and compact size of the iPad also allows iPad artists to tote their studio around with them in nothing more than a small iPad case as well. In the past, great landscape artists would have to lug a heavy easel, palate, brushes, paints, water, food, and anything else needed to the middle of a remote location for a cumbersome, day-long excursion. Now, stowed away in their trusty iPad case, an artist can wield their tablet in a park, café, sporting event, or anywhere else that inspiration hits them without the need of a bulky art set-up.
Of course, digital art is nothing new: since the late 80s, artists have been using light pens and touchable screens to draw computer graphics. And over the years, as digital resolution and graphics have improved, this genre of artistry has gained in respect and recognition. Certainly, the advent of the iPad will thrust digital arts further into the artistic domain, since it gives traditional artists a fluid, easy means of painting, sketching, and drawing on-screen without a great deal of technical knowledge.
All that remains, however, is to bridge the gap between a real canvas or piece of paper and a computer image. Amazon’s Kindle technology has sought to render a computer screen to look as much like paper as possible, and digital resolution continues to become more natural-looking and readable. Perhaps even someday, computer imaging will even advance to the point where screens will offer touchable texture, just like dried oil paints on a stretched canvas. When that day comes, perhaps we’ll see original masterpieces hanging in the Louvre not on canvas, but on iPads.
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