Close-up of Daily Composition sketch of interior of Picture House cinema/café in Piccadilly in London, September 2023

Video – me painting on iPad, London September 2023

This video of an iPad painting in London is from a surprise trip I took there at the end of September 2023. The YouTube link to watch the Procreate video is at the bottom of the page.

Rather than being touristy or madly searching for a King Charles 50p (which I actually just forgot to do…) I wanted to do only two things, visit friends and go drawing.

I walked around a lot more than I planned, browsing on how London looks and feels and looking for compositions to draw.

Picture House in Piccadilly

My Daily Composition sketch of the interior of Picture House cinema/café in Piccadilly in London, done in Procreate on iPad Pro, September 2023.

This one is from Picture House in Piccadilly, a chain of really cool cinema/coffee shops. It’s one of my favourite places and I had just begun sketching there regularly when Covid shut everything down, I’m very happy to see it’s still going!

The interior has lots of exposed brick and structural steel and makes a feature out of it. Everything is clean and tidy and nicely lit. Colour is an important element for this picture so I drew straight into Procreate on the iPad. Normally I sketch in pencil on paper for immediacy. I then add colour digitally later if I’m not going to make an actual painting using actual paint.

My first attempt at drawing this from memory didn’t work out well as I couldn’t get the colours to feel right. I went back a few days later to draw it properly from observation.

It’s very unusual for me to draw a ‘correct’ picture from observation like this. Normally I prefer to sketch from memory later on and try to capture the feel of something. This took 3 or 4 hours and multiple coffees. Thankfully a) my hand didn’t wobble too much from the caffeine and b) they didn’t throw me out for loitering.

When the picture felt pretty complete I called a halt for the day. I could have continued noodling and tidying there on the spot but I needed a walk after sitting still for so long.

Correcting and overcorrecting

Noodling can be best left until after a break. It’s very easy to stifle the life in your drawing with too much tidying. Coming back later with fresh eyes helps you judge this better. Here I kept noodling to a minimum.

Inverted colour version of my Daily Composition sketch of interior of Picture House cinema/café in Piccadilly in London from September 2023.

One of my favourite things about working digitally is the ability to quickly see different versions of a picture. Here I accidentally inverted the whole thing in Photoshop and it actually looks very cute!

I save these alternate versions as they give me perspective on what is possible and broaden my imagination a little bit.

I’m not into drugs but I imagine things might look a bit like this if I was…

My real favourite thing about working digitally is the ability to create a video of the creation process. It’s SO easy to spot other people’s mistakes when you watch them doing things. It is SO obvious, like sports fans screaming at the ref/manager/player, what they should have done instead. The idiots. Watching videos of your own creation process allows you to SHOUT THIS ADVICE AT YOURSELF. That’s the best bit, you fool! Don’t erase it!

It’s not all about mistakes either. Watching other people doing things your optimistic brain visualises itself able to do the same thing just as easily even though you may never have done it before in your Life. Playing back your own videos in the dressing room helps you see the things you’ve done well too. It’s part of learning.

Prints and Video

Close-up detail with link to me drawing it on YouTube

Click on this link or the picture on the left to see the video on YouTube of me creating this picture. I saved it in Procreate and it’s about 2 minutes long.

To order prints or things like phone covers go to my Fine Art America pages here.

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