Archive for September, 2015
Drawn with Linux MyPaint and GIMP.
Engine drawn in Chibi Paint. "Pine" is GIMP's default pattern.
Below is a "slice of life" view of present-day Twitter.
Drawn in the Krita paint program.
These Linux programs feel "right" to me, slightly archaic, and pretty much the opposite of the iPhone painting apps where some genius technician devises an interface that you, the hapless consumer, uses to make quasi-Picassos or what have you. With the Linux programs, the open source work environments, mostly doped out in the 1995-2005 range (am guessing), and borrowing liberally from Adobe, are not so strongly branded as the the work of an individual creative designer (although they all have credits). A smudge tool is pretty much the same everywhere. The artist/user, then, has to find a balance between the dynamic or showy effects of the program's unique brushes and some kind of old fashioned notion of hand skill. One problem I had with the Chibi Paint program used by Computers Club Drawing Society was a shaky line, not because my hand is shaky but because the lack of stylus pressure made "normal" muscle twitches more obvious as the pen was gliding in a frictionless environment. Most of the Linux PC programs I'm using employ some form of weighted smoothing where an algorithm compensates for this. This may not come as news to Adobe painters but it's certainly not a feature of MSPaint. But then you have the "ethical" decision of how much compensation to use. A perfectly smoothly curving line seems like kind of a cheat -- a machine assist to make "every artist a Charles Burns" the way James Alliban makes you a regular Picasso. These kinds of decisions are interesting though -- cyber-age variations on the old issue of whether artists should use a standardized French curve or make "their own" curves (as some artist's handbook I once had posed the problem).
On a more mundane note: One nice thing about Krita is you can open multiple files and drag layers back and forth between them. I haven't figured out how to do this in GIMP, other than exporting the layers as images. Krita also has dot and stripe patterns that can be "brushed" -- again, maybe GIMP has these but I haven't found them.
Drawn with Chibi Paint and Krita
morbid joke at my own expense -- have been avoiding a mobile-friendly alternative because am still philosophically attached to the sidebar -- thus...
phone template and background:
Devine Lu Linvega
Drawn with Krita, a Linux paint program.
A few brief words about adblockingmageddon below but first, note use of "tap" instead of "click" in this screenshot (and since we said adblockingmageddon we can't really complain about the horrible word "embiggen").
Have been wondering when "tap" would replace "click" as a metaphor (one-tap install, tap-through, tapbait, etc).
In the flare-up over the new iPhone OS's venturesome enabling of ad-blockers, Lauren Weinstein refers to an "inflection point":
Apple's new iOS 9 ad blocking push threatens to be the inflection point that transforms ad blocking from a relatively niche application class to much more of a default situation.
What about the inflection point that pushes vocabulary from click to tap? A far more dangerous scenario -- whole stories will have to be rewritten.
At any rate, the "situation" regarding ad-blockers is as follows. Perhaps a couple of years ago an intrepid PC user installed the Ghostery ad-and-tracker blocker because she was sick of merchants following her around the web. It didn't occur to her that she was impacting anyone's publishing model because she's "niche" - a non-phone user who took the trouble to install Ghostery. But now Apple, the hardware leader since the mass shift from PCs to phones, is providing support for ad-blockers on surfin' Safari (which it hadn't before). This affects sole proprietor websites who rely on Google ads and other nickel-and-dime ways to raise revenue. It even affects newspapers and magazines, which are famously downsizing. Ominously, some have noted, Apple just launched a mandatory news app that publishers pay to access. Could it be that Apple plans to starve publishers of ad revenue and bottleneck news through their app? The app will have ads (which you can't block) but it's not clear how publishers will pay to "place" news if they are denied ad income.
One solution to all this is "throw away your phone" but that's not, um, viable.
Corrected (hat tip bamboo) to note that Apple is allowing ad blockers, not implementing them -- Lauren Weinstein and other critics are trumpeting that Apple is "pushing" blockers so in my reading haste and not-really-giving-a-shit-about-phones I assumed it meant something more forceful than just "allowing" them. An inflection point is indeed a moment of great sensitivity when so many people have ceded monopoly power to one company (by crawling into a phone and bringing their whole lives with them).