My favorite drawing tools (right now)

The pasts few days I’ve been reviewing all the drawing tools I use and tried out different ones. I found that I actually use a very wide range of tools for digital painting, drawing, modeling, and other forms of computer based general art-making.

These are my current favorites:

(straight up) Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is great, and I’ve been using it for year and years, though mainly for photo editing and composition. I picked up a Wacom digital pen for the first time and tried to draw a quick sketch in photoshop. While my drawing skills leave a to be desired, I was impressed with Photoshop’s range of brushes, quality of pressure and articulation when using a digital pen and how easy it was to get a feel for expression and control. It was much better than tablet based systems I also tried this week like the Apple Pen and the Microsoft Surface Pen. I’m also very familiar with Photoshop’s photo manipulation and composition features, which will hopefully allow me to incorporate digital drawing into a larger digital art context.

 Butt ugly flower for reference, drawn with a Wacom Cintiq on Photoshop CC

Butt ugly flower for reference, drawn with a Wacom Cintiq on Photoshop CC

TouchDesigner & GLSL

Most of my recent generative visuals work has been in TouchDesigner using GLSL shaders. I love the visual node-based programming environment, how quickly it allows me to sketch ideas and how it all works in real-time with no render times and potential live control from audio and input signals. I use TouchDesigner for more abstract work and real-time composition but maybe it could complement assets made in Photoshop.

 Internal State (Barak Chamo, 2018). GLSL Shader in TouchDesigner.

Internal State (Barak Chamo, 2018). GLSL Shader in TouchDesigner.

Oculus Medium VR

For an unrelated Art Toy character design project I tried drawing and sculpting in VR using Oculus Medium. I found the spatial modeling tool to be surprisingly intuitive albeit very basic. I was able to sketch ideas quickly, modify characters and paint them by manipulating them in space using the Oculus controllers, it was an unparalleled easy modeling experience. I even had the chance to export the models for 3d printing, which was a breeze.

Even though not technically a drawing tool like Quil or TiltBrush, Medium felt less toyish and more practical in asset creation, a lot like a VR Z-Brush. I like it as a space to explore and mess around and potentially even export rough sketches that can be iterated on.