Sunday, July 1, 2012

Penultimate, as a artists research tool

This summer, I have been spending some time exploring the Penultimate app. As a visual artist, I have always loved using a common pencil and my beloved Moleskin sketchbooks to draw out my ideas, so the idea of "drawing" on a touch screen seems rather odd for me.  When I first started working with this app, I simply used my finger to draw and write notes with, but recently I found that with a Bamboo stylus I have more control of my drawing and the process feels a bit more like you are using a "real" pencil.

What I like about Penultimate is that I can take a photograph of a project that I am working on, import it to Penultimate and then write comments or do drawings on the image. Once finished, I can print them  out, e-mail them or add the page to the Penultimate notebook for future use.

With Penultimate you have three line width options, numerous colors to draw with and an eraser to "rub" out your changes or mistakes. You can also cut out areas of your work that you want to discard. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to do this on an imported image. To remove an area from an image I found that you will need to make the changes to your image in photoshop prior to adding the image to the app. If you want to skip photoshop and be more spontaneous with your drawings and note taking,  just draw over the part of the image you want to remove.

Recently, I used this app to help design my one-person exhibition which is at the Vertigo Art Space in Denver. On photographs of the empty gallery space, I made notes and drew arrows to indicate where I wanted my art work to be hung in the gallery space. The document was then e-mailed to the gallery director. This process proved to be a great way to assist the director with the installation my artwork.

While this app may not replace a pencil and notebook entirely, I am finding that it has some great potential as a research tool in my studio and in the classroom. I will keep you posted on my progress with Penultimate.

Ted Vogel, Associate Professor of Art, Studio Head in Ceramic