Ok, artists of the iPhone persuasion, there are many drawing apps to explore. Some will suit your style more than others, but the beauty is most of them are free or have a free version you can try on for size before buying. And the ones I have bought are cheap as chips really - the cost of a soy decaf cappucino or two at most.
Anyway this is Doodlebuddy, one of my first and favourite drawing apps. This walk thru to drawing a face with it - more of a doodle face than a portrait, but you can do a portrait if you work from a model or photo.
It's so much like working with pastels I want to wash my hands afterwards... My complaints about it are that it's slow at startup but then it's a powerful program, that a phone call interupts it and you lose your unsaved changes, and the limited pallette. But it's free and for that price i like it a lot!
Step 1: Select Base Color and Size of Brush
Here is where you put the basic structure for your face. I like to start with a large brush in a dark tone - any colour that grabs me at the time will do - bearing in mind I want to have it showing thru a litte at the end.
Select your brush by touching the colour then go back into the brush menu to set the size using the slider at the bottom. You can set the size first then the colour in one step but I always forget.
Then make a mark that suggests the outline of the face. If you don't like it, you can use the undo button at the bottom left of the screen, or the eraser in the brush menu, or keep scratching at it with more colour till something pleasing emerges.
Step 2: Set Broad Features of the Face
For me the iPhone screen isn't big enough - and my fingertips insufficiently pointy - to manage to get a whole head on the screen. Maybe i'm just rationalizing why i need an iPad. Sigh...
But i like doing doodle faces that are framed in the small space of the screen. Anyway, start with the bigger architectural structures of the face. If the nose sticks out the most, start with the nose, then the brow, eyes and lips.
In this step you are not defining the features, just locating them and setting some shadow areas for them to emerge from.
Step 3: Fill Out the Face With Colour in Broad Brushstrokes
Here's where you really start to get creative. Change the colour of your brush to something that pleases you when placed next to the base colour. It can be harmonious (in the same or near colour range) or contrasting (opposite each other on the colour wheel for a more startling effect). You may prefer to use a skin tone, but here i'm inspired by the colourists.
Also, upsize your brush a little so you can use it to 'sculpt' out the definition of the features a little.
Use the undo button mercilessly as required - getting used to the fine motor control demanded by touchscreen technology can be frustrating as well as entertaining.
Choose a colour to dominate the eyes and lips. Ok, so I sold out and went with blue eyes and red lips...
Don't forget the background. With Doodlebuddy you can add a photo for the background or another artwork or colour behind, to good effect, but with this I decided to divide it into two with slabs of colour.
When you are happy with the image, save it (in case you get a phone call and lose it!) Next you can start refining your doodle a bit more.
Step 4: Refine and Play
Ok, so when i looked at my face i didn't like how thin it was, so i plumped it out a little on the lower cheek. Most of my work is done this way - trial and error - I have to keep looking at it as i go along, and correcting and refining it. Some artists don't need to do this - and when I'm in the groove I can cut the exact line i want - but not with this doodle.
The next thing I did was slightly alter the colour of the brush to bring some structure and interest to the forehead, cheeks and lips. I like the smudge tool here too, but beware - if you have it too large, you can distort the whole picture (sometimes to unexpectedly interesting results!).
I like to start adding patches of colour that I might later dab or draw over, so they might just peak out from underneath. Builds up some interesting layer effects, just like working with real pastels.
If you like what you have but want to undo to a previous version, save it by touching the settings button on the bottom right then undo to where you want.
Step 5: Play More, Refine More...
I was getting bored with the colours and wanted to bring out a little more structure to the face without using white as a highlight, so decided to go a little Gaugin with a pale turquoise. Then played around with how much to put on and take off by layering other colours over it...
I liked it so much i got carried away and added it to the eyebrows for a bit more drama.
Then the eye's needed a little definition so switched to white again.
Step 6: Finished Drawing
So then I had to go to work so saved the last image i was happy with... the good thing about saving as you go along is you can have more than one work to be the final one if you can't make up your mind. Yeah i know, a true artist lives with the risk that every mark is the make or break of the work - but the iPhone artist can have it both ways!
Hope you enjoyed my little show n tell, and you are inspired to try some of the drawing apps to vent your creative flow next time you are waiting at the doctors or for the bus with your iPhone sitting idly in your pocket.
The next few pages show some of my finished works from doodlebuddy. Some of them i've put through some photo editing apps to play with curves, colour and contrast to enhance the images. I like Photo curves free for adjusting curves etc afterwards, and Photoshop mobile free for it's saturation and vignetting blur options.
Step 7: Using Other Apps to Effect
The other images were done in doodlebuddy then run thru curves as well.