After a long hiatus from releasing any new apps I’ve finally found a series of apps that resonates well with me. Tools for Artists will be a new set of apps I release over the coming months. My primary goal is to create truly free apps that support learning artists.
As I restarted my journey into drawing and watercolor I found many great tools out there but none that were exactly what I was looking for. I really wanted something simple and no flare but robust enough to be a complete tool. The first tool I needed was a drawing reference and gesture drawing training app. Ultimately this is just a slideshow with specific timers and sequences. Not very complicated and there were plenty others out there. However, all the others I found wanted to charge extra for photo packs. Like $1.99 for a hundred or so photos. Bleh. There were some good websites but they didn’t work well on mobile and often had limited photos too. So I figured I could spend some time and make what I want for me and share it with all of you.
Therefore Gesture Flow was born. I ended up collecting over 4,000 royalty-free images from a variety of sources. This was a bit time consuming but it allowed me to curate the images well and really grab much more than I think I’ll ever need. Also it’s easy for me to add more (*wink* *wink* any photographers that want to share let me know!).
Here are some screencaps for you all. It’s not complex but it is the simple tool that gets the job done that is the tool we all have… (what an odd attempt at something philosophic).
Pretty simple. It has images of men and women, nude and clothed poses, faces, hands, and feet. It has 2 modes: purely timed (show image for X seconds) or class mode. Class mode does warmups starting at 30 seconds and progressing to at least one 10 minute pose. There’s a variety of class modes to select from. You’ll notice it does have adds. These are just some Amazon affiliate ads that ONLY show on the main screen. No interruptions or annoyances. I also built in the ability for users to donate to support the app if they can. I’m using AWS S3 for storage so it will hopefully take a long time to cost anything. There’s more I’d like to do to it such as allowing users to use their own images and create custom collections and custom class timers. Future stuff. For now the next step is porting the UI to web. I might do an iOS release but my 2012 Mac Mini isn’t cooperating.
I have a couple other tools planned. A bit more ambitious than this one. Next up will likely be an artist journaling app. Something that really helps you see your improvements and progress over time. So there will be categories to put your works in order by media type so that you can compare watercolor with water color, compare charcoal figure drawing to same, etc. This will also be a place for artists to write personal notes on the pieces so they can remember techniques they used, specific media and tools, etc. It should be pretty easy to put together. My only concern would be storage. I can probably give away a small amount for free and then charge for larger amounts of storage. Ultimately it would be best to connect to Google Photos or Apple Photos with some sort of permanent slug to the images. Future concerns.
The other tool I have planned is a bit more complex to pull off. It is a computer vision AI that will dissect the colors in a photo and recommend the paint colors the artist should use in reproducing the work. Users will also be able to enter their inventory of paints so that the app can select approximate colors from that if possible. Should be fun to make but it is a bit complex and I’d likely need someone to help with the computer vision side if I want to get this done before 2030.
Anyway that’s all the news that’s good news.
I hope to write more soon and do some shorter quick articles like this.
I’m working on some FitBit clock faces and apps too.