When I was at Marvel UK, editor in chief Paul Neary often advised new artists to consider copying pages of their favourite comic artists to learn how they were constructed by emulating the style. He cautioned that the new artist need never show these ‘copied’ pages to anyone – they were simply one way of learning the mechanics of creating a comic page.
A new painting app from Korean company Oceans called AnySketch provides a function similar to tracing paper or a light box, enabling you to trace over a picture in your own way. The creators – who admittedly could possibly have checked their copy and created an English language of their web site before rolling the app out – say the app was made so as to enable the user to draw the picture directly by taking a photograph of something you want to draw (as the pictures above illustrate), or of a character from a book or an animation scene shown in the monitor.
Unlike other apps, you don’t draw the picture on screen. You simply adjust the transparency of the image on your iPhone or iPad and position it over the paper (or drawing tablet!) you want to draw on. Since you can see how you’re doing as you’re drawing, you’re effectively ‘tracing’ an image in a modern way.
While it’s clear from the company web site that you’re going to have to find a way to position your phone above the paper without simply trying to hold it steady as you draw, I can see this being a fun tool for kids who want to learn to draw, and for the early stages of a comic artist to learn their craft. The creators suggest the app may be helpful for the infants and children to accustom themselves to the paintings of objects, letters, maps, or shapes.
As I said, the company who made this seriously need to look at their English language side of their web site and the app itself, but it’s easy enough to use without learning Korean. Both the free version and chargeable version can be downloaded from the Google Android Marketplace and Apple App Stores.
• AnySketch Korean Hompage : www.anysketch.net
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.