That one time I painted on my phone with my finger... A tutorial. Kind of. | Drawing with the Note 1


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    Published on Nov 27, 2021
    About :

    So the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is a phone that comes with a stylus. Basically all other Note phones by Samsung do, and just recently, you can buy separate S-pens for supported phones. Before throwing caution to wind and impulsively purchasing my Note, I had virtually zero experience digital drawing with a pen. OK, so maybe I did have a short period where I did try, but my stylus broke just a few months in before I even got the chance to get the hang of it.

    Drawing with the S-pen was exhilarating. I enjoyed using it so much -- too much -- my Air Actions actually stopped working. Someone told me it was probably hardware (too worn out from constant use, I guess?), and I was inclined to believe that. Thankfully, while Air Actions stopped, I could still use it to write and draw, so no harm done.


    That day, I wondered, "How do other people manage to create artworks with just their phones and their fingers?"

    Because I see all these "finger" artists on Twitter and majority of them are honestly so good in drawing and painting on their phones with just their finger. And I was left wondering, "How the heck?"

    Let's roll back to June 10th this year.

    That was actually a very important day. Heck, it was so important, I remembered that it was a Thursday and I was wearing a long-sleeved white dress shirt while seated in the corner of my aunt's guest room... and the weather was sweltering and I was sweating buckets but at the same time felt cold because I was nervous. So nervous, because it was my interview day for a job I'd been literally praying for since December last year.

    The interview was online, but I was restless. I couldn't focus on anything. So just a little less than an hour before the interview, I ended up doing what I felt could take my mind off the source of my anxiety -- I drew.

    But I couldn't be bothered to come up with anything. I just wanted to... I don't know, just color? Paint? So I did that.

    So I tried digital painting on my phone with just my... thumb.

    Jyundee is absolutely one of my favorite artists. I guess you can say that she influences my techniques one way or another. There's this one tutorial of hers that I just couldn't forget, because it was the first I'd watched from her, and I was reminded that she has a lineart that everyone can play around with to practice. (You can download the lineart by Jyundee here.)

    My curiosity about digital painting with my fingers on my phone, plus the availability of a lineart, won over my anxiety for the upcoming interview.

    I tried my best! And, suffice to say, my thumb was a numb mess after that, but I can see why doing this activity is both fun and challenging. On top of that, I was forced to explore and get creative when using the available MediBang tools.

    Aaand here is the result!

    The tutorial. Kind of.

    In a nutshell, I used the following Android apps on my Note:

    The video below shows a timelapse of how it went, and a few comments from me. Enjoy?

    Basically, I experimented a lot with the watercolor brush. Everything in its properties is adjusted every once in a while to fit how I wanted it to flow, the way I normally do with the S-pen, except this time, the adjustments were more drastic.

    In particular, I played so much with the opacity and ease of mixing colors. You can set the ease of mixing colors setting to a higher value so that the colors blend easier. It was essentially filled with trials and errors, but it was definitely enjoyable!

    I ended up using Snapseed to adjust the brightness, contrast, ambiance, highlights, shadows, and warmth along with the color curves. I felt that, while the final painting looked lively enough, it wasn't as lively as I wanted it to look like.

    Will I do this again?

    Uh, not in the near future, definitely. Maybe in the next five years? LMAO. To be honest, I've been having a hard time drawing lately. I could show you some of my ongoing artworks that had been sitting on my gallery for months now, never seeing the end of the tunnel.

    But it was really enlightening. If there's a will, there's a way. And that saying applied so much when I tried this. I half thought that this was going to end up really badly, but it surprisingly is decent. Brings me back to few of my conversations with my big sister, where we discussed drawing with our fingers.

    I said the painting part wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be, but I was 100% sure drawing linearts with just the finger would be the death of me. Who knows? Maybe the saying "If there's a will, there's a way" will once again apply should I find the drive to try.

    Non-related Notes

    So I said above that the interview was for a job that I had been praying for since December last year. I got the job. I'm here now. :) So the day this finger painting challenge was taken on is definitely a memorable one to me.
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