.NET Musings | Wandering thoughts of a developer, architect, speaker, and trainer

.NET Musings

Wandering thoughts of a developer, architect, speaker, and trainer


Graphic Design with the Surface Pro

I had Surface machines since they first came out.  Every edition of the Surface RT and the Surface Pro.  I write code for my clients, the text and images for my current book effort for Apress, and my courses for LinkedIn. I am also writing this blog post on my Surface Book.  Obviously, I’m sold on the Surface as a laptop and a work machine.  My son, on the other hand, not so much.  When my kids were much younger, I gave them Surface RTs as tablets.  Ok, so I probably jaded them with that move.  My mistake.

My oldest has a knack for drawing.  He’s really really good.  Good enough that when he wanted a digital drawing pad for his laptop, I couldn’t say no.  Well, I *did* try and talk him into a Surface, but teenagers don’t always listen to what their dad has to say. We got him a drawing pad to use with my old Dell luggable, and he produced several images that he’s put on t-shirts, including the following:

Woodstock Poster 1969The Magic Mountain CollectiveTripping As It WasUnrealized Album Art No.1VW Bus Shirt Design FinalPeace Love and Vinyl Shirt Deign Final

Recently, he had some issues with his drawing pad, and (probably due to the marketing of the Surface as an artistic tool), he asked my if I had a old Surface laying around that he could use.  I was a bit shocked, but I certainly did have a Surface Pro 3 laying around (my old development machine).  So I cleaned off all of my geek tools (like Visual Studio and SQL Server), and set it up for him to use. 

When he started using it, there was an issue with pen pressure. He practically had to press the pen through the screen to get a solid line.  I knew it was adjustable, but it was not intuitive how to do so.  There is an app in the store simple called Surface (https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9wzdncrfjb8p) that allows for an artist to customize the pen for their unique style of drawing.  Then it was just a matter of setting up Krita 64 for Surface Pro, and he was off to the races.  I had only ever used the pen as a mouse when I was sitting on an airplane!

The designs that he made on my old Surface Pro are pretty cool.  He started by creating this drawing:

RMF Art Tan Skin clear BG no loho 

He shopped the image around, and a local band expressed an interest in it. So he created some variations (again, just using my old Surface Pro 3 with pen and Krita) like this:

RMF Art Tan Skin clear BGRMF Album Art White Skin Yellow Eyes

No deal has been cut yet, so don’t look for his artwork on any shirts or album covers.  I guess he was somewhat inspired by my old Yes albums (he inherited all of my old vinyl albums).

So, two points about this post.  The Surface Pro line is really good at being an artists’ tool.  The other?  In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m just a proud dad showing of my son’s work!

Note: All Images in this post © Conner Japikse and Phil Japikse

About the author

Philip Japikse

Philip Japikse An international speaker, Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, MCSD, CSM, and CSP, and a passionate member of the developer community, Phil Japikse has been working with .NET since the first betas, developing software for over 30 years, and heavily involved in the agile community since 2005. Phil is co-author of best selling "C# and the .NET 4.6 Framework" (http://bit.ly/pro_csharp), the Lead Director for the Cincinnati .NET User’s Group (http://www.cinnug.org) and the Cincinnati Software Architect Group, co-hosts the Hallway Conversations podcast (http://www.hallwayconversations.com), founded the Cincinnati Day of Agile (http://www.dayofagile.org), and volunteers for the National Ski Patrol. During the day, Phil works as a Principal Consultant and the Agile Practice Director with Strategic Data Systems (http://www.sds-consulting.com). Phil enjoys to continuously learn new tech and is always striving to improving his craft. You can follow Phil on twitter via http://www.twitter.com/skimedic and read his blog at http://www.skimedic.com/blog.
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