My New Laptop TM2: Part 2

Some tips or things that I experienced while playing around with my new toy: HP TouchSmart TM2:

  • I give up German windows. Fortunately, you can install English language without having to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate Edition. I used a hack tool Vistalizator and I didn’t get any problem installing English language to my German Windows 7. The UI changes, the folder name, everything without having to re-install! Just be careful and use it at your own risk.
  • The pen has only one button and weight much lighter that any Wacom pen that I ever had (Graphire 2 and Bamboo). and it feels cheap πŸ™
  • The pressure sensitive is only 256 levels, compare to 512 levels on small Bamboo tablet. If you really paint professionally, this limitation might bother you. For me, this is just fine. I just adjust the pen to lighter pressure.
  • ArtRage 2.5 works pretty well including the pressure sensitive!
  • Sketching on the screen is much better than using the Tablet (well, except the Wacom Intuos πŸ˜€ )
  • The Corel Paint It! Touch (bundled software) is nice. You can paint using your finger or the pen.
  • The keyboard is really nice. It does not have this cheap-plastic feeling πŸ˜‰ but it does not have backlight
  • The screen can detect pen or touch mode, but only one can active at a time. So your palm will not be detected even if it touch the screen, as long as you are still using the pen (at least still hovering the pen tip on the screen). This is useful when you use the laptop as a tablet (with folded keyboard and only using the pen)

bonus: here’s my quick megaman sketch using ArtRage2.5

A Scanner!

I bought it last week. This is something that I’ve been postponing since February 2007 πŸ˜› I was planning to get one once I get a job and move to the new place.

Well, it’s kinda urgent to have it now. I need to scan and send my documents via e-mail. It’s for the work permit application and finding apartments in Berlin. I send it from Bremen so I don’t have to go to Berlin, especially during this 10-days-strike on Berlin public transport 😐

Can’t wait to scan my sketches and update my portfolio, which I haven’t done since last November πŸ™„

A quick sketch of my wife working on her laptop.
Sketch it on my birthday, last December

Learning Watercolor

I never used watercolor before. I use oil pastel, markers, or just a pencil. Since ages, I really really want to paint with watercolor or at least try it once, but I never start πŸ™

So last week, I decided to learn. I browsed the web and check all the tutorial books. It’s not that easy to find one, at least the one that fits me πŸ™„ But I found an interesting quote from this nice web page (which has very good articles and tutorials about watercolor)

Painting is easy for those that do not know how, but very difficult for those that do!

– Edgar Degas-

My wife is also told the same thing: just start painting. Forget about the rules, tutorials. Just do it! I think she’s right. I am not going to make a masterpiece anyway. I just want to paint for fun :-p

I started with playing with some colors, trying to mix them, and making several washes on the paper.It’s really fun πŸ™‚

After an hour, I tried to paint a real object, starting with my big orange mug.

Well, not bad for a starter πŸ™‚

Your Screen is Your Canvas

When people ask me about MAC vs PC, I can only answer both is OK. I mean, both PC and MAC have their own strengths and weaknesses πŸ™„

For me, comparing PC and MAC is like comparing a ruled (or grid) notebook with a drawing canvas. On a ruled notebook, you can write, sketch, or make some tables for your schedule. You can do all these things on a drawing canvas too. But sometime it’s not the functions matters, it’s the feel.

When you’re given a ruled notebook, you feel like you’re ready to write or take a note on a something important or structured. Maybe it’s because the line or grid on the paper. On the other hand, given a drawing canvas, you will feel like “I am creative and ready to draw something”. People feel as if they’re an artist when using a drawing canvas πŸ™‚

The open and blank space on a drawing canvas give you some sense of freedom and creative feeling while the line and grid on the notebook makes people think something structured and hierarchy. Just like Mac and PC.

Talking about canvas, I remember there is a painting program for PC and MAC called Art Rage. What I really love from this application is that it changes whole screen into a blank canvas πŸ™‚ It has several painting tools like Oils, Pencil, Chalk, or Crayon, and works really fine with my WACOM tablet. You can download the free version which has limited functions but good enough to do some sketchings πŸ˜‰

The other thing that I like is their white, clean, and stylish user interface. For me, this UI (User Interface) is very important. That’s the reason why I don’t like GIMP, an open-source and free painting program. While Photoshop, Painter, and even Microsoft Expression, have started using curved and stylish UI, GIMP still stick with these floating and blocky windows. It feels more like using a programming tools rather than a painting program πŸ™ Again, it’s about feeling…

Here are some sketches done using the free-version of Art Rage 2. I am thinking to buy it since it’s only US$20. It’s really cheap, isn’t it πŸ˜‰

Pose from http://www.posemaniacs/blog

Sekaiju Sketch

This was done using pencil and marker, colored in Photoshop.

Sekaiju No Meikyuu

This was inspired by the characters from a new game from Atlus: Sekaiju no Meikyuu ( It’s a dungeon RPG forΒ NintendoDS and the character designs are done by Takehito Harada (Disgaea character designer).

Harada is my favourite character designer. I really love his (or her???) works. Check out Harada’s webpage