Sunday, November 12, 2017

Zentangle Redux

An homage to Catalunya created using an Apple Pencil and Procreate on an iPadPro 10.5" model.

I've been doing my version of Zentangles since September of 2013. You can see earlier posts, "Do You Like to Doodle," September 13, 2013 and/or More Zentangles, October 1, 2013 for basic information about Zentangles or visit (click here).

Original Zentangles are created with black ink on 3.5" square paper cards. As I've mentioned in the past, I started out right away with 6" square cards.

In recent years, I've started to add color to my Zentangle creations. I've added color through the use of a combination of color pencils, gel pens, and colored markers. Digital podcasts show their best when displayed on a computer screen. The other options for prints is a color printer or sending the file to a photo service such as Costco Photo or Wal-Mart Photo.

I acquired an 10.5" iPad Pro recently. I also purchased an Apple Pencil (stylus). I explored several drawing apps that I thought might lend themselves to creating digital Zentangles. I finally settled on Pro Create. 

Procreate lets you generate high-caliber artwork at a blistering pace using a robust layering system, stunning filters, and thousands of importable brushes. Plus, Savage Interactive's super-intuitive app supports pressure sensitivity and Apple Pencil—as well as iCloud Drive and a seamless video recording of each brushstroke—so sharing your work is incredibly simple.

At the end of this post, I've listed all of the features of this great application. And how much does this  app cost you ask, well how about $5.99! The Apple Pencil will only work on iPadPros, both 9.7", 10.5" and 12.9" models. Procreate will also work on iPad 4th generation, iPadAir, and iPadAir2. You can actually use your finger to draw with Procreate on non-pro models. The other alternative stylus for non-pro iPads is the Wacom Bamboo Sketch. This new $80 stylus which has pressure sensitivity is similar to the Apple Pencil will work on older iPads and iPhone 6 and above. It will also work with a number of popular IOS drawing apps.

Apple Design Award winner and App Store Essential – Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for a mobile device. This complete artist’s toolbox helps you create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations anywhere you are. Procreate features ground-breaking canvas resolution, 128 incredible brushes, advanced layer system and is powered by Silica: the fastest 64-bit painting engine on iOS.

Create a canvas and start painting with any of Procreate’s exclusive dual-texture brushes. Use the immediately responsive smudge tool to perfectly blend colour with any brush in your library. With Procreate’s incredibly high-resolution canvases you can print your artwork at massive sizes. Experience the revolutionary selection, transform, and perspective tools built exclusively for multitouch and finish your illustration with stunning cinema-quality effects. Procreate’s powerful and intuitive interface always puts your art in focus.
With a deep range of professional quality features, Procreate has all the power a creative needs.
• Feature Highlights- Optimized for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil- Massive Ultra High Definition canvases, up to 16k by 4k on iPad Pro 12.9"- Powered by Silica: the fastest 64-bit painting engine- Stunning 64-bit color - Deliciously responsive 64-bit smudge sampling - Multi-threaded; optimized for iPad’s multiple cores - 250 levels of undo and redo- Continuous auto-save—never lose work again - Connect a keyboard to use shortcuts for advanced features- Advanced Quick Menu for rapid interface interaction
• Breakthrough Brushes: - Packed with 128 beautifully made brushes- Game-changing dual textured brush system - 35 customizable settings for every brush - Create your own custom Procreate brushes - Organize your brushes into your own custom sets - Import custom brushes and export your own
• Advanced Layering System:- Layer your artwork for precise control over individual elements- Stay organized by combining layers into Groups- Select multiple layers to move or Transform objects simultaneously- Access 17 layer blend modes for professional compositing
• Color Without Compromise: - 64-bit color for greater accuracy- Fill your art seamlessly with ColorDrop- Exact ColorDrop fills with Reference Layers that won’t damage your line work- Input RGB or hex values for exact color matching
• Dramatic Finishing Effects:- GPU accelerated for optimum speed - Perspective Blur (exclusive to Procreate)- Gaussian and Motion Blurs- Sharpen and add Noise - Hue, Saturation, Brightness - Color Balance, Image Curves, Recolor
• Groundbreaking Video Features- Relive your creative journey with Procreate’s time-lapse replay- Broadcast your process live with your favorite streaming service- Record everything in real time and share it to any connected service
• Sharing and Workflow Integration: - Import or export Adobe® Photoshop® PSD files- Export to AirDrop, iCloud Drive, Photos, iTunes, Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Facebook, Weibo and Mail- Export as layered native .procreate file, PSD, transparent PNG, multi-page PDF or web ready JPEG

Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Current Reading List

I'm a big fan of BookTV ( BookTV is sponsored by C-Span. Every week end, authors give lectures about their new books. I'm always tempted to order their books from my local library. I don't always get around to reading them all.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Netflix Has Secret Codes for Finding Super Specific TV and Movie Categories

I always have trouble finding movies on Netflix relating to genre.

Check out this article about how to search different genres on Netflix.

Click here

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Adventures in Cold Brewing

I've written earlier posts about making a good cup of coffee. Over the years, I've gravitated from Melitta pour over to an Aeropress. Cold brew coffee is the new rage. Cold brew coffee has less acidity than hot brewed coffee. Experts say that this method brings out more of the subtle flavors of coffee.

The basic principles of coffee making are the same no matter which brewing method is used. Start with good clean water (I have an ROC unit in my home), high quality coffee, and freshly ground with a good quality burr grinder.

I recently received a Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew coffee maker (1000 ml model). My first batch was a mixture of French roast beans and medium roast Peruvian beans. I used a medium-coarse grind. I put the coffee in the filter basket and poured cold water through the filter into the carafe. I left the carafe on the kitchen counter for about 16 hours. 

I drank the coffee this morning. It was delicious. I noticed very low acidity and a slight chocolate finish. I'm not a big fan of iced coffee but this is a perfect solution for iced coffee.

One of the advantages of this method is the fact that you are creating coffee concentrate which can last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. 

Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Iced Coffee Pot/Maker (1000ml, Red) is available from Amazon for around $20.00.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Voyage of the Oosterdam - Part 1

This was my first cruise with Holland America Line. The Oosterdam was built in 2003 but was refurbished this year. She's 951 feet long and carries 1848 passengers. This was a 27 day cruise from Barcelona, Spain to Tampa, Florida with stops in Cadiz, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Malaga, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Toulon, France; Cali, Corsica, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno, Italy; Civitavecchia, Italy; Cartagena, Spain; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; Tampa, Florida.

Main Show Room

Vista Dining Room

My cabin

Main Pool Area

Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one to the oldest in Western Europe. It is the principal home port of the Spanish Navy.

Fine dining is the major attraction of cruising. 

Seafood Ceviche, jumbo shrimp, bay scallops, squid and Alaska King crab, topped with a 
zingy citrus mayonnaise.

Baked Red-Curry Coconut Salmon, cilantro asparagus, green zucchini and scallions, jasmine rice, and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Cheese and Fruit, Danish Blue, Brie, Manchego, D.O.C. Pepper Jack

Gibraltar, UK

Gibraltar is  a British Overseas Territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 square kilometers and shares its northern border with Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region at 426 m. high.

Escargots Bourguignon, herb garlic butter, Burgundy wine, French bread

Rack of Lamb with Tomato Coucous and Garlic Pearls, 
roasted red bell pepper, sautéed artichoke

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake, blueberry sauce, crushed amaretti


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Barcelona 2016

I arrived in Barcelona on September 22. This is my third visit to BCN. In previous visits, I rented a room in Eixample. Eixample is a hip upscale neighborhood close to many popular tourist sites such as Gaudi's Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

This year I'm staying in Sant Andreu. Sant Andreu de Palomar was an independent town with over 1,000 years of recorded history before being annexed by Barcelona in 1897. I'm literally steps to the local Mercado and a series of small shops including the coffee house, baker, fish store, wine shop, artisanal beer, ham iberico shop, fresh produce, cheese shop, etc.
I'm two blocks from the local Metro stop and 5-7 minute walk to the train station.

I haven't heard anyone on the street speaking English since I got here three weeks ago.

I depart BCN on October 22 for a 27 day cruise aboard Holland America's Oosterdam. Ports of call include Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Toulon (France), Calvi (Corsica), Monte Carlo, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Cartagena, and Funchal.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

S/V Delos - Sailing Around the World

I've been following the adventures of a group of young people sailing around the world on a 16 meter sailboat. They post videos every couple of weeks. You can watch any of their 75 videos by clicking here.