Monday, March 20, 2017

The Living Sketchbook App is Live

The Living Sketchbook™ is new technology that lets you experience one of my sketchbooks on your smartphone or tablet. (Link to video trailer on YouTube)

The first in the series, Volume 1: Boyhood Home, is now available for iOS iPhones and iPads at the App Store and for Android phones and tablets at Google Play. (Note that if you aren't able to purchase it, it may be because you have an older model of iOS or Android.)

Praise for The Living Sketchbook
“It’s as nice as having James’s sketchbook in my hands! Only with the added bonus of actually being able to see him manipulate the image. Having followed many of these pieces and seeing the originals in some cases, I find that this is a really helpful tool to see how he paints in real life and being able to examine the images at my leisure to see the way that the final brushstrokes are put down. I hope that James adds more sketchbooks and/or pages so that I can get even more inspiration from his work.”
—Michael Mrak, Design Director, Scientific American

"When I found out about his app, I thought to myself: “Why didn’t I think of that?” It embraces technology and allows users an opportunity to get closer to an artist’s sketchbook...The app was really intuitive and easy to navigate. To go to next page, you swipe the image. To zoom in, you pinch outwards. Last but not least, there are buttons that brings out the voice narrations with occasional videos of how he has painted on-site. Imagine a talking sketchbook with videos.”
—Erwin Lian, The Perfect Sketchbook

“This app is outstanding! One of my favorite aspects of James Gurney's videos is getting the opportunity to hear his thoughts about the pieces he is painting. I love that I can get that same experience while enjoying the detailed views of the high-resolution sketches in the app.”
—Jon Schindehette, Art Director, Art Order
Coding and development by Dan Gurney. 
Living Sketchbook, Vol. 1: Boyhood Home
iOS on Apple phones and tablets at the App Store
and for Android devices at Google Play


Unknown said...

I felt obliged to purchase this. This is an excellent way to give something back for all that you have given me over the years. Keep them coming so I have a way of supporting work that I value!

Thanks for this, I will now go pinch to zoom! :)

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Got it this weekend... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it, I haven't watched all the videos yet, but I really love the voice overs on each page... Your son is very clever, will he be offering a way for other artists to publish a similar app?

Pilgrim said...

It is really nice to see the flow of sketches in context to each other, location wise, but also in terms of materials, ambient sound shifts, color, tone, and framing. The level if detail on the small page is amazing, as is the range of color with the limited palettes. Those cheap brushes in the hand of a master!

Bob said...

Wonderful! The app's general experience is much like that of your videos, yet its interactive format makes it even better. Being able to zoom in wherever desired as well as the choice to have commentary when desired or else saved for later are huge advantages. Two suggestions:

1. Make future volumes available as in-app purchases rather than separate apps -- thus allowing for an overall index as well as less home-screen clutter.

2. You can guess what sort of art content I'd like to see, for I'm like a starving raptor hungering for anything Dinotopian!...

Lydia said...

Hi James,

I've been following your blog a long while and purchased most of your videos and books! Always a wonderful learning experience. This may be an interesting info bit for you...even as a landscape architecture student so much of what you share is relevant.

Sadly I cannot download your new app, my devices are too old.

I would love to view your sketchbooks if you decide to expand your offering...or I'll be patient and download when I upgrade....

You're work is always inspiring!

Thank You,
L Akers

rock995 said...

Love it love it love it!! What a great idea this was! Thanks so much and man, the price was right also!

rock995 said...

Wait...your SON coded all this?? Wow, how cool is THAT?? You must be really proud of him. ... OK, just checked him out on Medium and joined up so I could follow this guy. This is such a great app!

Geoff Watson said...

I love the app! I'm taking my time with it, savoring it.

James, when you've got a wet watercolor or gouache painting in your book, do you close it? You said the Salida picture took two days. Did you hold the book open to the page overnight? I ask because when I paint in gouache or watercolor in a sketchbook, I usually end up wanting to restart on a new page, but by then I have a wet and buckling page to deal with. I suppose I use too much water?

Colin Boyer said...

A very neat idea for an app, and the images are of course beautiful. I'm curious, is this every page in that sketchbookn without editing anything out?

Also, I bought it but the sound isn't working for me. Any idea how to fix it? I would love to be able to hear your voiceovers.

Unknown said...

Hi James! I downloaded the app and I absolutely love it. However the sound doesn't seem to be working for me, both in my iPad and iPhone. Could there be a bug in the app? I hope it can get resolved soon.

James Gurney said...

Shiella and Colin: A couple other people had no audio, and this troubleshooting guide solved it for them. Please try these ideas:
1. Volume adjustment or the headphones. Are other apps on your phone playing audio?
2. Go to Settings > Sounds and drag the Ringer And Alerts slider to turn the volume up.
3. If your device has a Ring/Silent switch, make sure it's set to ring.
4. Restart your device.
5. Open an app that has music or sound effects. Adjust the volume with the volume buttons or the slider in Control Center.
6. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth. Then check the sound again.
7. Update your device to the latest version of iOS.

Colin, yes, this is every page in order.

Geoff, usually the watercolor, gouache, or casein paint dries in a matter of minutes. If something is really juicy and I have to pack up and go, I leave the sketchbook clipped to the easel until it's bone dry before I close it. It should be OK to use lots of water on the Pentalic book (150 lb cotton rag paper), but if you still get warping, try leaving it clipped until it's dry or wetting the back side of the paper later to flatten it.

Rock995, I agree, Dan rocks! Watching him make decisions during the development phase gave me a lot of admiration for the art of coding.

Lydia, thanks for your patience. It will be there when you upgrade. Wish we could offer it to older devices, but the graphics and video is too much for them to swallow.

Bob, you da man! We considered keeping the whole thing in one app, but the architecture of that is formidable, and it just made sense to create each sketchbook as its own standalone. Those who want to collect them can put them in a folder, or like books on a bookshelf. And yes, we're thinking of Dinotopian possibilities.

Pilgrim, thanks! I'm a real lover of audio: podcasts, old radio, sound effects, etc. I think there so much potential in what the audio track can bring to a sketchbook. Would love to do even more with integrating the sound cues from the location recording into the audio track.

Capt. Elaine, we're planning on keeping the "Living Sketchbook" brand exclusive to me for a while to give me airspace as I launch future titles, but it's possible we might publish the work of a few other select sketchbook artists in the future if they bring something new and exciting to the form. It's also possible that Dan will work with other clients to adapt his technology in fields like family photo albums, photographers, or possibly art portfolios.

Thank you for your support, Jari. It keeps gas in my tank. And more importantly, it's really fun for me to do art knowing there are so many smart people out there who enjoy it.

Colin Boyer said...

Ah, the problem was that I always keep my phone on silent! I didn't think to check that because it doesn't effect audio from other sources. Thanks!

David King said...

I don't suppose a windows version would ever be available? I don't even own a smart phone or tablet.

Faisal Tariq said...

What a treat! I loved the commentary and zoomed in. I feel inspired!