I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Thursday 4 January 2018


For the last few years I have purchased my tablets and laptops with digital drawing in mind. I am an Android user and have been using Samsung systems.. And while I spent some time learning to become comfortable with both hardware and software  I never really invested enough time to become good with it and found the  systems awkward to work with " in the field".

Recently I purchased my first of the Samsung Note series - the Galaxy Note 8. Its the largest phone ( a phablet) and comes with its stylus - the S Pen. Using it totally changed my use of the digital approach. The difference is the convenience of the smaller hardware. I can hold it in one hand and draw with the other comfortably. Its with me all the time. Sketching from the car, in the field, doing plein air, in the dentists office or barbershop. The new S Pen and phone glass are wonderful to work with - great sensitivity and control.

Software I started with was Autodesk Sketchbook which worked well but was more sophisticated than I needed. I wanted something simpler for quick, sketches yet still complete. I have started working with Infinite Painter and am finding it more than adequate and very " handy" for the sort of sketching I am doing.

I use it for simple line sketching or  creating a shape plan in value/colour using the FILL tool. I also use it in the studio for playing with ideas in advance of beginning a painting - abstracting colours etc.

In doctors office 

Simple shapes in the field 

onsite sketch with value plan

Waiting at the Border Crossing to US from car 

field sketch  - shapes, values and colours

On BC Ferries 

done on site Crystal Cove, Tofino 

So while I rarely used the larger  tablets for sketching  " in the field" I now use the Note 8 all the time. Its always with me.  At this point Apple does not make a phone with a stylus but rumour has it they might soon.


  1. Hi Brian . I too have gone to my room ! except it is a studio outside San Miguel en Allende . To explore, to play , to research and most importantly to take time for inspiration . My first few days I have devoted to line .... and I shall steal your phrase about creating a " shape plan"... I like that phrase. I am documenting my stuff on my website if you care to follow any of it .... but I shall enjoy reading your blogs, Cheers

  2. HI. Thanks for the comment. Never yet made it to San Miguel - on my bucket list. Do you have a home there? Like your work - very inventive and still " reads" . Tell me about San Miguel


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