If, like us, you’ve been busy trying out digital artist Phil Galloway’s Lumia painting tips, you’ll probably want to find out a tad more about him.
To satisfy your curiosity, we interviewed Phil about his background, his art and about how his Lumia 1520 ended up next to his oil paints and brushes. Take a break from your Fresh Painting and have a read!
So, Phil, what is your background as an artist?
I am 33 years old, father to a beautiful little girl with one more on the way and a keen purveyor of a bushy beard. I suppose I have always been an artist, or at least an aspiring one, since a being a wee boy. My passion for constantly drawing was honed through school and at university I gained a Masters in the History of Art. My degree exposed me to a vast array of amazing artists and various techniques, which really strengthened my respect for the craft and skill of drawing, colour and form and was reflected in the development of my own work.
How long have you been involved in digital painting and what prompted you to try it out?
It is only very recently that I have become involved in digital painting, but it has had a huge impact on my art as a whole already. Before my trial of the Lumia 1520 through Connects I had done lots of research into painting apps, as I thought this was an avenue that could open up new approaches to my art.
Once I held the 1520 and drew my first paint stroke on the beautiful big screen I was sold! I started seeing its potential when I got one of my daughter’s Fresh Paint doodles printed and framed as a present for my partner. It looked amazing and I was blown away that something so cool and professional looking was produced on a phone, so I started to experiment myself.
What is the main difference, to you, between traditional methods and drawing digitally?
Using digital paint has been a fantastic release for me, giving a freedom and looseness to my art that otherwise wouldn’t be there. When I draw in pencils and ink I work in a slow and methodical fashion, trying to impart as much detail onto the paper as I can, however when I paint on the phone I am not restricted by making mistakes, wasting paint or making a mess! This has led to a much more flowing impressionistic style coming through in my portraits.
Another huge bonus of drawing digitally for me is the speed and convenience. Having a two year old running around the house makes getting oil paints and inks out a minefield meaning I painted less and less or was confined to drawing after she had gone to bed. Seeing a child with an oil paint tube in their hand in the dining room is a terrifying thing!
Why did you choose to use the Lumia 1520 for your art and what three things do you like best about it?
The huge screen, fast processing, social integration and vibrant screen all screamed to me that this could be used as more than just a phone to consume and play on and one that could be a phone to create upon.
The three things I like best about it are the screen size, vibrant colours and the camera. The phone’s size and colour representation not only help with creating my paintings and drawings, but the phone’s clarity in showing my work and portfolio has also led to a few commissions already! The 1520’s camera is incredible and helps me to take photos of people with the levels of detail I need for using them as a basis for digital work. Being able to zoom into the photos to see every hair, eyelash and skin fold aids me every day with my drawing.
Which are your favourite painting apps for Windows Phone and why?
For me so far there is really only one that stands out as a professional tool that I am happy to use in my portfolio and on my website, and that is Fresh Paint. I have tried a huge amount of painting apps on various platforms and feel that Fresh Paint is the clear winner in terms of the paint strokes actually looking like paint and not digital strokes. Creating professional pictures and ones that can pass, when printed off, as real paintings is an unbelievable tool to have on a phone.
What have been your greatest achievements as a digital painter and where do you see yourself going next?
Winning the Connects MVC competition for Digital Art is by far and away my greatest achievement as a digital painter. As a relative noob in this field it has given me a huge amount of confidence to use the digital medium more and more in my work and portfolio.
I am currently working on a series of sports personalities and bearded portraits along with a range of digital prints and cards, with the store on my website to go live very soon. The feedback has been so positive that I finally feel confident enough to take it to the next level.
We wish Phil all the luck in the world with his artistic ventures. And if you’re an aspiring digital artist, too, stay tuned for part two of Phil’s top tips for painting on your Lumia, coming soon! In the meantime, please tell us which of Phil’s pics tops your list, in the comments below.