How to trace photographs in DrawCast – tutorial and lesson plan

Download/ view my PDF instruction on how to get this doneĀ <a href=”; target=”_blank”>How to trace a photo in DrawCast</a>

If you can not view YouTube videos, here is the first tutorial from SchoolTube that shows how to start and trace the photo:


And here is the second tutorial on how to paint and share your art:


Or check out my YouTube playlist

Fauvist Painting Rough Drafts w/ Drawcast

By introducing my students to Fauvism, they were able to create a simple piece of art that showcased Complementary Colors and Contour Line

My Media Arts students get to make too much traditional art, so it was fun getting back into artistic concepts such as color and line. You can see some of my previous posts that utilized Color in the Classroom


7th graders took a photo of their hand with Drawcast. See some of my other posts that we used Drawcast to make art. They then did a contour sketch of their hand using the foreground layer. Once they had a good outline, they painted the midground with the appropiate color scheme with complementary colors


I look forward to their final project where hopefully they incorporate monochromatic or analogous color schemes as well


Student grid paintings done in Drawcast

Prior to the students utilizing Minecraft to make art, they made a painting utilizing Drawcast. The goal was that the students would make a drawing on a grid within Drawcast, and then dilate that image into blocks utilizing Minecraft.


My 2nd block 7th graders created works based off of anatomy systems, which they were studying in Science. My other 7th graders along with all other students created works of art based on something that was important to them in their house


View the other 7th grade works of art in their Edmodo folder of 7th grade Drawcast art


View the 6th grade works of Drawcast art in their Edmodo folder


Drawcast art in 8th grade

After all of the students created their Drawcast art, they then experimented with Minecraft as part of the Flipped class session where the students ran the show


How to use Drawcast for a grid painting

Before I started up my Drawcast / Minecraft project, I wanted to see how it would look like when I made. I had some time to kill, so I wanted to dedicate some time to drawing.


I am not sure who the original artist for this Captain America picture, but I really liked the stance and how the shield is shaped. I got it off of this Variety page prior to the film coming out


I have used the Drawcast app before, I made a previous post where I used it’s layer functions for Atmospheric Perspective. Now I wanted to utilize it by including a 1″ grid as the background and then create a gesture drawing on top of it


After I feel a gesture drawing out, I fill it in to showcase the contour lines and the musculature of the work. Basically, I had to look at the original image on my iPhone while I drew it on my iPad


 A great function with the Drawcast app is not so much drawing on the layers, but combining them and adjusting the Intensity/Translucence so that you can see other works, but not others. In this case, I combined layers to move them around


 And I then colored in the individual blocks using the paint bucket tool to make my background. If I were to do it all over again, I would use this tool more to help give me that blocky feel that I am going to make in Minecraft next. 


 By tinkering around with the layers some more, I got the transparency and arrangement of them just right. I knew that my students would be okay to take up their part of the project, so check out the gallery of Student Drawcast Grid Paintings


My comic strip for #Iste Daily Leader using @drawcast @PsExpress and Comic Touch #edtech


There was a comic contest for the education technology conference, ISTE12 not too long ago. I unfortunately wasn’t selected for my work to be displayed in their magazine Daily Leader – but now I’d like to show you how I was able to make this digital art.

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How to create an atmospheric perspective painting using the free DrawCast app on your Apple device

It was really nice to have some time to sit back and relax to paint. I haven’t really done this before (posting via email to posterous)so bare with me and feel free to check out this post often as I post more pictures and turn this more into a tutorial


Step 1:I was really inspired by the overall amount of nature around me on the back porch. I framed my shot of the trees to decide how strong would the composition be.



By using the free Drawcast app, (which you can check out here) you can make an excellent painting. There are a variety of free drawing apps for the IPad/Iphone, I really like Drawcast due to drawing on layers, variety of brush sizes and being able to adjust the transparency of color or layer and you can instantly post your art to Facebook.

You are going to want to create a background that has a watercolor wash effect to it, and we will then gradually add layers to properly show Atmospheric Perspective.


This is a picture that we took while in Asheville. Notice that the colors at the bottom are nice and dark, and they get gradually lighter and more blue the further away from us. Just remember DARKER=CLOSER,  LIGHTER=FURTHER SO what I did to create the illusion of atmospheric perspective, was by creating a graded wash with my palette and stylus.


A graded wash is used in watercolor painting to help show depth or value. I created a “wash” by clicking on the color wheel icon, and adjusting the size of my brush to 100 and the intensity/translucence to 100. You can also use a dark shade of a blue for the bottom, but as you start to fill the canvas and you make back and forth strokes, you should gradually lower the intensity/translucence. Basically, by the time you reach the top of your canvas, you should have a light shade of blue. And if you want to make a color darker, just go back over it with your stylus.


You can also add a few random bushes here and there to break up the open area. Once your background is completed, click on the gear icon in the upper left hand corner. Select “save to photo library” so that you can utilize this saved picture for later.



Create a new piece of art in the app. Make sure you click on the icon in the upper right hand corner fo the screen and then select Midground.

I primarilly made the trees on my midground. On my image above, it is shown with my background. Once you complete this drawing, you can create a special added effect by clicking on your “midground icon” and then adjust the intensity/translucence of that layer as well.



If you look at the image above, I combined the two layers together. To get this going, click on your layer icon in the upper right hand corner and select “set new background”

This will take you to another screen to select your background. Choose the option “photo from my Photo Library”

Open up your Photo Library and select the background picture that you created back in Step 2 (you can also use another photo for a more realistic background. Finally, click “Done” on your Layers window, and the two images are now together.



You can see from the image above that I have already drawn on the foreground layer so that it was primarily the leaves/greenery of my composition.

To do this, click on the layer icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Then select “draw on foreground.”

The foreground is the closest thing to you, so when you color it, make sure you make your colors fairly dark, at least they should be darker than the midground and background. You can accomplish this by adjusting the transparency of the layers and the colors that you paint with.



If you look at the above picture, this is my completed work with all three layers and I have signed it.

After completing your foreground, double check to make sure that all of your layers, colors, opacity, etc. is all set.

You can click on the gear in the upper left hand corner to share the work that you have completed whether email, saved to your device or right to your Facebook page.

You can also go into the layer window and select “Tools” and you then have the option to merge all of the layers into a lattened image. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU ARE FOR SURE YOU LIKE YOUR WORK AS YOU CAN NOT UNDO IT.

Best of luck and can’t wait to see what you make