A picture is worth a thousand words.
This well-known idiom is the basis, indeed the very philosophy that drives today's online whiteboards.
These interactive communications tools have become indispensable in today's world of telecommuting, global strategy meetings, and other collaborative work initiatives.
The digital world, with all of these new tools and applications, is not restricted solely to business.
These days, more and more visual artists are making use of white boards and other apps to create, share and publish their art.
Some painters even collaborate on works and post on art forums, so that novice artists can learn from them.
Isn't it about time we jump on that bandwagon?
Let us discover together the many features offered to artists on whiteboard websites.
What is an Interactive Whiteboard?
Telecommuting has been a fact of business life since the 1970s. However, it wasn't until advances made in the computing and communications industry that any visual aspect played a part in remote workplaces.
Virtual private networks and videoconferencing have been found to foster teamwork, develop collective intelligence, strengthen interaction between colleagues, improve the organization of work ...
Virtual whiteboards, also called web boards, have been used by workers of all types to join forces since around 1990.
It should not be forgotten that these collaborative tools were designed to promote visual communication and cooperation in business.
That the technology has evolved so far as to be able to produce fine art is a testimony to the human mind's creative abilities.
How better to represent art than with a tool born of imagination?
Before we take a look at some examples of virtual whiteboards for drawing, let us review the main features integrated in most models.
- Document sharing
- Image integration
- Drawing and tracing
- Sharing and editing by different users
- Saving and sending documents
- Chat and messaging system
- Recording voice comments
- Possibility to view all the steps involved in making a diagram or drawing
- Mind-mapping and creating heuristic solutions
In other words, digital whiteboards replace the chalk board, the classic whiteboard and the flip chart that have traditionally been used for jotting ideas during collective, collaborating brainstorm sessions.
The best part of IWBs, as interactive white boards are lovingly called: you don't need pencils, markers, chalk, brushes or other traditional drawing supplies to draw on it.
IWBs have a lot of potential, not just for business but for any collaborative endeavour.
Especially the ones you can use freely: as much as you want, and at no cost!
The question is: who are these applications targeted to?
Some sites' boards are specifically meant for education and distance learning. Others are meant just for the business community.
We are most interested in those virtual whiteboards meant for amateur or professional graphic designers, illustrators, cartoonists and those who delight in creating caricatures.
Artists Choose the Top Four IWBs
If the virtual whiteboard is a practical tool for business, imagine how it must fire the imagination of an artist!
On it, you can sketch, draw animals and learn how to draw people. You can learn about proportion and maybe even participate in drawing tutorials hosted by established artists. Search for drawing class London or anywhere else in the UK with Superprof.
You can create a step by step drawing with your art school classmates, or challenge them to add to your figure drawing.
Afterwards, you can share your creation on social media.
IWBs are also very useful for online drawing courses: you can learn how to draw online, or teach others your specialty, be it provocative light and shadow techniques or pen and ink rendering.
Imagine for a moment that you are an art teacher...
Rather than going from sketchbook to easel to drawing pad or even a large canvas in a large studio, you can simply toggle between students' renderings while sitting, perhaps in the comfort of your own home.
You can teach people how to draw hands while keeping charcoal off of your own hands.
Furthermore, you can see how your student develops his technique, putting into practice everything you have taught him, as you watch.
Are you excited about trying this new medium yet?
With due understanding of all of the results you would end up with by searching for available whiteboards, allow us to present a few that, currently, really resonate with the professional artist.
Please bear in mind that this list is far from exhaustive.
We've chosen to highlight these few for their versatility and ease of use, for absolute beginners to those who are experienced at landscape drawing and portrait painting.
Here is your one-stop site for free online collaborative tools, replete with utility and features.
For now, we disregard the business and education portals in favour of exploring the design function.
There, we find all of the tools that anyone painting a portrait or perspective drawing could hope for: brushes, pencils, shapes, erasers, a color palette... You won't miss your painting brushes with this versatile digital canvas.
A vector drawing tool for digital drawing.
The lock function is used to prevent the modification of completed aspects of the canvas.
That means that, if you have drawn the human body particularly well and do not want anyone from your art class to modify it, you can lock that portion of the canvas.
They would have access to the rest of the tableau, so they can draw their own human figure.
The zoom function is essential to attend to the most minute details of a drawing.
Imagine how much easier it would have been for Leonardo Da Vinci to paint The Last Supper, in all of its magnificent detail, if he had had access to such a free art utility! No more buying costly frames for your art so you can share it, either.
If you have just signed up for a Drawing for Beginners class and are waiting for your art lessons to start, exploring this site is a fun way to learn what digital drawing can do.
AWW app is simple and efficient.
The elemental functions that you can access at no cost are a bit limited, especially in the range and management of colours - .
The drawing tools too are fairly basic; all the better to learn how to create online art.
All of this utility's features are straightforward and easy to use.
To collaborate, you simply need to toggle the green button; to save your work, you need only click on export board.
The downside to AWWapp is that you must subscribe (and pay) in order to access all of its features.
In spite of that, AWWapp is one of the most used online virtual arrays, with more than 200 000 subscribers.
Unlike the previously reviewed app, Flock Draw is a free site where you can invite an unlimited number of pencil artists and portrait artists to work together on the same piece.
Have you ever wondered what a digital pencil sketch would look like?
Are you enamoured with colored pencils?
Are you an expert at reproducing manga, or are you just learning how to draw?
At Flock draw, you only need a login to start improving your drawing skills - without needing to buy any drawing pencils or paper.
As soon as you establish your account, you too can produce one point perspective art, still lifes... anything from the basics to a rose with intricate shading.
This site permits you to create your own online gallery and study other artists' drawing techniques.
You can even export your work into a blog or other website.
Unlike the other IWBs we've uncovered, this platform does not allow real-time collaboration with other users.
However, it is an excellent tool for preparing presentations and other visual media.
If you are doing any type of line drawing or dimensional work, such as a graph or a scaled drawing, this application would be ideal.
While fairly limited in options for drawing, this site offers a bonus: voice and video recording.
Pixiclip is an excellent way to make art videos.
You only need to draw your realistic drawing, and then narrate your design before you post it.
In this manner, you could sponsor your own drawing course!
These virtual drawing and painting sites are not meant to compete with Photoshop or more advanced drawing software.
If you think of them as complementary, maybe an additional outlet for your creativity, you could get a lot of use out of them.
Phone Drawing Tools
Today's smartphones and tablets are responsive; a necessary quality for the ink drawing and art instruction sites we've just reviewed.
Wouldn't it make good sense if these web based, endless drawing paper generators were available on the go?
Flockdraw, for one, offers a mobile app for download.
A quick search would yield other apps that might just be interesting to download and draw stick figures on.
Here is what we found...
Groupboard Collaborative Whiteboard
This is a MacOS application that will turn your Ipad or tablet into an interactive, portable art studio.
Just as with any other picture you want to examine closely on your Iphone, you can zoom in when drawing animals or a human face by spreading your two fingers across the screen.
Once magnified, you can easily and realistically contour a jaw line or draw an eye.
And, thanks to its built-in stylus, your tactile tablet will become a graphic design board.
This app for Android and Mac has all of these digital drawing tools: colored pencil, graphite pencil, eraser...
But Lensoo has a great feature not found on other apps: step by step instructions.
Here is how it works: first you draw your doodle. Each contour line is saved as it is drawn.
As you play back the video, you can see your simple drawing create itself, stroke by stroke.
Clearly, technology has improved business productivity and teamwork.
Why shouldn't digital tools also be used to draw a rose or for drawing people?
Anyone taking drawing lessons can draw on a tablet, or draw a rose for immediate display, all at virtually no cost – just by using the phone you already possess.
Anyone who teaches art drawing may well be called pioneers of this new medium for exposing novices to the world of digital art.
We could go on and on about the wonders of rendering art in this digital age, but we wouldn't want to keep you from your virtual canvas.
Therefore we close this article now, with our best wishes for your life drawing and shading techniques.