Tuesday, August 2, 2016


There I was, preparing a few photos for posting in the ongoing Death Valley Trip – Titus Canyon series, doing my usual thing of marking up photos in MS Paint (I'm too cheap to buy any real photo programs), when I figured that I must have something around the house that might work better than either dragging the cursor across the screen with my trackpad or dragging my finger across the computer's touch screen. While trying out various things, including my laser pen, I ran across this diy article about items to use instead of buying a capacitive pen.

I went a little nuts trying things out:
Most of the dark blue marks were made with various household items.
What worked best while also being comfortable to hold was the Hand stylus I happened to have lying around. I'm not sure what I bought it for, but on my Lenovo, in MS Paint, it works best when the spongy tip is wet (although it works passable when dry if I press very hard). Several other items worked: the blunt end of my Laser Pointer, the negative end of the batteries that came with it, a wet sponge (doesn't draw precise lines), a foil-wrapped pen (okay but semi-awkward).

The stylus had the best precision overall (although not perfect by any means), being somewhat more precise than using the airbrush (or spray paint) tool with a finger. For drawing free-form lines, the stylus works best with the regular brush tool. It's not really good enough—it's too spongy—to make nice, hand-lettered labels the way I did back in non-digital (ink) drafting days.
Here are a few hints of the geology to come.

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