Photo Painting: How To Waste Hours (1)

I’m not sure that “photo painting” is the correct term, but I mean the process of transforming photographs so they appear to be painted.

Yellow Mountain Scene

Yellow Mountain Scene

I started playing around having worked my way through the videos in the iPhoneography course from CreativeLIVE that I recently purchased. The course was bitchin’, to borrow one of instructor Jack Davis’ favourite words. Apart from all the usual image-taking and processing stuff, to be expected in a digital photography course, there was a session on painting apps. This got me playing around with some of the apps Jack mentioned, and looking for others. I can see that this could easily become an addiction.

These are some of the apps that I have messing with. I should say that none of the examples in this post are taken with my iPhone; they were all shot with one or other of the various digital cameras I’ve owned over the years. The pictures were all in albums in the Photos app, and imported from there into the different painting apps. By the way, you can click on any image for a larger version.


I’ve installed AutoPainter HD, which is the iPad edition. There’s also a version for the iPhone. This app is the very simple to use: you only have four choices: Aquarelle, Benson, Cézanne and Van Gogh. The blurb on iTunes claims that the images are not transformed, but recreated using the artistic technique of the selection—Aquarelle is basically watercolour, the others are the actual artists. There is an option to paint a mask to increase detail in parts of the image. And that’s it.

Amsterdam Night Scene

Amsterdam Night Scene—Aquarelle

Copenhagen Harbour — Paul Cézanne

Copenhagen Harbour — Paul Cézanne

Poppy by Van Gogh

Poppy by Van Gogh

I think the results are pretty good.


Glaze is free (at the moment) and comes with a bunch of free styles/presets (not attributed to any particular painter or technique). Additional styles can be unlocked as an in-app-purchase—60 styles is the total number. Load an image from the camera roll, and click on a style to apply it. The nice thing is that you can apply multiple styles that can be quickly compared to choose a favourite.

Tango in Buenos Aires

Tango in Buenos Aires

Some results are definitely a little wierd.

Tango 2

Tango 2

Others, not so much:

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Apparently, it’s possible to combine styles, so the permutations are enormous. A nice feature is that final images can be saved in different sizes, including the original image resolution.


This has a bunch of basic styles for pencil, coloured pencil, crayons, chalk, blah, blah, blah… There are  three siders to customise the effect (line thickness, contrast and brightness). There is a free version that has ads, but you can pay money for an ad-free version. I’m not that impressed.

Somewhere in Rhodes

Somewhere in Rhodes

You can see pencil strokes in the lower-left quadrant of the image, but the rest of the picture is more like an old-fashioned etching. Also the output is limited to a maximum of 1280×960. They won’t be getting any of my money.

More to follow…


  1. […] from Part 1, here are some more apps I played with. One thing, I should have mentioned is that I’m only […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: