I took a photo of an apple with my iPhone 3GS. Displaying the photo on my computer screen, I finger painted it back onto the iphone in a paint app called Layers.
Layers created a stir among iphone artists a while ago, because for the first time it offered – guess what. Layers. Now other paint apps vying to be the best, including the old favourite Brushes and newer Sketchbook Mobile, also offer layers.
In this painting, layers allowed me to paint the wooden sill and window frame behind the apple without interfering with its outline.
Another tool absent in paint apps until quite recently was a blender.
A blender is really just an empty brush that allows you to smudge the paint and make a smooth transition between tones. In days of yore on your iphone or ipod Touch, you could make a reasonable transition by building up layers of transparent colour. Reasonable, maybe. Satisfactory? No, not really. For me the result was usually horribly streaky.
Than along came another paint app, Inspire, and for the first time, blending. Truly useful, even though Inspire, alas, did not allow you to import an existing image.
Since then, Inspire has opened its gates to images created in other paint apps. Meanwhile, Layers, not to be outdone, has added blending to its box of tools. Very useful for polishing apples.
This week I’ve been posing on my iphone for a portrait by Alberto Giacometti
Mind you, I had to diet a bit, but I learned a lot…
Copying famous artists’ styles is a wonderful way of discovering your own iphone or ipod finger painting style.
Added to this, there’s nothing like imitating artists’ styles on your iphone as a Fine Art Appreciation course!
You really get to appreciate what it took to add magic to those marks.
There’s no excuse for iphone artist’s block with all that exhilarating subject matter about. Just toddle off to a gallery and get sketching – or Google search an artist here and now.
If you need yet more of a prod to get you going on iphone/ipod finger art, make your way to the Flickr group Painting A Week on an Assigned Subject. Actually there are now two assigned subjects: an art work in a given artist’s style, and one on a given subject.
The first iphone drawing app I bought was Sketches. Fascinated and frustrated by the doddery marks that were all I could come up with on the touch screen, I forked out in some desperation for iDoodle, Scribble and NetSketch.
Not that these apps exactly broke the bank. Once you’ve bought your iphone, art apps are surprisingly cheap. Photoshop costs around a hundred times as much! Squiggles, iGraffiti and No2 therefore swiftly followed.
There I was then, armed with a dizzying array of brushes, paint buckets, colour charts, magnifying glasses and important-looking icons – unable even to write my name on the glassy screen.
Time, practice and frequent doses of coffee have helped my brain to grow a few new neurones linked to my finger tip.
I’ve also discovered one or two things about iphone and ipod art apps that the makers may not tell you. I was very proud of myself the day I realised you can use more than one art app to get more tools.
For the dragon above, I used Netsketch, which I liked the best because of its wide range of colours.
I then exported my dragon to the iphone photo gallery, and sneaked it into iDoodle.
Lo and behold, in iDoodle I was able to add the lettering, plus oval and circular bubbles with a graded fill.