Waves. iPhone Painting.

Week 29: Ivan Aivazovsky, originally uploaded by purple0wl.

I made this iPhone finger painting yesterday evening. It was done in the iphone art application, Inspire.

Why do I love using Inspire, particularly for this kind of misty, swirling subject?

In Inspire you can load your brush with just as much colour as you choose, and when it runs out you can mix and blend the colours just as if you are blending oil paints on a canvas.

The art work was made in the style of the Victorian seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky. Well, roughly anyway.

‘Waves’ was created it for the Flickr group iPhone Painting a Week on an Assigned Subject. If you’re looking for  a way of  training your fingers to draw on an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can’t do better than join this group.

iPhone Finger Painting. Artists Take Notice.

Silver Pear, originally uploaded by purple0wl.

In Apple’s iTunes app store, iPhone painting apps seem mainly to be listed under Entertainment.

Well, yes. Doodling on an iPhone or iPod Touch can be as good as a good game, but iphone painting apps have been increasing in number and sophistication. Some artists are beginning to take notice.

I say beginning. In fact the Flickr group devoted to only one app, Brushes, already has around one and a half thousand members world wide. To date they are showing 8,353 paintings. All finger painted on the iPhone or iPod Touch. (Well, a few use the Pogo stylus.) All the paintings are made using Brushes app.

I recently joined Flickr and have been amazed at what I have found.

I learned such a lot just by looking at all the art works that I hope to offer you the same. I’ve linked this blog with Flickr, and plan to show you many iphone paintings each with a tip or two on how they were created.

iPhone Art. A Bigger Size of Small.

Here are two sets of polygons pretending to be Art.

Can you spot the difference?

…Don’t spend too much time on it. This is a trick question. Here goes.

Polygons create a suspicious face
Polygons Posing as a Face. 200 x 300.
Suspicious face made of coloured polygons
Suspicious . 218 x 300 pixels.

You may have noticed that the first format is a bit narrower than the second, but otherwise they are exactly the same image.

Whether you see it as the Dance of the Polygons, a suspicious face with a green beard or something else entirely, it’s up to you to make up your mind’s eye.

That’s the interesting thing about seeing things.

…But where was I? Ah yes. Technical details.

Digital images love to confuse us because they can be three kinds of large. Come to that, three kinds of small. It all depends whether you’re counting in:

  • pixels
  • inches
  • bytes

I painted the first image in the iphone app Colors. The Colors app allows you to export your art in three sizes as measured in pixels. Small (320 x 440 pixels), Medium (640 x 880) or Large (1280 x 1760). I saved the picture Large.

I then imported my picture into Brushes, another wondrous iphone (or ipod) art app. David Hockney drew his by now rather famous flower doodles in Brushes. Jorge Colombo has used the same app for a New Yorker cover.

I imported into Brushes by first saving the Colors painting into my iPhone Photo Gallery, then opening it in Brushes.

The Brushes app will only save at 320 x 480 pixels, if you save on your iphone. This is a mere few pixels larger than the Colors Small size.

If your desktop is a Mac, you can save your Brushes images at quite a range of sizes and formats. Later versions of Brushes may make this possible via a PC.

Meanwhile, both versions shown above were saved on my iphone. They look almost the same, but the original of the first, saved in Colors, contains many more pixels than the second. This makes it larger in bytes as well.

You can see the differences in pixel sizes in the screen grab below.

Colors Big. Brushes Small.
Colors Big. Brushes Small.

TIP. If you want to use both Colors and Brushes, start in Colors. You can transfer your artwork into Brushes via the Photo Gallery, but you can’t do it the other way around. Colors does not import outside images.