Blog post by Eibhilin Crossan Art

Do you use your phone apps to help you in your art-making?


 I love using apps to play around with images and generate new ideas. It’s possible to change and distort an image in all kinds of ways to achieve multiple sources of inspiration! So what kind of things can you use apps for?

  • You can discover new colour palettes by playing with the Hue and Saturation tools.
  • You can increase or decrease the contrast and exposure to make an image more dramatic.
  • You can use the blur tool to dial down unwanted details in a reference photograph.
  • You can use the crop and zoom tools to find interesting compositions and edit what doesn’t interest you. The crop tool can also help you to abstractify an image when you zoom in close.
  • You can blend two images together using an app, and you can also use apps to grid up the image you are working from.


Here are my two favourite Apps for painting.



PicsArt is my favourite app and I pay a little to use all of the features it offers. It’s my go to app for all my photo editing needs. But I also use it to alter images and play around with colour ideas before and during the painting process.

It has a huge amount of tools and filters which are very easy to use.
By altering the temperature and hue of one of my paintings, I can change the colour palette of a photograph I have taken, or a painting I am working on.

To give you an example, here I have changed the colours in my painting ‘Transience 1’ and used the collage tool to compare them in a series.


Blog post by Eibhilin Crossan Art



Brushstroke is another great app that can be used to transform a source photograph into a more painterly image. Here is an example for you.
Number one is the original photo I took of some leaf shadows on the fence in the back garden.

Images 2 and 3 are from playing with the photo in the Brushstroke app. You can see number 3 is quite painterly now and I have made the image softer and more saturated. Images 4.5 and 6 are my finished paintings, all inspired by this image. Number 4 was directly taken form the image and then paintings 5 and 6 are variations on the theme.

Blog post by Eibhilin Crossan Art

I hope this shows you how this fantastic app can be used, especially when working from source photos!