Saturday, September 22, 2018

Let's Discuss Artist Selfies

What’s worse than seeing yourself in a photo - maybe hearing you voice in a recording or that number on the scale - well for me all three are horrific. If you told me a year ago I would even consider taking a selfie I would have laughed and laughed hard! 

I tend to make a lot of people based images and I like taking my own photos.  I have photoed friends, family and occasionally sneaked a pic of a stranger here and there. But sometimes your are the best or only model. 

I purchased a holder for my iPhone so I could mount it to a tripod that I already had and a remote shutter release.  I dress up and take photos in my house - in a hallway in front of a neutral colored wall - and most are awful.  I don’t care, as I am not going for that perfect shot - I am going to alter the picture a lot, sometimes even cutting off my head. 

So let’s talk about “artistic” selfies, not photographs. Remember you are making art not doing a portrait shoot and for me the messier the better - blur, lots of texture and other junk are your friends. 

Lets start with taking a few shots of ourselves - even the normal selfie is fine.  If this is absolutely out, then maybe some pics of someone else because the final image is not a depiction of an actual person. Take all kinds of pictures - close ups, head shots, full body, sitting, standing, posing - just take a lot of photos. Maybe try a photo of your shadow remember you look tall and thin in shadow pics, a win-win!

If you do not have a tripod and a remote have someone else take your pictures or photo someone else - you want images to choose from and to work with. If they are out of focus or just plain awful who cares - mine usually are!

Now for the actual image making part - I will call these images “artistic selfies” for the sake of our discussion. When I start doing one of these images I am thinking mood and interesting composition - something people will look at and think art not photo.

I will position the head off center, cut off the top of the head or side of the face, position the subject high or low on the canvas space.  I may zero in very close and just show part of the face or eyes only. I may cover the face or head all together. If I am working with more of a figurative piece, add a hat or glasses.  Be creative.  How about an upside down or sideways person. At this point I am just working to get positioning for my subject and starting to work on an idea or a composition.  For me this would be in iColorama, Procreate or SuperImposeX but any app that has layers would work.  I start with a size and shape in mind - square or rectangle either white or dark BG with the selfie layered on top. Right now I am not interested in masking out anything, just positing.  I start with the selfie layer - enlarging, moving it around, moving it off the canvas, making it smaller - just moving towards something I find interesting. If something needs to be masked out or removed I do it here after I establish my position. 

Once I get the overall position of the face/figure I go into Touch/Retouch to fix any  areas that need it. Better that plastic surgery!!!! Now I start thinking if I want to add any other objects to my image - and I usually do since I am the queen of stuff!!

Next I start running my image thru a lot of different apps and saving the results - nothing is too crazy here, you never know what you might get.  Don’t think of these images as a finished piece just steps. 

I finally start to evaluate what I images I have saved and start to layer them over my original keeping parts of some, masking and adjusting. I start adding other stuff maybe lettering, textures or objects - not really thinking too much about it yet.  Sometimes I like to draw and paint on top of the image, for me in Procreate. Always on a separate layer.  

I keep working in this way until I get something I like. I may still make other images from my saved work.   I may take one of the images I particularly like and start a new image from it maybe moving in closer, moving out or cropping - all these images can be reused. 

Some additional information: 

I LOVE my remote shutter release and use it a LOT, not just for selfies but for other photography as well.

Some apps I particular like for this type of work:

Affinity Photo
Repix - one of my favorites for making painterly images
Adobe brushstrokes
Any app that is destructive
Also texturing apps, Forumulas, Stackables, etc. 

Try any apps that you have

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Certain Kind Of Light

iPad Pro 
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, Decim8, Formulas, Lens Distortions

Playing with light. I haven’t really been creating much art lately. Spending too much time getting my hard drive back after a crash.  Ready to dive back in!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Let's Discuss B&W

iPad Pro using the following apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, LightBrush, Formulas

This is mage is for the FB group IAG-IOS for a discussion on Let’s Discuss B&W

Let’s Discuss Black & White Images

I love B&W images and when I think of a B&W image I think good strong values and contrast.  I think well defined lights and darks and strong supporting middle values.  For this discussion we will talk about actual B&W images.  

Questions to ask:

Am I going to actually start out making a B&W image or when my image is complete will I convert it to B&W just to see how it looks and feels?  Not every image is cut out to be a B&W but some that you convert can really be striking. I often do a B&W conversion at the very end just to have a look-see and sometimes I am surprised with the outcome and end up using the B&W. 

Will my subject matter look good in B&W?  Lets face it some images are just meant to have color and lots of it.   I find B&W to be for more dramatic subjects, when I want to create a mood, or when I just want to do something different. I tend to make a lot of monochromatic pieces. 

Can I mix B&W with color and still get a good final image?  In my sample image I combined four major image and a few textures and overlays.  The figure was originally in B&W but the landscape, trees and moon were in color.  My method for this particular image was to work with the B&W and color to build the image, even adding the text and birds.  I worked layering until I had the final image I wanted and then I did a final conversion to B&W using iColorama but there are many apps that will do a B&W conversion.  

Do I have a good mix of values within my image?  My way of thinking is that if you are doing a B&W only a portion is actual true B&W or light and dark.   The majority of the image is going to fall somewhere in the grey scale and this is where you own sense of aesthetics comes in.  I played with this image making it lighter and darker until I had the mood/feeling that I envisioned.  What you are going for here is balance BUT that is not to say you could have an image almost 80 to 90 percent very dark and just a small spot of white/light and it would be amazing. (Something to try).  

Do I have an obvious light source?  Not that you need it, but in B&W an obvious light source or direction is helpful in most cases.  In my sample image my light source is not obvious.  It is not the moon as it  logically should be.  My light source is out of the picture plane to the right and about 1/3 down from the top of the image.  My reason for this is that I wanted to place my model in the right portion of the canvas and I pretty much had to work with that.   Once I decided that the major light would come from this direction I made sure everything else in the image worked - even lowering the brightness of the moon. This can be tricky and I had to add some additional shadows and lights to my model and her dress.

If you are using your own photos do you want to just shoot in B&W?  I do this occasionally but most often take my photos in color.

The title of this image is “Keeper Of The Secrets”. It was created entirely on my iPad Pro using the following apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, LightBrush, Formulas.  I personally love iColorama and use it to create most of my images.  I do all my layering/combining/masking there. I used Touch/Retouch to remove any unwanted stuff that ended up in my image.  I went back into this app a number of times to touch up areas.  After I had an image I was happy with it had areas of B&W and color I took it into iColorama and did the B&W conversion and added a slight blur to the model. I used LightBrush to lighten or darken specific areas of my image particularly the model. I finally used the app Formulas to add a final texture.  

I am not usually concerned about what apps I use but more about the look of my final piece. Other apps that could have been used:

To create the actual image - SuperImposeX, Procreate, Leonardo, Affinity Photo (any layering/masking app)

To do the  B&W conversion - SuperImposeX, Snapseed, Pixlr (actually any app that you can use to desaturate an image but remember if you have layers it needs to be flattened to covert to B&W)

To lighten or darken the whole image - SuperImposeX, Snapseed, Pixlr, Procreate (any app that allows you to do adjustments)

To lighten and darken specific areas - Snapseed, Pixlr, LightBrush (I LOVE this app).

To add textures - Formulas, Stackables, Distressed FX (or any app that allows layering and blend modes)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ancient Faces 5

iPad Pro
Apps - Apps - iColorama, Repix, Snapseed, Procreate
Another image from my Ancient Faces series. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Secrets Told

iPad Pro
Apps - RipPix, iColorama, Procreate, Touch/Retouch, Formula
For a FB challenge using RipPix

Saturday, August 4, 2018

RipPix Challange

iPad Pro
Apps - RipPix, iColorama, Snapseed

I wanted a torn photo look. This is for a FB challenge using the App RipPix.   

Friday, August 3, 2018


Photo - iPhone6
Processing iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, Formulas
Just cut back some of my flowers and I brought in these Hydrangeas.  I love the faded dusty rose color they have become.  I took a lot of photos and want to do some experimenting with them with some new and old apps.  I just couldn’t help doing this quick edit. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ancient Faces 4

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Repix, Decima8, Snapseed and Procreate
Forth in my series.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Ancient Faces 3

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Repix, Snapseed, Procreate
Another image from my Ancient Faces series. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018


iPad pro
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, Formulas, Snapseed

So I signed up for the a new course but have not really been able to dive in yet.  I skimmed a few of the videos and wanted just to play a bit with some of my images and a petal image from the course.  I am hoping to get into this full time soon and start to do the lessons.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ancient Faces 2

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Repix, Snapseed and Procreate Second image in the series.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ancient Faces 1

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Repix, Decima8, Snapseed and Procreate

This is the first in a series that I completed during the winter.  I was interested in working with patterns.  I had a lot of craft paper in a closet so I took photos of the papers so I had digital images of them.  I decided to pair the patterns with some of the beautiful photos of women I have collected from different purchased kits and creative commons.  I wanted a soft, airy, painterly feeling for the finished work.  I used masks on the patterns to just use portions and layered them with the faces, same as if I was manually making a collage. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Round And Round

iPad Pro - Apps addLib S, iColorama, Touch/Retouch, Snapseed

Lake View

Photo - iPhone6
iPad Pro - iColorama

Did this one a long time ago and just found it lurking on my iMac.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Tale Of The Trees

iPhone6 - my tree photo
iPad Apps - iColorama, addLib S, Touch/Retouch

I am loving the app addLib S.  I like the geometric poster like images it creates and combined with iColorama to add other stuff - amazing images.  I cannot stop playing with it.  

Monday, July 2, 2018


Roses On My Mind

My Roses

iPhone6 - rose photo
iPad Pro Apps - addLib S, iColorama, Formulas
Trying out addLib S with one of my photos - interesting app. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018


iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch
First thing I have created in awhile.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The View

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, LightBrush, Touch/Retouch
The view out the window is my photo of the mountains.  Haven't been doing too much art lately.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Photo - iPhone6
iPad Pro Apps - iColorama

Hydrangeas the newest members of my garden.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018


iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Tangled FX
Liking Tangled FX but subtle effects!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Blue Butterfly

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Procreate
Model Photo - Hazel Blake
Into patterns today!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

TangledFX App

Second try started with TangledFX - pink flowers one of my saved preset Bloom.  Green flowers preset Brush Strokes and changed the color and a few other settings. Moved both images into iColorama blended them on a background and fitted them in. Added lots of stuff on top. I just cannot seem to stay away from iColorama but I am liking some of the images I am making with the TangledFX presets.  Fun!!!!!

TangledFX App

TangledFX App challenge for a FB group.

First try started with TangledFX preset Bloom and played around with that.  Moved that image into iColorama and did some more work.  I see lots of possibilities with this app - just got to get used to what it does.  

Thursday, May 31, 2018


iPhone6 - Flower photos
iPad Pro Apps - iColorama, Adobe PaintCan
Took a lot of  Rhododendron photos on my AM walk.  Paired this one with a vintage photo.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Deep

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Adobe PaintCan
Not particular on of my favorites and not what I had in mind.  I will explore this theme again but I was finished with this one.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Red Song

iPhone6, iPad Pro
Apps - Slow Shutter Cam, iColorama, SuperImposeX, Snapseed
Better red than dead!!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The High Road

iPad Pro - iColorama
Another made up landscape from a couple of photos

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Edge Of The Woods

iPad Pro
Apps -iColorama, Formulas
Created using a number of my photos. I feel like doing some landscapes - totally made up.  Photos from this are from NY, NJ and PA.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Something In The Air

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Percolator, Formulas, Touch/Retouch
Model - Hazel Blake
Lots of layers, textures, writing and flowers

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Elemental Magic

iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch

This is the second version of this image.  I wasn’t quite happy with the first as I thought I lost sight of my vision.  The first was just sort of a mess of shapes and patterns but really had no focus.  There is nothing wrong with that - I painted abstract art for a very long time and most of those paintings were more about my feelings rather than things.  With these last two digital images neither is correct or better than the other, they are just different.  I think it is important at least for me to explore and dig deeper.  That is why doing a series is a great idea or just taking your base image and making another version.  Always learning! 

Thursday, May 10, 2018


iPad Pro
Apps - iColorama, Touch/Retouch, Repix
I am feeling totally uninspired.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Challenge 1-1

Apps - SuperImposeX, Percolator, iColorama for my name
My second try - I made the flowers much bigger this time and went for a more realistic look.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Challenge 1

iPad Pro Apps - SuperimposeX, Touch/Retouch, iColorama
My first take on a challenge for a new FB group QAG-IOS App Group.  Photos Tricia Dewey.  I wanted a rather abstract take on my first first try.  I tried to use just SuperImposeX for the image but ended up doing a bit of retouch and added my name in iColorama. The two photos below are used in the challenge and the main app is SuperImposeX.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Against The Wall

Photo - iPhone6
Processed - iPad Pro Apps iColorama, Repix, Touch/Retouch, Procreate
I think I look best when my head is out of the picture!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

How I Created Long Gone


So this is the photo I started off with (ONE).  I went into iColorama and created a blank image 5:4 3160X2528.  I blended the original image above onto the blank white image (Effects Blend). I decided to flip it and drop it down lower for the image I was going to make.  I then needed some trees on the right to complete my image to the right edge I used TWO below for this. 


I blended the image above to add the extra trees on the right.  I masked out all of it but the trees and grasses in the foreground. This is the image below (THREE).  Since I lowered the image the top was still white from the blank canvas, so I went into Paint and picked a nice big soft brush and chose a neutral grey color and painted in the sky.  See below.


I wasn't thrilled with the foreground on the right so I blended the above image on top and flipped it and masked out everything but the green grass in the right foreground (FOUR) below.


I was happy with this so far (I am saving versions of this as I go) and I am still in iColorama.  I then took the last version (FOUR) above into Repix one of my favorite apps. I did some work on the sky with charcoal, spray, drips, etc.  I softened other areas around the image (FIVE) below.


I then brought this image back into iColorama and lowered it a bit more. I wanted a larger sky and I wanted the house below the middle line of the image. I blended the texture below on top (SIX) - I think Multiple blend mode opacity about 60% or so.  I then added the birds and an extra tree on the right hand side. Then I ran that image thru Style Auto Preset 1 opacity about  40%. This gave me the painterly look I like. This is image (SEVEN) below.


I am still in iColorama so I save the image and go over into Touch/Retouch and do a little clean up. Save the image and come back into iColorama with this new image.  I do some adjustments under Exposure to exposure and brightness and save.  I decide to alter the color a bit so I then go into Tone Enhance and use Preset 9 and adjusted the opacity to about 45%.  I then went into Effects Text and added my name. Final image below (EIGHT).


This was a pretty simple edit I created the landscape with the feeling and lighting that I wanted.  I mostly blended images (Effects Blend) and masked out areas