Graphic design skills, learned and experienced on a desktop computer or handheld device, will augment the creation process and save you time while achieving accurate and successful art. You also have the opportunity to save on materials, costs and of course the planet, with less waste and those dreaded artworks that just don't turn out the way we intend - an unfortunate reality that happens even to the best of us. This post will try to shed some light onto these obstacles and also to foster hope and belief in your abilities through knowledge and tools that I use for some of the art I produce.
In case you're wondering from the picture of Ken's nemesis above - Sorry you won't be learning how to paint a piece of fine art on your phone through this article. Don't worry these skills don't take away from the organic side of creation, in fact they will enhance that side of your process, liberating more time to focus on the "good stuff" with careful planning and a "work smart, not hard" attitude.
Photoshop is a great tool that many people are familiar with and has been instrumental in the development of the art you see on this website. From colour theory to understanding masking techniques and of course layering, it is essential for many creatives in a multitude of disciplines. This article however is more to do with the new-age digital media and apps for smartphone technologies that is establishing a strong foothold with advanced functionalities that are easy to use and mostly free. The Creative Commons resource website and the Blur app referred to below are free. Afterlight is a paid app but iPhone's in-built photo editor will be fine for the purposes in this tutorial.
If you want to see what the finished product of using this technique looks like then check out The Girl With Freckles painting from the portraits page.
Another great app for planning effects is Imaengine. This genius piece of software has many effects to chose from that are highly stylised and customisable.The images featured below feature the Colour Noir filter that has simplified the details and stylised the image. What's more is that you can export your creations in 5 different detail settings (sizes) and chose from either JPEG, PNG, PDF and SVG formats. This app is a game changer.
Original photo & filtered image exported from Imaengine.
We hope you enjoy this information sharing and that it helps your creative process as it has ours.