Sunday, March 1, 2020

Photo Apps, To Use or Not to Use

I have two photo apps on my iPhone: Waterlogue and Notanizer.  I was introduced to these this past summer by another artist/friend. I have not used them before as anything more than personal entertainment until this past week. Using an app to create art brought up some real questions about art, originality, and personal interpretation.

Waterlogue allows you to download a photo from your camera and use the app tools to show various ways the image can look with various watercolor vibes.

Some of the 13 options provide you with some really lovely ways to change a normal photo into a more beautiful rendition of the original image.

Then there is Notanizer. This app works much the same way, but allows you to mess around with contrast using its tools. This can be very helpful, especially for artists who find it challenging to get enough contrast from light to dark in their paintings.

original photo
So this past week I took a break from my "Teach Me" series  to try painting using the Waterlogue app to inspire me to loosen up.

Waterlogue's version
I chose this photograph of my daughter (and granddaughter (Auntie Meg and Hannah) because it's is so striped and sweet.

And then I did 2 studies, first highly influenced by Waterlogue, then one painted only using the photo as a resource. (I want to add that I recognize that I am not a portrait painter and there is muddiness that I don't like.) I think I would title the second one "Wearing Reindeer Ears is Exhausting."

I also took another photo to the Waterlogue app and painted two studies from that.

Waterlogue version

So the questions I pose are these:

  • It it cheating?

  • Is it art when you are highly influenced by 
  • a technological product?

  • Is this any different than taking a workshop where a step by step process is offered by the instructor? Usually participants come out with pieces looking very similar to the instructor's.

I hope to have some feedback from my readers.

I do want to get opinions from the "peanut gallery."


Tara said...

My humble opinion, I don't think it's cheating. Just like it's not cheating when you look at someone else's work and think "oh, I like that green" and use it in your next painting. There is a line, but I don't think it's using apps to get inspired.

Donna Thibodeau said...

I think you can use whatever it takes. A lot of people use computer images and photoshop. Photoshop has a watercolor option to change your painting. Personally, I saw a painting in a show that looked like a copy from the Photoshop option and it looked like an exact copy. You have to guard against losing your personal touch and creativity. It is a tool to get ideas and no harm done when used right. Artists need ideas and inspiration and find it and use it.

Tara said...

I agree with the "other" Tara. If you were copying the app exactly, maybe. But it's really just a prompt, the way you are doing it.