A Painterly Tutorial

California Dreaming

What You'll Need

This is a tutorial on creating a painterly image from a photograph on an iPhone or iPad. For this tutorial you will need a photo to edit and the following apps: Snapseed Repix Brushstroke Sketch Club (or other image blending app) Pic Grunger

My original image


Using the Crop Tool, crop your image to the desired composition. For this piece I wanted the two figures centered. Click Apply.

While still in Snapseed open the HDR Scape tool by selecting it.

Swipe your finger up and down to bring up the HDR Scape adjustments. Adjustments are then made by swiping left and right. For this project you will want to lower the Filter Strength, adjust Brightness and increase the Saturation. Apply changes and Save to your Camera Roll

Snapseed Results


Open the Repix app. Load the version that you edited in Snapseed. Select the brush tool menu from the bottom. (Note some brushes are included and others are available for an extra charge.)

Use a two-finger pinch to resize your image so that it is very small (this in effect makes the brush size larger) Using the Eraser, erase the entire image.

Pinch to enlarge your image and using the Charcoal brush, paint your image back in. Click the checkmark in the upper right corner to apply the changes and when the menu pops up Save to your Camera Roll.

Repix Results


Open the SNAPSEED VERSION from your Camera Roll in the Brushstroke app. Click the upper right arrow and Brushstroke will apply a painterly effect. Swipe through the various styles on the bottom until you find one that you like. I chose F2 in the Frayed effects.

While still in Brushstroke, open the Adjustments menu. A row of icons will open below that will allow you to adjust the Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and more. Slide your finger right and left to adjust until you get the desired results. Click the upper right arrow to bring up the save menu.

Click Save



Open Sketch Club. In the upper right corner select the arrow and then select NEW. It will bring up the above menu. I chose the iPad Retina Screen size to create a blank canvas.

A blank canvas will open. In the upper left corner click on the layers menu icon. Then click on a layer and select Load Image. Here you will choose the image from Brushstroke that you saved to your Camera Roll

Click on the Layers icon again (top left) and this time select the layer above the image you already loaded and click Load Image. You will load the Repix version this time. The blending mode should be set to Normal.

Next step is to erase portions of the top layer to expose the more defined layer underneath. From the layers menu, I lowered the opacity on the top layer so I could see the surfers better. From the top center Brush menu, select the Eraser. I chose the Eraser brush style that is circled. You can adjust the size and opacity of the Eraser with the sliders at the bottom.

Here I have erased parts of the top image to expose the surfers from the lower layer. Then I increased the opacity on the top layer back to 100% to make the area around the figures more opaque. Tap the arrow on the top right to Save.

This will bring up the Actions menu. From the bottom of the menu, select Send to Photos to Save. Save as JPEG or PNG.


Step Five - Pic Grunger Hang in there - this is the final step!

Tap the Camera icon that is hiding on the top left under the words PIC GRUNGER to open your Camera Roll. Load the Sketch Club image that you just saved from the last step.

From the Effect Menu, I chose Scuffed.

It was a bit overpowering, so I reduced the Strength to less than half.

For the Style, I chose Back Stage. Tap the arrow on the top right to bring up the Save menu and save to your Camera Roll.


@gericentonze on Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook

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