Discovering great iPad art applications for creativity


Let’s take a look at Enlight. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the iPad art applications we have available for making innovative, fantastic digital art. One of my favourite iPad and iPhone art applications has been iColorama. I find it’s quite easy to get into a situation where you enjoy using a particular application so much you forget to try some of the others. Especially with an application like iColorama which has such a breadth of tools and options you could spend weeks if not months exploring. I also find that using an application it’s easy to get into a situation where you are constantly using your favourite tools and effects. That’s not a good thing and we really don’t want our artwork to look all the same. We want our aunt to be original and different from everybody else’s. We also want our art to grow creatively and to have new looks and styles applied to the finished works. Us artists like to think our art is getting better and more interesting with each subsequent piece we work on. It’s always good to stretch the limits of our iPad art creativity with great iPad art applications.

Video recorded by the Enlight app as I made changes to the image I started with.


So it’s a good idea every now and again to put our favourite creativity application to one side and have a look and see what we can do with a different one. Sometimes we’ll be delighted and amazed by the other application finding techniques to give our artwork that something special. On the other hand, there are times when we pick something and wonder why the hell we have it on our iPad or iPhone. The poorer quality iPad art creativity applications are the ones which are basically just filters to apply on top of photos. There are rubbish applications meant for non-artists lacking creativity. The sort of applications are a simple application of a filter with no possibilities of making adjustments or masking certain areas off. Applications like this where you don’t have any ways to blend and manipulate multiple techniques or multiple photos and drawings should be avoided. I suppose one possibility would be to use one specific effect from an application and then move into something elsewhere you can really let your creativity have full reign.

great iPad art apps

Enlight iPad art application is now in the list of my favourite applications for creating iPad digital art. It’s an application that’s been languishing on my iPad for some time. I haven’t used it is an awful lot but I was prompted by an email I received. In this email there was a short tutorial on how to get the best from this application blending two photos together. It is possible to blend two photos together creatively in iColorama and also recently downloaded another application specifically for blending photos which goes by the name of Diana. That one is more of a one trick pony, but is a good option as part of a larger artistic workflow.

When you go used to using one application it takes a while to get used to another application. You have to finance where all of the tools are situated and what they can do. Fortunately with Enlight you have an area they called backstage in which as well as settings you have access to a tour and tutorials. Within the tutorial section you will find 12 tutorial showing you how to do a few different types of images. That includes mixing typography with pictures, adding text over images. Adding gradient colours to on-screen items and creating dramatic portraits using black-and-white effects and borders. Is Enlight going to be one of the applications you look at when searching for great iPad Art applications?

Canvas Menu

Over on the right hand side you have your menu items in a list. The first menu item is Canvas and within that you have just three tools. Crop, skew and refit give you some simple things and some amazing things you can do to your images. The cropping tools are simple enough where you can cut out areas from the edges of your photo you don’t want any more. You can crop completely freely by dragging in from any of the edges or corners. The other possibility would be to use the fixed ratios in case you wanted to have something 16:9 to use within a movie you are making for example. Or maybe you wanted it to be square for sending off to Instagram. Within the tools area there are other options such as vertical or horizontal flips, 90° rotations or straightening one or two degrees at a time.

Enlight Menus 1

Enlight Menus

Enlight Menus 2

Enlight Menus 2

Skew or De-Skew

From the skew menu it’s possible to skew images so that items within are straightened. An example of this would be if you are de-skewing a picture of a building so that it no longer looks as if it has any perspective. You can make it look as though you were dead centre and looking straight at it when you took your picture. From the distortion tool slide your finger to the right for the image to go convex and to the left to make it go concave. You’ll be left with your picture shape in the centre of the screen showing which parts will be kept and which parts will be discarded. If after playing with these controls you like what you have created tap on the checkmark to the right top of the screen. That will apply the changes you made to your picture.

Using Enlight app

Refit the Image

The refit option is a lot more interesting. Imagine you take a photo where you’ve got an interesting item on the left-hand side of the screen. There is another interesting item on the right-hand side of the screen and a boring space in the middle. With the refit option you can select the interesting areas by freezing them. You then slide your finger across the screen to crop away the part of the image in between the two frozen areas. I was amazed by this iPad art application technique. It is fantastic how well it works and you may choose to go vertically rather than horizontally if you wish. I was impressed by this tool within the Enlight artists application.

Basic Image Controls

Any of the great iPad art applications will have the basic image manipulation such as brightness, contrast and exposure. You get all of that in Enlight and you’ll find further options within the Basic, Details, Colour, Split Tone and Curves sections. So within Basic you can adjust brightness, contrast and exposure. With the Offset option you have a way to set an area such as a background either to be either just black or just white. Choose the setting you want to work with and slide your finger diagonally to make adjustments. When you have it as you want it hit the check mark/tick in the top righthand corner of the screen.

Curves in Enlight

iPad art apps

Within the clarity section you can sharpen, saturate or desaturate your image. It’s not necessary to apply these controls, settings or filter effects to the whole of the image there are masking tools. Use the masking brushes to apply or remove a masked area. Enlight also has a section called target which will apply a mask either as a spot which is re-sizable and movable across the screen. Or you can have mask which is linear, going in whichever direction you want it across the image. The other option would be to have a mirror type of mask. This gives you a central area which is affected by your image controls and settings fading out in both directions from the centre line.

Basically within these areas you have lots of fine control for you to do whatever you want with your image. The masking works well with the Apple Pencil. You have the chance to see what’s happening with your photo when you press the button towards the bottom right-hand corner which will give you a before and after you of the image.

Using the filters

Analog Effects

When you go to the analog effects in Enlight your first come across a whole load of presets. You can cycle through these presets if you wish and maybe there’s something there that will suit you just perfectly. Or you can change to the tools menu using the button in the centre of the screen at the bottom. From there you can get access to film effects where you can apply fade, grain, and intensity. For any of the settings within the Enlight art application you slide your finger from left to right across the screen to increase the amount of affect your giving it. Don’t forget you can also go into the masking area and as well as brushing on or off the mask you can feel all clear the whole image. There are also settings to change the size, opacity, feather and edge of the brush. This is what makes Enlight one of the great iPad art applications. You get a good deal of fine control over how your image is affected by any of your choices. It is more than just a simple app for applying filters or other little tricks to an image.

Changing the image to black-and-white or monochrome

You have available a whole range of black-and-white filters to apply to your image. Choose from the presets or going to the tools section to work with the controls directly. You can even filter the image based upon colours within if you want the black-and-white filter to work specifically on certain colours. In this same area of black and white adjustments you have other effects such as adding vignette or a grain. If you want to add borders there are a range of them available including plain black or white along with splotchy effects. It would be cool if it was possible to add your own border effects to this list. The only way around that at the moment is to add them using the mixer and blend tool.

Great iPad art applications

Going duo

This is all about using two colours and how you want those colours to be overlaid across the top of your image. Same as with some of the other effects where you can use a radial, linear or mirror distribution of the effect. Further adjust the distribution using masking techniques. Choosing the colours is easy by tapping on either colour one or colour two. This gives you a range of colours across the screen and in centre you’ll see there is a place where you can swipe upwards to access the infinite range of colours. Then all you have to do is to decide on how you want those colours to be blended. Same range of blend modes available in other tools in the application. Overlay, soft and hard light, multiply, screen and so on.


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Tools Menu – Mixer, Reshape, Heal And Tilt Shift.

Mixer tool

This is the tool to use if you want to add other images to put on top all blend into the image you’re working on. You can choose blend modes of which there are eleven apart from the normal mode. Within the tools you can choose an erase tool which is handy if you want to erase a background. You can get really good control over which areas you erase by pinching to zoom in as close as you need to. I was impressed on how well I was able to delete a background when using my Apple pencil and the images zoomed in really close.

Reshape tool

Within this reshape tool you can move pixels around to refine just certain areas. For example, you might like to make somebody’s ears a whole lot bigger. You could turn somebody into a pixie by giving them pixie ears and they pointy chin. The reshaped tool does something similar but with a larger portion of the image. If you’ve taken something a little too far you can try pushing it back with the tool you use to reshape it in the first place. If that doesn’t work then there is the restore tool. With that you can just draw in any of the areas you want to put back to the way it was before you’ve messed it all up.

Heal tool

With the heal tool you can remove blemishes with a re-sizable round dot. I found that in some areas this can work quite well but in other areas all it does is just to blur wherever you had placed the tool. The patch mode gives you two circular areas. One area is where it will do a copy and the other area is where it will place the copy. It is just a clone tool by another name. It is quite good in that you can also add a mask to operate on the clone. This gives you excellent control over how this tool works on your image. You also have access to settings for controlling the brush.

Great iPad art applications

The blue image was blended on top with the Mixer tool and the circles are the Patch tool for cloning


Tilt Shift

This is a cool thing when you want to make a photo look like it is toy town or like a model village. It does this by making it seem as if you were using macro photography and having to deal with very short depth of field. You can use a spot focus, linear or the mirror mask to achieve the effect you are looking for with a specific photo.

Going artistic with Enlight

Urban artistic Effects

Choose one of the presets if you wish with fancy names such as Galactic, Paintsplat, DayGlo and Twister. These are basically a set of filters you can access in the tool section, backdrop. You can adjust the threshold, smoothing and restore. With restore you basically set how much of the underlying image you want to obliterate. You’ll find all of this in the Artistic – Urban section of the controls.



Painting filters – you have a wild section of painting filters. Some of these will completely alter your image so no longer looks anything like what you started with. You can however go into the basic settings and restore your original image which is a basic blending setting. There are also settings for lighting, style and surface. The surface settings give you a few textured effects which are interesting but nowhere near as many as you would find in iColorama.

Sketch filters – here you have a reasonable range of pencil and crayon styles. Lots of settings allow you to change the scale, rotation, threshold, transition and how it all affects the details of the sketching filter. It’s quite impressive the amount of control you have to change hatching, stroke and paper effects. It’s this control which takes Enlight from being a mere set of filters to apply to being an artistic tool for creative digital art producers. Creativity is all about experimenting, choosing and using whatever tools and processes you have at your disposal. There’s plenty available for all sorts of artists in this application.

Drawing with the Apple pencil in Enlight

You start with seven different brush tips available which doesn’t seem a lot at first look. You can go into the settings for the brushes and choose size and opacity. The brushes don’t react to the pressure you apply with the Apple Pencil. When using the ink style brush to make it fatter you just have to move the Apple pencil faster. In the brush settings you can set the size and opacity. Lines you’ve drawn can be erased. While the drawing implements are not as good as you’d find in application like Procreate or Pixelmator for iPad it is useful to have some of these tools within Enlight. This you’ll find these in the artistic, doodle section of the tools.

Painting with Enlight

In the centre of artistic tools you also have effects. This will allow you to draw bubble, hearts and Snowflake effects directly onto your drawing. There’s not a huge range of these effects available but they can be handy if you want to splurge some colours, shapes or grungy styles into your image. It’s all about making creative juices and making best use of the tools in great iPad art applications.

The making of memes

You can simply use the text tool to add text to wherever you want it within your image. There are a reasonable number of funds to play with. It’s easy to change the colour of the text and to add drop shadows if you wish. As usual you have access to blend modes and masking. There are also a small selection of fairly useless decals. If you’re looking to create a meme there is a specific tool using a large standard font. It puts a lump of text at the top of the screen and or at the bottom of the screen. This is a fairly dedicated tool and will be useful to some users.


In the Painting section of Enlight where you choose the tools you want to work with. Surface will give you textures effects for your image. Also showing the types of text it is possible to add.

Textures added

Great iPad art applications -Texture added to Enlight image

You’ve been framed

The last tool available within this tool section on the right-hand side is the framing tool. You got a number of frames to select from. You get to make choices regards the width of the frame, the shape of the image and there are all sorts of patterns you can put into the background. The other option available is for making a collage. You can combine a number of photos or artistic work seem to an interesting arrangement.

The NoStylus verdict on the Enlight iPad art application

When I first opened up this application I assumed it was just for messing with photos and adding filters. After exploring and trying a few things out I discovered it’s far more useful than that. It’s a well laid out application in terms of the interface giving access to the controls you need to make your artistic choices. It isn’t a drawing and painting application but it is possible to do some of that within Enlight. I was particularly impressed with the refit tool where I could freeze certain areas and remove space in between. It’s good to have the blending tool available and useful in many of the other tools. The mixing tool for blending multiple photos works well especially when using the masking.

Sharing from Enlight

There are a number of sharing options allow you to share out to the usual suspects. Send your images to messages, email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There is a cool feature where you can save your Enlight working session as an animation. This is where you get to see the progress of your work from initial image through to the final piece. This gives you a video which you can save to your devices Photos library.

Enlight iPad art application

Same as iColorama you don’t get the layers you find in great iPad art applications like Procreate, ArtRage, Concepts or Graphic by Autodesk. No worries as you can always move images from and to Enlight to take advantages of other tools only possible to use in other great iPad art applications.

Great iPad art applications

Overall Enlight is a super application and I would highly recommend it for use by creative types. There are some limitations with what you can do with it, while at the same time there are a huge number of choices. I like the application and I can certainly see me using it much more often in the future. Great iPad art applications.

iPad artist

Good and Geeky iPad art book

Post PC Day 9 – iPad Artist

How to be an iPad Artist

I am an iPad artist. The creativity comes through me mostly through writing these days but I still often have the times when all I want to do is create visual art. When I was at art college I was into the drawing, painting and print making. I really did say to a girl “Would you like to come upstairs to see my etchings?” You should have seen her face when I showed her some…. Now I have the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil to go with it. I find I will have a month when I spend more time making images than doing the writing. Variety is the spice of life they say.

iPad artist

Kaleidoscope with Pixelmator

iPad art apps I like to use

Pixelmator for iPad is fantastic. It’s great for doing the basics of image management such as resizing, adding text on top of an image and working with photos. I wouldn’t have an iPad without it. Pixelmator does have drawing and painting tools for the iPad artist, but for some reason I often find myself going to Procreate for that activity. I’ll also swap into Tayasui Sketch when I want to do watercolour because I particularly love the watercolour brushes there. For unlimited creativity for image manipulation then it has to be iColorama. The range of tools in iColorama is amazing in its breadth and depth. I usually prefer iPad artist apps with layers and iColorama doesn’t do layers as such. You can put one layer of image on top of another and change blend modes, masking and do those sorts of adjustments. That’s it though – It isn’t a persistent layer to work with later in your artistic process. The app gets around this limitation with it saving states of progress as you go and saving out to the storage. So what you would do is to save something out to disk and bring it back in again to work two images together again. The best thing is to consider the iPad as one iPad artist application and move images in between apps as you need certain tools. It works great for me to do that when making artistic images with my iPad.

iPad artist iColorama

iPad artist iColorama

iPad artist – iPhone artist

The iPhone for me is too small for the sort of work I am able to do as an iPad artist. It is possible, there is a version of iColorama for the iPhone too. It is only €2.99 and I will probably buy it at some point in time. You also get Pixelmator on the iPhone as well as Paper by 53, ArtStudio, Sketches II, Artistic Studio, PS Express and Waterlogue. Many of the features are the same, just limited by the smaller screen. I look upon these as apps worth having in case you have that moment when you have to create something and all you have with you is your iPhone.

iPad Artist Book

I have written a book on this topic which is available in the Apple Book Store. It is a look at how to be an iPad artist and covers topics such as which is the best stylus to use. If you have an iPad Pro of either size then the answer is the Apple Pencil. In the book there are videos including one in which I show how I made a caricature image using Pixelmator for iPad and iColorama. Pixelmator has excellent tools for pushing pixels around. There is the warp tool and you can also twirl either left or right. When you use the bump tool it is as if you are making a lump sticking out of the canvas.

iPad artist

Good and Geeky iPad art book

Using the Apple Pencil

The iPad knows when you are using it and automatically gives you palm protection. Get better lines drawn because you have increased control of the Apple Pencil. There is pressure sensitivity in the Pencil so you get either darker lines or wider lines depending on the tool you’re using. When you use the pencil at an angle you’ll get a shading effect. The line spreads out and works like it would if you were using a real analogue pencil. Digital drawing and painting is just brilliant because you can work on your art at many levels. With the layers you are building up the drawing from blocking in shapes to getting into detail and not messing up what you have done already. Putting in backgrounds can be done after the line drawing has been done so you don’t lose lines. The you also have the zoom so getting into the fiddly detail is so much easier and like having another type of layer. The iPad artist doesn’t have to mess around with cleaning brushes and changing between tools and colours can be done in a snap. I love the digital way of working and being an iPad artist.

It’s not just about visual art

Don’t forget you also have audio and video creation available to you. Garageband on iPad is fun and there is the podcast making app BossJock. Some of these audio apps let you make music even if you don’t have a huge musical talent. Making video as an iPad artist is simplicity itself. Some video editing apps will do half the job for you. While there are apps like iMovie on iPad and Pinnacle which give you a ton of control over the video clips and the audio to go with it. My favourite is Pinnacle video editor.


The Good and Geeky iPad Artist

The Latest Book from Good and Geeky – iPad Artist

Good and Geeky iPad Artist

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It took me long time to create Good and Geeky iPad Artist because I was spending so much time using the art tools to create art. I have the Apple iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil and it is so easy to get lost in the fantastic applications available. I found I jumped into applications like Procreate and iColorama and two or three hours later I would still be there drawing and painting on my iPad. I am a good and geeky iPad artist. In the book I talk about a couple of different styli you can use. If you have one of the pro versions of the iPad then you really do have to get the Apple Pencil to be a proper iPad artist. One of the things that really makes a difference is being able to rest your hand on the screen while you are drawing. The only marks that arrive in the drawing are from the Apple Pencil.

Being the Good and Geeky iPad Artist

There is such a range of applications available for creating art on the iPad you’ll never be stuck creatively. Use the iPad as a sketch pad, sitting in front of your subject and draw onto the screen. There are huge advantages over using analogue means of drawing. The same combination of the iPad plus the stylus or the finger gives you an unlimited variety of pencils, pens, brushes, charcoal sticks, colours and paint. It’s so easy to change the width of your drawing line either by using the pressure sensitivity or by changing it in the settings. By using the Apple Pencil you’ll be able to unlock your creativity in the iPad art applications.

My Favourite iPad Artist Applications

Artrage logo

Pixelmator for iPad and Procreate are my favourite applications for drawing and painting. I also like Tayasui for its watercolour brushes. iColorama is a particular favourite of mine because it does just about everything. ArtRage is fantastic for its virtual paint which gives you a realistic view of painted brushstrokes. If I want to do any type of vector drawing then I will open up the application Graphic which is by Autodesk. The application Paper by 53 is a favourite with many people but it’s not something I have warmed to. Which of these applications I would use really depends upon what it is I’m trying to do. There will also be times when with a particular piece of art I will move between two or three applications. It’s easy to move work from one app to another. If you’re looking for a specific effect not available in the main application you’re working with, send it out to another iPad artist application. Bring it back into where you are working when you’ve got what you wanted.

Building it up with layers

It’s really helpful to build up a drawing starting with a rough layout of the main shapes. You can progressively build on top of that by using layers in whichever iPad artist app you are using. You gradually build on top of previous layers to get the drawing just right. The final layers are to add the details. Another great thing about layers is if you need to go back to a previous part of the background, you can do so without destroying the details on top. Fill in an area of colour or change a colour where necessary achieving effects quickly. By being an iPad artist the technology enables your creativity and doesn’t slow you down. You don’t have to spend time cleaning brushes, sharpening pencils or rubbing things out. It’s nice not to have any roadblocks in the way of making art.

Creative photography for the iPad artist

Not only do you have marvellous drawing and painting capabilities with your iPad, you also can work with photos creatively. The tools you have available are much more interesting and powerful than you find in some applications where all you get is a set of filters. With iColorama you can push pixels around to your hearts content. You can do the same sort of things with the distortion tools in Pixelmator for iPad. It’s even possible to remove objects from within a photo so you’d never be able to tell they were there in the first place. Another useful area of photographic art manipulation is with the blending modes for the layers. The best art applications for the iPad let you set the blend mode. This will change the way that two layers interact with each other in terms of colours, tone and light. If the top layer is set to multiply you get a completely different effect from when it is set at normal. In the book I show you how to create a caricature. There is a video showing you how I took a photo and turned it into a caricature image using iColorama and Pixelmator for iPad. There are other videos within the book also.

IMG 0811

Get the Good and Geeky iPad artist

There’s lots of pictures in the iPad Artist book showing you how to use the various applications. Examples of artwork I’ve created using my favourite iPad art applications. The idea is to whet your creative appetite and get you excited about being a good and geeky iPad artist. You may still get the urge to scratch some drawings onto paper with analogue tools now and then. After seeing what you can get from creating with the Apple Pencil on the iPad you’ll agree that going digital is the way forward.



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Levels of Creativity in iPad Art Applications

I’m just thinking it would be a good idea to have some sort of rating system for the applications I review in the book. The writing would assess their creativity quotient. So applications that you can use to be more creative with would get a higher rating. Applications like Pixelmator for iPad and Procreate would have the highest rating and applications such as any of the apps which just allow you to slap a filter on the whole of a photo would be lower or at the bottom. Applications such as Painterly would be nearer to the top because it is possible to use its facilities for tracing images in a creative way. It all depends on how you use it! You could for example choose one single effect and brush the whole of the image with that effect. Or you could do what I did, which was to bring in parts of images I had already worked on in iColorama as a collage and build up a creative piece of art work. I have the idea at the moment to use some of the grunge types of images I have and build them up into some sort of futuristic landscape. It would be easier to do that in Affinity Photo because I can turn images around to fit a perspective of a landscape. The only thing I can do with Painterly would be to use images that work already in terms of perspective.


I still think that there’s some creativity involved in those applications that just do the one thing, but do it well. If you know what the application can do and you make the creative decision to dive into the application do that one thing and get out again that’s okay. It’s better still if you can use that as a part of the larger creative process and bring images you’ve already worked on into that application to finish off. Same as if you might start in that less creative application and then move the results from it into other applications to develop further. Creativity is about having the tools making the decisions to use them and often being surprised by some serendipity and deciding to keep it.

Creating art with iColorama on the iPad

I have fallen in love with the application iColorama. There isn’t a perfect art application on the iPad, but iColorama has such a lot in it. It is more than just an application for applying filters to photos. In the Apple App Store there are a huge number of photo filter type of applications of varying quality. Some of them just apply a single filter which works over the whole of the image and doesn’t have any adjustment. While there are other photo filter applications for iOS that are more capable with layers and masks. iColorama will let you make the basic adjustments to photos, such as exposure, contrast and will even let you work on levels and more. There are other applications that will do that part job easier or better, but there is enough in there to improve your photos ready for doing the real artistic work in iColorama.

IColorama 1

Creating photographic art with iColorama

Take a photograph using the camera on your iPad or iPhone and get it into the iColorama application. I can also use Wi-Fi on my mirrorless Sony camera to import photos and work on them on the iPad. You can start with a blank canvas if you want to, but often it is easier to start with a photo you have on your photo roll in your Photos app. When you bring your photograph in, choose which resolution you want to use and in most cases you just might as well choose the highest resolution. I’m working with the iPad Air 2, but if you have an older model you may need to choose a lower resolution. Here is a photo I worked on in iColorama and posted to Facebook.

The application only works in landscape mode, which is okay even though it is not optimal when you’re working with a portrait shaped picture. In the first menu Tone you have a number of menu items you can choose from to enhance your photo. Depending upon the adjustment you wish to use, you get a number of sliders, switches and presets to work with. With some of the adjustments you’ll be getting blend modes, allowing you to get a particular look with that specific effect. One such effect is Duotone and as well as the blend modes, you also have 40 presets. You get all sorts of weird and wonderful looks for your photos, mixing and matching the settings for the controls for these effects. There is a menu item for converting your photo to black-and-white and another one which will do the black-and-white plus one colour. So, the first step is to use these basic effects to improve the starting point for your photo artistic endeavours.

Going crazy with the artistic choices in iColorama

IColorama Tunnel

It’s possible to go directly to the Form menu and choose something which is going to deform and alter your image so that it looks nothing like the original photo. For example you might use the Escher filter and make everything in the image spin. Same sort of thing if you use the Tunnel effect or the one called Deforms. Who knows, you might be just looking to create a fancy pattern using the colours available in the photo and you’re not bothered if it’s going to look completely unrealistic. We are talking about making art after all.

IColorama 2

In the Texture menu what you are doing basically is to overlay an image containing a texture. It’s possible to change the size and contrast of texture as well as choose the blend mode , rotation and hue. There are 170 different textures to choose from, some of them more useful than others. In any case, there is something in there for everybody, whatever your artistic temperament.

IColorama 3

No layers – No problem

With these sorts of applications it’s quite likely you’re going to want to combine various effects and processes as you create your artwork. When you have an application like Procreate, Art Studio or Pixelmator for iPad, it is really useful to have layers. Change the look of your image merely by reordering the layers in a stack. You’re able to keep the various processes and masking separated onto a specific layer with applications such as these. Unfortunately, with iColorama we don’t have layers. Not really a problem as you have workarounds allowing you to blend one image on top of another and use masking tools to specify where the effect is going to go. You do need to kind of know which order to use the iColorama effects in your process to get to your end point.


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Applying and saving as you go

Because there is so much with these effects to configure and try out it’s a good idea to experiment. Try out a few of the different presets and see what they do, if you like something you can use the Save button. Bring the image back in later either to start fresh or to blend over something else you’ve done. Or what you can do, is to use the Apply button which will create a step in the process you can go back to at any time. So if you’ve applied something to the image and it’s not really working out with the next stage of the process, just go back to a previous point.

Knowing iColorama and using serendipity.

It’s a good idea to spend a good long time playing with application trying out all of the different effects. There is so much in the application it’s going to take you a long time. Start off with your favourites and gradually build on your knowledge of what the application can do. Join the iColorama Facebook page which is a community of artists in itself. You’ll find other digital artists using the application and quite often they will say what they’ve done in order to create the image they are showing off. You can take one of your own images and try to replicate the effects and learn as you go. You will often find there will be slightly unexpected effects happen with the combination of two or more iColorama effects. Sometimes it’ll just make your image look terrible and then other times you’ll think it looks fantastic. I think it’s great to find these serendipitous creations in your artwork and keep them if they look good. Keep on learning.

Icolorama FB2

Brushwork in iColorama

Within some of the effects you can use brushes. There is a huge range of brushes available and you can also import extra brushes into the application. These brushes will also work with the masking tool. There is a brush menu giving you a number of brush tools. When you choose a tool like Bristle, it starts off with a completely white canvas covering your photo underneath. Choose one of the presets and start painting onto this white canvas for your painting to emerge. It’s possible to get a painterly effect and it is just like you are smudging the paint around on the canvas. Change the brush size, opacity and if you click on the icon with the word Set underneath it, you’ll find even more controls to play with. If you fancy going expressionistic with your painting, dial in some colour variation and size variation to the brush. It’s fantastic what you can come up with.

IColorama 4

 Making Adjustments to the brushes

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Using with other applications

To use with other iPad drawing and painting applications it’s quite easy. Simply use the Save button and save the image to your Photo Roll and then open up in the other application. Another way to do this, is to use the share option on the menu and then use the button for open in other app. The applications you can send your image to will depend on what you have available on your device. On mine I could send it off to ArtRage, Pixelmator for iPad, Graphic by Autodesk and a whole range of other applications. I tested this out by sending it off to ArtRage, I applied some paint, saved the digital painting to the Photos app and then I brought it back into iColorama. It all worked out okay, except that it didn’t come back in at the same resolution as it went out. The painting came back in at a lower resolution which depends upon the maximum resolution available in the other application you’re using. In some cases It’s not going to matter too much. With some artwork you’ll need to keep it at the full resolution so you have to be careful which other applications you use. Either that, or just keep all of your artwork within iColorama.

ICiolorama StyleSketch

The special effects of iColorama

There are a few possibilities within iColorama which will give you special effects. From the Style menu you could go into Style/Sketch and use one of the 12 presets to give you something looking a bit like a crosshatched pencil sketch. There is a switch in the bottom menu which will put some of the colour back into your image, or use in conjunction with the opacity slider to set up your picture. You can turn your image into just the blobs of colour by using the Style/Tensor effect. The Style/Flow effect is interesting with 11 presets each allowing you to change the level of highlight, shadows and bleaching. Within the Style/Painterly effect you have presets which will give you the Van Gogh starry starry night effect with the swirling of the colours. You have to be careful with many of these special effects of iColorama, as it is quite easy to completely destroy and obliterate a perfectly good piece of digital art. If you use them in moderation, then it could be just what you’re looking for, for your image.

IColorama StyleFlow

iColorama is fantastic for digital art

This application is quite marvellous in the right hands. I have seen some super examples of digital drawing and painting in the iColorama Facebook group. I’m very happy with what I’ve created myself working with my photos using iColorama. It’s a hugely flexible and capable application and just about any creative person could have a lot of fun creating digital art with iColorama. When I’m using the application to create my photographic art images, I’ll often end up with six or seven images I’ve saved along the way which I like for various reasons. It can be difficult for me to choose which one is the image I consider to be the finished one.

IMG 1861

Getting better with each update

I would really like to see the addition of layers within the application at some point in time. The brush settings are not bad but could probably be improved upon, for instance the developer could make it easier for choosing the size of a brush. These are minor inconveniences in an excellent application. The developer is active in improving the application showing off evidence of art creation using new tools in iColorama. The application can only go in leaps and bounds getting better with each new iteration.


Book visual - iPad Art Magnet

Get this Book for free to read on your iPad, iPhone or Mac in iBooks.

Using The application Ink Artist for iPad

I have been looking at a number of art applications for the iPad . I started with the application Procreate which I found to be good application for drawing with. We also looked at the application ArtStudio which has more tools and is the one that is probably my current favourite. Then there is also the application ArtRage which is more painterly in its approach, to the extent that you can mix colours on your virtual canvas. This application Ink Artist is more suitable for drawing as it has a number of line styles that you can use. These lifestyles are adjustable with opacity, size and the pressure to give you different types of creative and expressive lines.


free applications


Using application Ink Artist for iPad

I have been looking at a number of art applications for the iPad. I started with the application Procreate which I found to be good application for drawing with. We also looked at the application ArtStudio which has more tools and is the one that is probably my current favourite. Then there is also the application ArtRage which is more painterly in its approach, to the extent that you can mix colours on your virtual canvas. This application Ink Artist is more suitable for drawing as it has a number of line styles that you can use. These lifestyles are adjustable with opacity, size and the pressure to give you different types of creative and expressive lines.

Cartoonists and caricaturists

Ink Artist ipad

I feel that the application would be most suitable for caricaturists and cartoonists because of the types of lines that are possible with Ink Artist. You can have lines that will either start with a tapered end and go through to a wider line, or the other way around. You also have lines which are textured with a random shaping to the line, either making it kind of jaggy or softened with that jitter. It is possible to use these sorts of lines to build up text areas by applying lines with lowered capacity over the top of each other. A couple of the lines of are made up of dots and shapes, which again would be good for creating areas of texture. You don’t get an airbrush tool so this is where these types of lines would become useful.

Is it a vector art?

The lines were now drawn seem to be vector drawings because they are very sharp still even when you zoom in a really close. It will be interesting to see how these drawings work out when exported to other vector-based applications either on the Mac or for the iPad. I would like to try one of these drawings out from Ink Artist to see how they look in application like a Vector Designer on the Mac. You can export out to PDF as vector art.

A free app With in-app purchase

How to use Ink Artist

With the free application you get up to 2 layers for your drawing, which may be enough for the simplest of drawings. You can buy an in app purchase, the cost is €1.79 to have the ability to create up to 20 layers. If the application or fur is still working on this application to improve it further, how will expect to see other brushes added at a later stage, either as free or as in app purchases.

Simple application with some help information

The author of the application, going by the wording in the help file is not English or English-speaking as a first language. In a professional application you would expect to see good English spelling and grammar. This information is good enough that it will allow you to get started and explore it for yourself and create some fun expressive art. Personally, I like the application for drawing although for day-to-day use ArtStudio is still my favourites with pro creates coming a close second. Certainly I can recommend that it is a iPad drawing application worth trying out to see if it fits in with your artistic drawing style.

Angry art with ArtRage the iPad painting application

In the past I have been an art student at art college and I have stretched canvas and daubed paint in a creative way. These days I like my art to be digital, because I think it is great the way that you can create an image on an iPad and you don’t have to worry about cleaning brushes, the smell of the oil paint, having to wait for paint to dry and so on. The immediacy of being able to create an image on a digital canvas is absolutely fantastic and now with this application for the iPad called ArtRage we have something that really is like virtually painting.

Loading up your brush with paint

Artrage for iPad

Within this application you are not just choosing a colour, you’re adding paint to a digital brush. When you move your brush across the digital canvas the paint will be spread by the paintbrush and will look just like the paint would in real life. The paint is real and not a never-ending stroke of colour, the paintbrush will only be able to put a certain amount of paint into the image. The paint will tail off as it gets used up by the paint stroke. Then you can load at the brush again, maybe with a different colour and mix the two lots of paint on your digital canvas with your digital brush. You will get similar results to what you would get if you had a real artists paint brush loaded up with paint. It is just that it is without the hassle of having to clean out brushes as you work on your painting.


free applications

Choices that you make for your digital painting

You can choose the surface that you want to paint on. You can have something that would resemble the surface that you get with watercolour paper, or you could have something that would be like canvas that you would use for either acrylics, or for oil paint. There is an infinite range of types and styles of media that you can draw and paint on within ArtRage. Just the same as you can make choices about the surface that you’re going to paint on, you have a huge range of tools that you can use to apply your colour.

ArtRage iPad painters app

Digital painting is better than the old analogue way of doing it

The speed with which you can make your decisions and choices is fantastic for an artist. If you need to quickly change from one type of brush to another, load it up with paint and start painting, then you can do that with ease. You don’t have to wait for layers of paint to dry in order to be able to paint the next part of your image. You can even choose whether you want to have the digital paint to be either wet or have it dry to achieve effects that wouldn’t be possible in the old-fashioned way.


With ArtRage you can use layers that will allow you to work on the background without disturbing or destroying something that you might have already worked on in the foreground of your design. It is still necessary to plan how you want your overall design to work out on your digital space, but you can at least work at it from a number of different angles. So you could work on an important part of your design that is in the foreground and then add a layer underneath that, to be able to add the background. Try to do that with paint on canvas and you would be spending much more time and energy in the creation process. Go and make a masterpiece with your iPad today.

Getting Started With the iPad Without the Need of an iPad Help Manual

IPad help manual for new users of iPad 3

Now that the iPad 3rd gen has been announced, there will be a lot of new users buying the Apple tablet device and there maybe one or two newbies that don’t know quite where to start. I know that for many of us, it seems a little strange that anyone would need to have an iPad help manual. This is especially so when you have been using the iPad just for a short while and you don’t need the iPad instructions any longer, because you have got used to the device and how it works. Just try to remember though what it was like when you were a new user of something or other, whether that be driving a car, using a new television with a weird menu system or even learning how to operate a new tool in the workshop. When you come fresh to something and it is completely new and strange, sometimes it is good to have some pointers in the right direction and this could be perhaps, an iPad manual PDF or it could even be an e-book. If it is an e-book, then it could be be added to your iBooks application on the iPad, so that you can get basic information while you get started.

iPad help manual – Apple iPad instructions to get you started

IPad instructions iPad help manual

Apple Computers and the operating system that you use to get things done on an Apple Computer and that includes the iPad, is famously easy. While it is true that often you will not need to have an iPad help manual for either an iMac or an iPad, it can be good to have somewhere that you can get some iPad tips and tricks. There is a website called Screencastsonline run by a Liverpool man called Don McAllister and he has a successful business creating videos showing how to use Apple devices. Based on this information, one would think that perhaps there is a need for an iPad manual PDF, e-book or set of videos to help new users.

Apple iPad manual

My first suggestion to any new user of an iPad, whether it is the new iPad generation 3 or an iPad 2, would be to switch it on and have a play with it. Open up a few of the iPad applications that come with the device and see what you can do with them. You don’t need to be afraid that you will break something and I would suggest that it won’t be long before you are tapping the iPad screen, using fancy gestures with one or more fingers and really getting the hang of it.

There are some applications that perhaps use some specialised controls and gestures and quite often you will find that these sorts of applications will have a help page. You don’t need to worry that it is going to be a lots of hard reading. All of the help pages or iPad instructions for specific applications that I have seen, consist of only a few pictures and as few words as is necessary. I have seen one or two iPad help manuals that have also included animations or even videos showing how to do things.

Setting up your iPad without an Apple iPad manual

Like I said, I think that the best way to get started is to tap on a few icons and to open up a few applications and see what they do. You will also want to dive into some of the system preferences. And you can do this by tapping on the icon for settings, which you will generally find on the front page or front screen of your iPad. You may want to go into this area fairly soon after getting your iPad, in order to set up your iCloud account so that you can have your mail, contacts, calendars and so on set up specifically for your use. It is in this area also that you will set up some of your specific parameters for applications. For a new user, most likely you will not need to touch this until you have actually spent some time using those applications. It will be then that you will have noticed where you need to make some tweaks to the settings.

No help for the Facebook app in an iPad help manual

IPad manual pdf

In the settings area for the Facebook application you can setup the type of alerts you get for chat and messages. You can specify if you want the application to make the iPad vibrate or play a sound and you can also set up push notifications. The push notifications for Facebook on iPad you can set for various aspects of the application, such as for friend requests, photo tags, place tags and application requests. You can turn on or off whichever ones you want to use or don’t want to use.

Dive right in, the water is fine – Who needs an iPad manual?

To get the basics of how to use the iPad then most certainly I think the best way is to tap on a few buttons and see what it can do. If you find that you reach a plateau in your learning experience with your new Apple iPad 3, then the best thing to do probably will be to do a Google search for specific things you want to learn. There are one or two third-party iPad manual apps, iPad instructions or device guides that you can find. Some of them may be free and some of them you may have to pay for. Don’t waste your money buying an iPad help manual just for the basic things. You may on the other hand get good use out of something specific, like a book about how to use the iPad in the workplace. There is a book by David Sparks which aims to help you integrate your iPad into your work environment which is highly recommended.

The iPad manual versus watching videos to learn

As much as I like reading to find out about how to do things, I do find that I learn faster if I am shown how to do something. This is where watching videos is such a good idea. There is of course the screencastsonline although much of the content on there is something that you will need to pay for. You may not mind paying for it if the quality is good and then again, you can also do some searching on YouTube to be able to find the information that you need.

Why don’t you just ask somebody for help?

iPad Help manualGoogle plus, Twitter or Facebook. Then again what you could also do, is to ask your question in the comments section of this website. I will be very happy to help with iPad, by replying to your comments on the website and if you really need that extra bit of help them we could even start up a Skype conversation. I am pretty sure that if I don’t know the answer straightaway, then I certainly would know where to find an answer for you. We can also look at i touch help or iPod help. Maybe what I should look at is making a Garageband iPad manual, iPad 3 manual, iphone manual or an iPad 2 manual. I would like to help iPad users with iPad 2 getting started issues so put a question or two in the comments below.