Turn Your Photos Into Watercolor Works of Art, No Talent Required

Slate’s design blog.
Feb. 17 2014 10:48 AM

Turn Your Photos Into Watercolor Works of Art, No Talent Required

140212_EYE_Waterlogue1
Waterlogue is a new app that transforms photos into watercolor-like works of digital art.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

Too busy to pick up a paintbrush? Waterlogue, a photo app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, uses your snapshots as rough drafts for watercolor-inspired works of digital art.

140212_EYE_06
Waterlogue can turn this photo of koi ...

Courtesy of Waterlogue

140212_EYE_05
... into a charming little watercolor vignette.

Waterlogue turns photos into sketches that are filled in while you watch, giving you the option to adjust color and brush stroke size, choose a filter (natural, luminous, and rainy are some of the options), tweak brightness, and decide whether you want a border.

140212_EYE_01
The Eiffel Tower in the process of getting Waterlogued.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

Waterlogue is the latest photo app from John Balestrieri and Robert Clair, who are responsible for Percolator, which turns photos into multicolored mosaics, and Popsicolor, which transforms snapshots into virtual ink illustrations.

140212_EYE_02
The Eiffel Tower photo progresses in its transformation into a watercolor.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

Advertisement

“We wanted non-artists to be able to see the world as an artist might,” Balestrieri said in a press release, “to give people access to a creative tool that doesn’t require any training.”

140212_EYE_03
Nearing the final stages of painting a watercolor image of a photo using Waterlogue.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

The ability to add a watercolor filter to photos is nothing new, but Waterlogue has created an app that fans say more closely replicates the hand of the artist than a Photoshop filter.

140212_EYE_04
A full-color watercolor image of the Eiffel Tower that you almost painted yourself.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

Balestrieri said that Waterlogue hoped to digitally capture the charm of the tin kits full of watercolor pigments that artists carry around to make watercolor sketches in their Moleskine notebooks.

“There are apps out there that apply a watercolor-type filter to images, but they don’t really approach anything made by a person,” Balestrieri said, “which details to leave in, which to take out—all of the little decisions that make a painting communicate the essence and spirit of a scene, instead of a straight depiction of reality.”

140212_EYE_08
Even a New Jersey Transit platform has a romantic air when filtered through a watercolor lens.

Courtesy of Waterlogue

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The Only Good Thing That Happened at Today’s Soul-Crushing U.N. Climate Talks

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:06 PM Nothing to See Here The one national holiday Republicans want you to forget.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.