A crash course in painting

Visit any modern art gallery and it might be a stretch to envisage our ancestors painting in caves using just their hands and natural pigments. As we’ve evolved, so have the tools and techniques used to create the finest works of art in the world. From oil paintings to watercolours to printmaking, art has changed in so many ways, except for one. It is, and has been throughout the ages, one of the deepest forms of human expression.

While mastering it can take a lifetime, these apps are nothing short of a stroke of genius when it comes to satisfying those innate artistic impulses.

A modern take on oil painting

‣ From da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, some of the most infamous works of art have been made with oil on canvas. Now you can emulate this powerful aesthetic with your own photography thanks to Oilist, the app that acts as your personal art guru.

Simply select an image and watch in awe as the app renders it in real time into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, with rich brushstrokes transforming each layer. And because every stroke is unique, Oilist will never produce the same work of art twice. If you switch the stroke setting to Manual, you can tilt the screen to change the angle and pressure of the brush, as well as create special effects.

From abstract to impressionist, there are 48 styles to choose from, all with sharp 4k resolution quality that’s perfect for a new wall canvas.


    The Artist in your Pocket.


Your next ink work

‣ Woodblock printing (where text, images and patterns are placed onto textiles or paper) has been one of the most highly skilled artforms spanning generations. Today, you can use Inkwork to similar effect to create wonderfully expressive prints of your own.

With an abundance of effects and styles, like Comic Book and Abstract, the app transforms your photos into edgy woodblock prints. You can customise your creation exactly how you want to with a selection of tools for tweaking, so you can hone in on the details, or venture into abstract. Plus, you can change ink and paper colours to achieve a classic black-and-white print or explore the subtleties achievable with Morandi colour schemes.


    Turn photos into art


Discover your abstract form

‣ Kandinsky had this one down to a fine colourful amalgamation of lines, shapes and much, much more.

Abstract art may seem intimidating, but worry not, Handstract will guide you to its mastery in no time. One finger makes circles, two draws lines and three or more create a combination of shapes.

There are conventional shapes of course, but think outside the box and explore the toolbar where you’ll find options like fill, symmetry, Bézier curves, as well as different colour schemes. You might surprise yourself in the beauty to be found in geometry.


    Multi-Touch Abstract Sketching