Walkthrough: how Matt Connors combines iPhone painting apps in ‘Shiva Rising’

Matthew Seydel Connors
(This is a guest-post by fellow fingerpainter Matthew Seydel Connors. Matt has a very distinct style and has become one of my favorite sources for inspiration recently. Thanks for sharing this on here, Matt!)
Shiva Rising, by Matt Connors

Shiva Rising, by Matt Connors

Shiva Rising was an experimental piece for me, and one that was well suited to the intuitive way of fingerpainting on an iPhone. I have several images that I use as ‘starter backgrounds’ to avoid the challenge of beginning on white or a color without texture or character; for this image, I started with a detail of a doorframe that I shot…

Step 1

Step 1: my door

…with my iPhone camera in my house, loaded into the Jackson Pollock app. JP is a great tool, as you can make bold drips with a few quick swipes with one or multiple fingers. After several swipes, this felt to me like a wing…
Step 2

Step 2: Pollock App

…and I wanted to build up the right in symmetry with the left. I imported my pic to 101 Photo Effects, which has 3 different symmetry filters; here I used bilateral horizontal symmetry and exported the image.
Step 3

Step 3: 101 PhotoEffects

Then I began painting more detail using the Brushes app,…
Step 4

Step 4: Brushes App

…focusing my attention on the left side of the drawing only, as I planned to use symmetry filter one more time after I had added more detail to the drawing. After applyling symmetry again via 101 PE, I made a copy of my Brushes painting where I painted more opaque light and dark at the bottom and top of the painting. Once I had two variants that I was happy with, I imported the base drawing and the version with the heavy overpainting into JuxtaPoser.
Step 5

Step 5: JuxtaPoser

I find that it’s sometimes hard to line up images in Juxtaposer, it does require a steady hand; I wanted the images to be slightly offset from one another to give the impression of movement. I rotated the top image to the right and erased most of it, then exported again to Photos. The color looked a bit flat to me, so I used the Mill Colour
Step 6

Step 6: The Mill Color App

…to add some definition and contrast. This is a great app for fine-tuning your color, as it allows for extensive RGB Channel control, and comes with a few nifty presets. After the Mill, I took the image back into Brushes for more painting to ‘break’ the symettry I built earlier by making small details to either side using a small brush at medium opacity.
There were a few areas that still had crisp edges from the earlier use of Jackson Pollock app, so I used iRetouch’s (App-Store-Link) localized blur tool to round off some of the edges.
Step 7

Step 7: iRetouch

“The end result is ominous yet biomorphic image, which I named Shiva after the Hindu deity of destruction.
[Update] Matt even did a follow up, ‘Shiva unveiled’:

Shiva unveiled, by Matt Connors

Shiva unveiled, by Matt Connors


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