It shouldn’t surprise you that many of the best photo editing apps can be found under the “Art” category on the App Store. At least that’s how I found my latest love, Flowpaper. Developed by Diatom Studio, Flowpaper allows the user to make beautiful flowing paintings using just your finger tip. The interactive drawing tool allows you to upload an existing photo from your camera roll, and then draw flowing waves of mesmerizing “ribbon like” color. If you don’t want to upload a photo, you can create from a blank canvas, almost entrancing yourself in a world of zen.
How to Create with Flowpaper
Available both for the iPhone and iPad, I believe that you will find more enjoyment when utilizing this app on the iPad. The size of the screen allows for a more fluid movement as you are creating.
When you first open the app, you will see a blank screen with a few simple icons on the bottom left (for this tutorial I am using an iPad). Looks simple enough, right? The first icon, which is the Flowpaper symbol, will hide your tool bar if tapped. The second icon, which shows three slider bars, will bring up an options screen for your background and brushes. I’ll talk more about this later.
The next icon, the square with the arrow, will allow you to Save, Share, or Import your image. If you wish to upload a photo from your camera roll, this is where you will want to tap to access your photos.
Lastly, you will come upon the “Undo” tab. You WILL use this….many, many times. Not because you make mistakes, but because you will want to experiment with the flow and see what works for you and your image. It used to be that you could only undo one stroke or movement. With the latest updates, you can undo multiple past strokes without having to completely start over. This is a feature that I think many users will be happy about.
To start off, you will want to select your background color. The great thing about this is that if you change your mind, you can always choose another background color without starting your project over. I’ve done this a few times….starting out with a black background only to find the image looked more appealing on white, etc. There are 10 background options, as well as the ability to create your own custom background color.
After selecting your background, choose from one of the 20 brush color options or customize your own color.
The three slider bar options you will see are for Length, Flow and Opacity. Customize your own settings by sliding the bar to the left or right. Take some time and experiment with these options. You will see a percentage number appear as you do this, allowing you to easily recall your favorite settings. I do think it would be nice update to the app if you could save a favorite setting for future use.
If you select the “Continuous” tab, you will be prompted to the in-app purchase for the Continuous Flow Upgrade. This upgrade costs $.99 and will allow your brush strokes to keep flowing after you have lifted your finger.
The app is surprisingly simple for the effects that you can achieve. Below, are 3 of my personal creations. The first image is simply a drawing of a cat. I layered multiple color brushes on a black background; otherwise, I kept it simple.
For the next 2 images, I uploaded my own photograph from my camera roll. These are images that I took with my iPhone4S. After uploading the image, I created the ribbon like effects by gliding my fingertip across the screen. Hold you finger down longer, and you will see the ribbon flow, almost taking on a life of it’s own.
Back to You
We always love to see that you have read an app review/tutorial and utilized it in your own photography edits. Show us your best PhotoCrunching skills by tagging your work to @PhotoCruncher #PhotoCruncher on Instagram. If you are on Facebook, you can post your edit there, too!
Download Now: Flowpaper is $.99
Flowpaper is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
About Nicky Sanford
Nicky Firment Sanford is a self taught photographer specializing in iPhoneography.
Finding inspiration through her daily surroundings, you will see her coastal lifestyle come through in her work. Sunsets, sailboats, and silhouettes are her favorites to shoot. She is the momma to two growing boys and a proud military wife. Her personal website is www.thephotomomma.com and on Instagram @thephotomomma