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Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge Week 3 – Watercolour apps

snappy happy logoWelcome back to Week 3 of the Snappy H’appy Photo Challenge hosted by weliveinaflat and firebonnet ;) This challenge asks you to (1) share a good photo that you took or edited last week, (2) run it through a photo app on your smartphone or mobile device and share with us the result. This week, we are looking at Watercolour apps. : )

Our awesome Snappy H’appy crew includes co-host Meghan (Firebonnet) and also Melinda (1stWorldDog)Christy (Sassmuffins)CompletelyDisappearGretchen (Zeke’s Adventures)Meg (Little Dogs Laughed)Blogagaini and Mary (RoxyTheTravelingDog).

If you didn’t join us in the last two weeks, it’s not too late. :) We are only in Week 3 and you can join us starting this week. Backdated posts for the previous weeks are optional. ; ) For more details about the challenge, check out the Photo Challenge page. Now then, let’s talk watercolour, shall we?


This time-lapse video “Big Bang in watercolor” is made by the Italian artist Silvia Pelissero, better known as agnes-cecile. She attended an Art High School but continues to be self-taught after that. Truly, an inspiration.  You can read about her features here in thisiscolossal.com and hifructose.

So what makes a good watercolour painting? The classes I attended at school never did taught me how to evaluate watercolour, but that doesn’t matter because that leaves me the freedom to form my own opinions.  But I went to Mr Google, because I always like to have a starting point somewhere. The three bullet points I got from Nancy Fortunato, watercolor artist at watercolorart.net is this:

  • transparent colours that stay brilliant
  • tints blend into one another without the sharpness of the strokes connecting them
  • free careless style

And then I looked at the watercolour video from  agnes-cecile that I liked the most, and found that it runs against the grain of what Ms Fortunato is saying. :P agnes-cecile had very defined strokes that structure her free careless style, and the use of other media besides watercolour to further outline her painting. (Similar to what you see in the video above.)

Then again, it is going to be rather hard to evaluate the watercolor results that we get when we turn our photos into watercolour photos using app effects. The same standards just may not apply.

Watercolour effects on Mobile Apps

There doesn’t seem to be much Android apps to explore when it comes to watercolour effects. I tried more than a couple but here are the two passable apps to talk about – SketchGuru and PicsArt.

You may already be familiar with PicsArt. It is a general photo app that tries to let you do a variety of different things. And as you know with the Jack of all trades, they are typically the master of none. Still, if you like the result of the effects, it’s not bad. That, and you save from having to download and store yet another app on your mobile device. :P

Anyway, here’s the PicsArt screen: PicsArt watercolour effects screen

I pointed out in the photo below the parts that did not come out so well from the PicsArt watercolor filter, but I have to say I thought the food on the plate looked pretty ok. :P
picsart rendered watercolour food photo

I didn’t manage to find a paid app for watercolour effects specifically for Android. Here’s the screen for the free app SketchGuru: SketchGuru watercolour effects app screen

SketchGuru offers two watercolour texture maps – Watercolor and Watercolor2. The result, when you look at the colours alone, are a lot more colourful and artistic, a lot less natural compared to the colours in PicsArt.

Another sample using SketchGuru, this time a landscape photo: SketchGuru app before and after watercolour effects photo
Left, before Watercolor filter in SketchGuru; Right, after Watercolor filter in SketchGuru.

If you like your watercolour piece to be all broad strokes, freestyle and careless, then it would seem that busy landscapes like the Marina above will not give you that. The lines stay fairly sharp. Close ups like the food shot before would work better for SketchGuru or PicsArt.

But if you are on an iOS device, the app Waterlogue renders the photo differently and can give you this effect for busy scenes:

I’ve been seeing a lot of hype around the paid app Waterlogue (just released December last year). It looks promising in delivering a variety of interesting watercolour-style pictures based on your photos.

Here’s a cat photo from my Instafriend @obliozen, using the Waterlogue app.

I had wanted to download this app myself, but it only runs on iOS7 and Mr P is not ready to upgrade his iPad at the moment.

Get inspired!

Get to it! Watercolor photo apps for mobile editing and devices

iPhone/iPad users

Android devices

Host Challenge Post

My photo of the week
Taken with Panasonic Lumix FZ35, edited with snapseed and VSCOcam.

App Challenge Image SketchGuru watercolour effects dog photo
Edited with SketchGuru.

I like the colourful effect and how the colours bleed into each other, but the sharp edges of the colour patches make it look less like watercolour, I feel.

Snappy H'appy Photo Challenge badgeNow it’s your turn to share!

Create your challenge post from now until Sunday, 2 Mar end of your day. Post your Photo of the Week and your App-ed version of that photo on your blog. (You can follow my format above if you like).

Pic 1 – Your Photo of the Week can be taken with any equipment – a regular camera, a DSLR, a smartphone, hack even a pin-hole camera if you so choose!

Pic 2 – Pic 2 is optional. The theme this week is Watercolour effect, but if that is not your cup of tea, you are free to choose other app effects for your app-ed photo. In all cases, it would be helpful if you can name the app effect used so we can understand what you are doing ; )

Add the challenge badge and link your post to the host and co-host sites. Be nice and visit with some of the other challengers for this week! :) And do remember to leave me your blog post link in the comments below, in case I do not receive the pingback/trackback from your link.

For more information, you can read in detail more about the challenge and the instructions at the About page here. You can also grab the badges here.

Questions? Feel free to pose any questions in the comments below or email me at weliveinaflat@gmail.com. Next up, what happens after you have linked up? Why you start getting your challenger photo grid filled up!

Challenger Photo Grids

Every week, challenger grids get updated with the new photos! At the end, you get to grab your grid off this blog for your own pleasure. :D Meanwhile, you can view one another’s photos on the blogs by clicking on the linked numbered weeks above each challenger’s photo grid. I will try to keep it up to date as quick as I can ;)

Host| weliveinaflat.com
[ photos tagged “snappy happy” ]
weliveinaflat's Snappy H'appy Photo Grid

Host| firebonnet.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
firebonnet snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Blogagaini
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Blogagaini snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Little Dogs Laughed
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Little Dogs Laughed snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Roxy The Traveling Dog
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Roxy the Traveling Dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| 1stworlddog.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
1st world dog snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| completelydisappear.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
completelydisappear snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| sassmuffins.com
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
sassmuffin snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Zeke’s Adventures
[week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12]
Zeke's Adventures snappy happy photo challenge photo grid

Challenger| Claim your photo grid, join the challenge today!

Next week, we’ll get Snappy H’appy with Cutouts in photo apps! Thanks for checking out this Photo Challenge and making it all the way to the end of the post! ;)


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  1. Looks like lots of fun Mrs. P. I don’t have an iPhone or iPad and don’t use my Nokia much. My eyes are just not made for little text. They go skew..hahaha. Fascinating apps and effects though. I love that you did. Great post and share hon. *big hugs* to you and Donna. xxx

    • Hi Sonel! I know I said mobile apps, but there are some challengers who have used Photoshop and other online editing tools on their laptop/computer one week or another for the themes. So I wouldn’t say no if you are interested in joining :)

      Thank you for the comment and hugs to you and Simba!

      • Well, in that case I would join for sure Mrs. P. I thought it was only allowed for mobile apps and of course I am interested. LOL! You know how much I love using filters and trying out new goodies..heheheh

        *big hugs* to you and Donna and enjoy the weekend. :D

  2. Those are really cool. I wish they made some of those for laptops rather than phones. I suppose I should go and check…lol.

  3. What fun you must have had. The watercolor app is transformational.

  4. Waterlogue is quite tempting me to buy but its price makes me to reconsider whether I should buy it or not. How often will I apply water color effect to my photos? I’m thinking …

    • It seems that some people find it addictive right at the start, but like anything that is a novelty, in the longer term you problem will not use it everyday. But if you like it enough, you might use it now and then. At least, that is how it is with me. If you haven’t check out Firebonnet’s post, go see since she’s tried out the Waterlogue app. ;)

      Apologies, I didn’t cover free watercolour apps for iPhone since I didn’t have an iPhone to test them out :P

  5. Waterlogue looks tempting to me as well. Thanks for sharing so many great options!

  6. Wow! Those are some amazing affects. As an artist, I am very jealous that a computer program can do it so much better. :(

  7. I love your results! Donna looks so vibrant with the splash of water-color! Thanks so much for these tips… I loved watching the video of agnes-cecile… simply beautiful to watch. I was a little frustrated with my tries this week, but it’s the first time I’ve experimented with this, so I’ll forgive myself! lol

    BTW – Waterlogue was only 2.99 for the iPhone.

    • I hope cut outs would be less frustrating for you in the next challenge Meghan! There’s enough things in life to frustrate us already :P and yes, it’s amazing what videos one can find of amazing artists one would never have heard of otherwise!! Thanks for co-hosting with me and hope you are in tip top health as you read this!

  8. I really like the effects of your watercolor! My entry this week was use an app I have. It’s a close to watercolor as I can get. Link on previous comment. Thanks for hosting.

    • Thank you :) I like the texture you have and how the background recedes so that one focuses on the subject only. Good stuff ; )

  9. Such a happy girl-the watercolor effects just add to the joyful feel of that image!

    • I agree and glad you think so. My only gripe is I can’t choose the colour of the splotches but one has to make do with a free app :P

  10. I loved the time-lapse watercolor video. I have done watercolors before, and love the painting technique. Now that I have see the Waterlogue app, you know I will have to check that one out! The results really do look like a watercolor with the way the paint “bleeds”. I think the app has even captured the texture of some Arches watercolor paper! I am impressed.

    I love your colorful photo of Donna this week that you completed with SketchGuru. You always have such original work! I have now completed my photo for my grid at: https://sassmuffins.com/2014/03/01/week-3-watercolor/. Can’t wait til next week!

    • Woah you really do know your stuff!! I’ve never done watercolour except in primary school art class :P LOL But your mobile monet + toon camera cat is genius! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Catching up with past weeks… I will post on the final week as well as I don’ t have a photo grid until week 6.


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