Abstract Eye of the Beholder

I continue to have fun using a combination of BrushStroke and Glaze to create some ‘abstract’ art. We are having record warmth for January and I was outside during lunchtime with just a light jacket on. I snapped a photo of myself. Later that evening I was playing around with it. Eventually I created something I liked.

I’ll run through the steps here. I started with a scary photo of myself. Harsh light, dark glasses, and lots of neck wrinkles showing! What can I say, I was enjoying the weather and not thinking much of the selfie.


I took that photo and used Tangled FX to create an image with lots of ‘streams.’


That image was loaded in BrushStroke and used one of the relatively new ‘Experimental’ painting styles. They are worth checking out. Sometimes you get some really creative views.


There still wasn’t much there that was interesting to my eye, but I used Glaze to paint that image. This was the result.


Suddenly something did look interesting! I zoomed in a lot and did a heavy duty crop around the glasses/nose/mouth region of my face. (I zoomed in using the standard photos app, and then did a screen capture on my iPad – so the image was still large in terms of pixels.)


Can you see where I’m going with this? I used Camera+ to flip the image and enhance the color, and added the frame (Camera+ is one of the rare apps that let’s you put a frame on the outside of your image, not overlapping the edges).


At this point I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with the ‘harsh’ look from Glaze, or a smoother painted look from BrushStroke. I went with the latter, so I opened the image using BrushStroke. For the final image I used TouchRetouch to remove what was once my nose and create a single fish ‘leaping’ over the noise of the day.

Leap by R. Pfaff, 2015
Leap by R. Pfaff, 2015

You never really know what you’ll find when you start playing with a pointless photo in your spare time.

Apps mentioned in the post:

BrushStroke is $2.99 [link]
Glaze is free, with in-app purchases [link]
Camera+ is $2.99 [link]
TouchRetouch is $0.99 [link]

And over on Flickr I put a larger version of the final image.

pixelWakker. Funny Name, Whacked Pixels.

Although it has a funny name, pixelWakker, I gave it a try. It’s a Universal app where you can create one of four different effects on a photo: lots of copies of a small images over your image, big dots, ‘lines’ of color, and drops of color. The latter two were definitely my favorites.

pixelWakker effects

The interface to choose the small image in the first effect took a minute or so to figure out, but other than that it was straightforward. You can adjust the size of the ‘grid’ used to overlay the small image or the size of the dots. It ranges from a 2×2 layout to 256×256. Overall, the app does just a few things really well, so if you are looking for this unique effect you should check it out. [download link: pixelWakker]

Fall Leaves

I created this image using pixelWakker, Glaze, and Image Blender. Click on it if you want to see the larger version on Flickr.

Oh yeah, happy 2014. My first post of the year. Many more to come. Hopefully. 🙂