“What I love about watercolor is that a lot of happy accidents occur.” – Jane Seymour
I watched Fernando Garcia Erviti in awe as we sat looking down on the ancient city of Toledo, Spain from a roadside restaurant. He had pulled out his watercolors and begun to paint in quick strokes. When he was finished, he signed it and handed it to me as a gift. It is a moment I will not forget and one I’m happy was captured in photo.
The watercolor he gave me is beautiful for many reasons. And its beauty lies mainly in its imperfection . It lies in the chaotic way the edges of the colors blend, and the lack of detail that gives the painting a mysterious quality. When I look at it today, I get to paint in the missing details from the memories in my mind. That is what makes watercolors so intriguing.
Every attempt I’ve ever made at a watercolor has been a disaster. I tend to stick to creating my art via photographs, which, in my experience, are their own happy accidents. Recently the Apple App Store highlighted an app that comes as close to capturing the feel of a watercolor as any I’ve ever used. I feel compelled to share it.
The app is called Waterlogue, and I haven’t been able to stop using it since I downloaded it. I’ve created so many of these “watercolor” images, there is now a special folder on my hard drive for them. I’ve also created a watercolor set on Flickr that is sure to be crowded in very short order.
The image above was rendered in Waterlogue using the “medium” canvas. The smaller the canvas you choose, the less detail you get in the final result. However, the size you choose has nothing to do with the output size of the final image. Every image from Waterlogue is exported at 2048 pixels wide. You can see the detail difference in the image of Fernando hiking up Pico Piñalero below. (Click on the images to see them in more detail.)
There are 12 styles to choose from and each one renders a unique feel. You need to play with it a bit to get a sense for what works best for what kind of photo. The reward for your play time, will be some very interesting and realistic feeling watercolor-like images. The best results, in my experience so far, have come from landscapes. This is an app that will not soon lose my attention.