iPhone art

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on iPhone art:

Why Artist David Hockney Snubbed Apple


A screenshot of his latest exhibit featuring an iPad drawing as a 12-foot-print.
A screenshot of his latest exhibit featuring an iPad drawing as a 12-foot-print.

Cult of Mac Magazine has an upcoming issue dedicated to iPhone & iPad art. Email me to be a part of it.

Veteran pop artist David Hockney took to sketching with the iPhone and iPad a few years ago, using his fingers to brush out works that he sent daily to friends and family.

Hockney’s works brought a new sheen to art on Apple’s devices, making them more than just instruments for amateurs. His forthcoming show which includes the digital works at San Francisco’s de Young Museum will have so many works, curators can’t even count them.

iPhone Coasters Evolve into Framed iPhone



This just in: RetromacCast reports on another variation of iPhone art, this time a large framed replica of an iPhone.  Created from individual iPhone app coasters, RMC co-host James initially suspected a force of iEvolution at work but was pleased to learn this was a 40th birthday gift from his wife.  Famed Banana Jr creator (and RMC co-host) John assisted with framing details like the home button and speaker.

Wisely, they didn’t attempt to create a white model.  Full photoset on Flickr, coasters from Meninos.

All About David Hockney’s iPhone Obsession


Thumbs up: three recent Hockney iPhone pieces. @nybooks.com

Veteran pop artist David Hockney has been demonstrating his passion for creating works on his iPhone since he started fingerpainting on one six months ago.

Turns out Hockney first got his hands on an iPhone one a year ago, when he grabbed it from Lawrence Weschler,  writer and director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

Weschler interviews Hockney about it what reads like a 1,528-word love letter to the iPhone for the New York Review of Books.

There’s been a lot on the 72-year-old’s use of the iPhone, not so much about how he gets the mini-masterpieces on touch screens.

Hockney’s technique? He doesn’t finger paint as much as thumb paint those flowers and landscapes he sends to friends daily.

Hockney limits his contact with the screen exclusively to the pad of his thumb. “The thing is,” Hockney explains, “if you are using your pointer or other fingers, you actually have to be working from your elbow. Only the thumb has the opposable joint which allows you to move over the screen with maximum speed and agility, and the screen is exactly the right size, you can easily reach every corner with your thumb.” He goes on to note how people used to worry that computers would one day render us “all thumbs,” but it’s incredible the dexterity, the expressive range, lodged in “these not-so-simple thumbs of ours.”

Brushes is Hockney’s app for painting on the iPhone —  though a footnote to the story says the latest upgrade released in August is not to his liking and he continues to use the earlier version.

Interestingly, Hockney doesn’t think the art created is so great, once it’s off the device or a screen:

“Though it is worth noting,” he adds, “that the images always look better on the screen than on the page. After all, this is a medium of pure light, not ink or pigment, if anything more akin to a stained glass window than an illustration on paper.”

Check Out The First iPhone Art Show at Apple Reseller


A portrait of a Fiat 500, made by Matthew Watkins on his iPhone.
A  Fiat 500 in carpet, drawn by Matthew Watkins on his iPhone and made in Katmandu. @Matthew Watkins

“Art in the Time of the iPhone” is one-man show by artist Matthew Watkins, on now at Apple reseller C &C in Bari, Italy until September 25.

Watkins, who hails from England and lived in Canada before moving to Italy, shows just how versatile an artist can get by letting his fingers do the talking on the touchscreen.

His mainstay is the Brushes app,  out of which he transferred the works to forex, paper — and even had two rugs made in Katmandu (see above) from designs made with his iPhone.

Hit the jump for a Q&A on how Watkins got the iPhone art from his phone to a gallery and for a gander at more of his work.

Blog Helps Your iPhone Drawings Not Suck


Luis Peso puts the
Luis Peso puts the "layers" app to work in a tutorial.

If you’ve been inspired by David Hockney’s iPhone paintings or the New Yorker cover, you know that doodling on your device can be more difficult than it looks.

At least if you want results that don’t completely suck.

Enter a blog called fingerpainted.it, headed by freelance web designer Benjamin Rabe. He and a band of 11 creatives, including prolific iPhone artist Matthew Watkins, share tips, artwork and tutorials.

The how-tos show just how much dexterity and thought go into these mini-masterpieces; Luis Peso’s demonstrative cat sketch in the above Layers app tutorial has about seven steps.

A lot of the art is done with the Brushes app, but artists use a variety of tools including Layers, Jackson Pollock, Kandinsky Lite, Photofx. The tutorials show you how to start with Kandinsky, move to Pollock and end up with something entirely different, like this vibrant iPhone work by Patricio Villarroel.

While there are plenty of places to ogle iPhone art — flickr groups especially — fingerpainted seems to give the most info on how to get from art-icapped to art.

Get David Hockney Mini Masterpieces for Your iPhone


Image © David Hockney

In a move that’s a bit like thumbing his brush at the lawyers who sent a nastygram when we mistakenly reported David Hockney’s gallery artworks were created on his iPhone, the artist is offering free downloads of three wallpapers made on his device.

The unsigned trio of flower paintings from the 72-year-old pop artist maestro — painted with the Brushes app on his iPhone (it’s revealed  for certain this time) — do sort of look like something you could  do yourself.

In a Pinch: iPhone Art App Wants Your Doodles



Artist David Scott Leibowitz — whose impressionistic works for the iPhone were recently featured on CoM — teamed up with developer Andrew C. Stone for an app billed as the first mobile iPhone art gallery.

Called iCreated, the app ($.99 for the first week, $1.99 after that) comes preloaded with 18 works by Leibowitz. Other artists, like Russ Croop, who like to use the iPhone are also featured — and all of the works tell you what was used to make them, should you want to try your hand. Users can upload their own doodles to the public gallery and save or email them.


While the iCreated selection can’t trump sites like Poolga, which offers hundreds of slick wallpapers from designers and illustrators gratis, compared to some paid iPhone wallpaper apps it offers a little push to try some art of your own and share it.

So if you’ve downloaded Brushes, were inspired by the New Yorker cover, now’s the time to get busy.

New Yorker Cover Boosts “Brushes” Sales



After Jorge Colombo’s iPhone art was featured on the cover of the New Yorker, it seems everyone wants to get their fingers in the pie.

The Brushes app Colombo used to finger paint a late-night scene in Manhattan sold 2,700 copies when the cover debuted Monday, earning slightly over $13,000.  It usually sells around 60-70 copies a day.

“A painting app seemed like a natural fit for the iPhone,” 32-year-old Brushes developer Steve Sprang told the NYT Bits blog.  “You’re touching the screen, so it’s a natural step to want to draw on it.”

Sprang said the results dwarfed when Brushes was chosen as the app of the day on iTunes and that the app had sold 40,000 copies to date, earning him six figures.

If you’re itchy to get busy with fancy fingerwork, Sprang has knocked the price down a buck, to $3.99, in honor of the New Yorker cover.

Via Bits

UPDATED: David Hockney Brings iPhone Computer Art to Gallery



UPDATED: It seems that David Hockney doesn’t like what he reads on Cultomac.com. We received an aggressive letter from Hockney’s lawyers demanding we remove the pictures posted here (which were copyright the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery); and correct an error: Hockney didn’t create the paintings on his iPhone, but on his desktop computer. David – we apologise for the error and are usually very careful and respectful of copyrights, but we were just trying to draw attention to the exhibition, not rip off your art. No need to sic the lawyers on us. We’re fans. I have a Pearblossom Highway print hanging in my house (which I paid for, btw). — Leander Kahney.

We wondered whether iPhone art was gallery ready, perhaps it took grandad of Pop art 71-year-old David Hockney to convince those who put art on the walls for a living that the output was more than random doodling.

The Annely Juda Fine Art gallery in London  recently launched a show of Hockney’s entitled “Drawing In a Printing Machine” featuring iPhone works — created over the last four months — plus other drawings made with Photoshop and Graphics Tablet. All are displayed as inkjet printouts on paper.

For all the chatter generated by what may be the first major iPhone art gallery show, no one seems to mention what program he used, though it looks like Brushes.


Hockney’s  technique, according to the Times, is to “stroke the screen very softly.” He reportedly sends fresh flower sketches to friends every morning, and says  that he never could have imagined that the telephone would usher a renaissance in drawing.

You can see some more of his handiwork at the gallery here, if you’re in London, the show’s on until July 11.


Are his iPhone works in the gallery because it’s Hockney or because it’s  art?

iPhone Art Challenge



The folks over at Pogo Stylus are offering $500 to the best artwork created on an iPhone or iPod touch made using said stylus (“no naked fingers allowed.”)

You can enter more than once (keep it clean and friendly, no copyrighted material,  trademarks or logos owned by another party) and the deadline is July 1. Complete rules here.

The two works above are the first in the online gallery of contest entries.

Crash Victim “Born Again” Thanks to iPhone



Barely 19,  Muscovite Vera Uvarova landed herself in the hospital after a car crash that left her immobile, save for one arm.

Four days after the accident, a friend gave her an iPhone.  The device became Vera’s visual connection with her beaten body and the resulting pictures are showcased in an exhibition at Moscow Gallery Na Solyanke.

“This transformation was important to me…” Uvarova told the Moscow Times. “Unable to lift my head, the only way I could see my legs, for instance, was through the lens of my iPhone.”

She was restricted to hospital life for close to three months, but the exhibition focuses on the first transformative 800 hours, hence its title, “800 Hours on My Back with an iPhone in Hand. How I Was Born Again with the Help of Photography.”

You can view some of them online here.

Images courtesy, ©Vera Uvarova

Via Moscow Times

Super-Sized Art on an iPhone



Photographer Russ Croop used his fingers and app NetSketch to create what may be largest iPhone drawing to date, a portrait of his Boulder, Colorado living room. At 72 pixels per inch it measures 85.579 x 70.931 inches, or about 7 feet by 6 feet. (NB: full-sized version on his site.)

“If you were going to print it at 300 ppi, when converted, it measures 20.543″ x 17.023  That’s much more than most high-end digital cameras, ” Croop told Cult of Mac. “A camera with a 11.1 megapixel resolution will render a photograph at 300 ppi of 13.5″x9.”

The super-sized sketch created some problems, however.Croop couldn’t upload the drawing to the NetSketch site to share with the community — his iPhone kept crashing.

“I felt like the guy who built a boat in his basement and couldn’t get it out because it was so big,” Croop told us.

iPhone: The New Polaroid Camera?



Photographer Lisa Wiseman , who describes herself as “addicted to Polaroid film,” snapped a series of pics with her iPhone in everyday settings she called “the new Polaroid.”

About them she says,”These images are the evolution of the Polaroid: they were all taken with my iPhone camera. Because the iPhone is becoming a ubiquitous and trendy accessory, on-the-go picture taking is now the norm.


I see people using their iPhones to take spontaneous photos in the same carefree way that cheap Polaroid has been used in the past…Just like Polaroids had a specific size and look, iPhone photos are unmistakable because the technology limits them to a fixed size and resolution.” (NB: we’ve resized them here).
Complete album on her site.

Images (c)Lisa Wiseman

Via Notcot

iPod Touch Art: Fancy Brushwork with DIY Stylus



Not content to diddle around on the iPod touch screen, David Lasnier made a stylus that he uses to draw with the Brushes app, producing results like his cat skull sketch above.

His first attempt involved an Allen key with a sponge tip (far left) but Lasnier hit on using the knife blade holder (center) sans knife, stuffed with a sponge. The resulting brush is very precise because the head is clean and firm. He dubbed it the “Free Capacitive Stylus, ” for  instructions, see Flickr.

As Lasnier told Cult of Mac: “I loaded a painting app for my iPod touch because I draw a lot. It was more out of curiosity than with a real project in mind. One day I made a little stylus while at my day job, and eventually, one small object at time, began to do it seriously. In a month I made 40 little paintings.”

Lasnier has taken inspiration from what surrounds him at said day job, including staple removers, an iPod jack and pencils.

All images copyright David Lasnier, used with permission.

Hat tip to Studio Tota

Disney Artist Doodles with iPhone



Disney art director Stéphane Kardos has created a fascinating series of quick sketches with his iPhone using the Brushes app, most of them with a slightly gritty urban feel miles away from Magic Kingdom style.

You can check more out on flickr where he intros the iPhone sketches by saying that they were done in five or ten minutes, less for the sunset ones.

As we reported before, iPhone art even if not yet ready for art galleries looks like it may be moving in that direction.

Via cyanatrendland

iPhone Art Ready for Galleries?



Photographer Russ Croop has been creating art on his iPhone using an app called NetSketch that allows you to draw using your fingers, like the above “Point Lobos.”

Croop’s colorful creations look more like art (check out his online gallery, where you can also watch them being made in video form) and less like displacement practice than most, but local galleries have not yet signed him on to show them, according to iArt Mobile.

Maybe art on such a small screen underwhelms them, assuming the idea is to show works on the iPhone, but it’s probably just a matter of time. iPod art has already found its way into galleries.

Image courtesy Russ Croop.