The Daily App: Flowpaper -- Unleash Your Inner Picasso
If being an artist sounds too good to be true, you're probably right. But Flowpaper brings you very close by letting you channel the abstract expressionist within you.
What's the App?
"Flowpaper" is an interactive drawing app that creates beautifully complex digital art with a simple swipe of the finger on an iPhone or iPad. With just a few gestures, you can create flowing pulses and bold strokes of color, sparking creativity and making the joy of art-making accessible to nearly everyone.
It uses a physics-based algorithm to generate Web-like vectors from simple gestures, making it almost magical to create art. Using the app is a breeze: start it up with a blank canvas. Then simply tap and draw on the screen -- your finger becomes the defacto brush, leaving fractal-like curves and swoops of lines and color. You can choose from different brush heads, as well as the amount of curve and the opacity of the color. You can create custom brushes and color canvas backgrounds and even import photos from the camera roll. Then draw on them as you want. Once you're done, save it and share on social media or e-mail.
There are a few in-app purchases. I really like the "continuous flow" brush, which spills color on the canvas after you lift a finger, creating almost watercolor-like effects. It's one of the few upgrades; otherwise, the basic version has a few functions that actually let you create a lot, helped by a truly elegant, unobtrusive interface.
You'll Want It If...
You've always longed to draw and create something visually masterful, but have been daunted by doubts about your innate talent and skills. In truth, Flowpaper is really akin to an interactive toy -- a few simple swipes and you have a beautiful drawing, epitomizing the best of interactive technology and mobile devices.
It elevates even simple figure drawings, adding a bit of complexity and flair, making art a bit more accessible to neophytes. It's simple enough that even kids can use it, but adults won't tire easily of it because of its wide-ranging possibilities.
The app will also appeal to more advanced artists looking for a digital tool to experiment with. Even though it takes some of the painstaking calculation out of the process of this style of drawing, it still requires an eye for color, movement and composition to make something interesting. But no matter where you sit on the artistic talent spectrum, Its simplicity, elegance and sheer sense of fun will appeal widely.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
Flowpaper is a wonderful example of the near-magical possibilities that touch screens offer, but it isn't perfect. Using it on iPhone feels slightly cramped; the best-use scenario is on an iPad, and the bigger screen really makes the app's features come to life.
The app has an undo function that erases the last gesture, but the basic artistic style -- featuring often intricate webbing, loops and swirls -- makes using it slightly frustrating, since it can either take out whole swaths of drawing or too little of them at a time. I wished often for a simple function that would let me use my finger as an eraser as well as a brush.
But beyond that, you may tire of the abstract, digital style. For that, you'll like SketchTime, which requires a bit more skill, but also gives more latitude to try different aesthetics. ♦
Categories: Entertainment | The Daily App