Collage with text

Following through with trying new ways to use Procreate and iColorama on the iPad, this collage incorporates newspaper clippings and overlays of color and pattern to make up the composition. Each clipping was placed on a separate layer and arranged at a fixed angle. Under, between and above the clippings are layers of color and texture. I wanted to try using newspaper clippings as objects in the composition and since text is instinctively read by the viewer, I thought it might be more compelling if it was political in nature.

The altered versions done in iColorama, in some cases, add a harsh immediacy to the design; a brusque touch of political edge. In some instances they also create a more “postery” image or are completely transformed into a different composition.

Original version of “War or Peace?”
War or Peace?
Digital collage created in Procreate app with Apple pencil on iPad
Altered versions done in iColorama

Click on individual images below to see at larger size


Continued Explorations

Using a new digital drawing, I have continued to delve into the possibilities of creating variations in iColorama for iPad. The original design was done in Procreate app using an Apple pencil. I wanted to construct a design that had two main characteristics, flat areas of solid color and lightly textured background shapes. From my previous experience of iColorama, I found that the app seemed to handle flat and textured areas differently in its various configurations. That was the starting point of this experiment. The results show that, in iColorama, there are just too many variables in each separate altering mode to be able to easily predict what changes may occur. Below are several of the modifications of the original design. Some are affected only with a change in surface texture. Others show radical changes of color and or texture. The possibilities for variation are infinite.

Original design
Variations done in iColorama

Click on individual images below to see at larger size

I feel like a kid with a new kaleidoscope when working in iColorama. Every time I put something into it and play with the settings, unexpected delights keep occurring. So … the journey continues with no end in sight. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

Further Transformations

In keeping with my previous posts, today I’m adding a new digital drawing and several transformations of it. The original drawing was created in Procreate. The finished version was then altered through various transformational filters and adjustments in iColorama. Both apps are for the iPad. What I find fascinating is that the concept of the original drawing can remain intact while the surface quality and mood of the transformations completely changes the visual feeling. All of these transformations were fine tuned through different tools within iColorama. There are basic settings in the app that allow for specific types of change, i.e. color or texture. But within each basic setting there are often several adjustable elements that can be “tweaked” to get the desired result through experimentation.

My preference is still for the original drawing because that was my actual conception and came about through an evolved creative process, bit by bit. Everything that is in the original drawing was put there intentionally in a way that I hope works as a unified whole. But I really enjoyed making the diverse changes to the original, in effect creating several new pieces that have similar but uniquely different qualities. Even though the changes were made by iColorama through its digital magic, I had to make several choices and adjustments to arrive at the changes that you see in the transformations below so I think they still can be considered “my” creations. Falling back on my previous life as a musician, I’d like to consider them “variations on a theme”.

Original digital drawing
“Dreams of Spring”
Digital drawing created in Procreate on iPad with Apple pencil
Digital transformations

Click on individual images below to see at larger size

Life Drawings / March 13

I have been spending a great deal of time working with and posting the results of my iPad digital artwork. It has been a long time since I worked with my favorite medium for life drawing, pastels. I finally got back to using them yesterday at the local life drawing group. After working on the relatively small format of the iPad (I use the 9.7 inch version), it felt good to get back to pastels and real paper measuring 18″ x 24″. But I must say that it was a bit of a struggle. Having worked in the digital medium for the last two and a half months, it was something of a shock, like being in a foreign country speaking a somewhat rusty language!

I find that the medium I’m working with tends to dictate certain elements of the style of the finished work. If I’m doing block prints, the carving of the block creates a certain angular look. With pen and ink there is a different feeling, more line oriented and with pen and ink & watercolor, yet again a different result. Using the pastels for life drawing, holding the pastel stick along its length, I use broad swatches of color and bold line (especially in the shorter poses). This is a more “physical” kind of drawing for me and I missed doing it so it felt good to get back to. It will take a while to feel fully comfortable drawing with pastels again but I enjoyed rekindling the experience of using them.

Short poses
Five minute pose – pastels
Five minute pose – pastels
Five minute pose – pastels
Five minute pose – pastels
Longer poses
Twenty minute pose – pastels
Twenty minute pose – pastels
Twenty minute pose – pastels

Making Digital Art

At the risk of sounding like a computer magazine advertisement, I’ll write a bit about the iPad art apps that I’ve been using recently; Procreate and iColorama. Procreate is for graphic design and fine art production. It mimics traditional drawing and painting tools digitally. IColorama is designed as a photo editing program but can used to alter digital art images as well.


Using the tools (“brushes”) in Procreate and “drawing” shapes and textures on multiple layers, I can compose images in a variety of ways; drawing with a pencil or pen or painting with various brushes. Objects of various colors, sizes and shapes can be created and selected to be moved, reshaped or transformed in some other way. Arranging all of these elements is how the finished image comes about. (It should be noted that the digital images do not need to be done on multiple layers. Most of the life drawings I’ve done in Procreate are done on a single layer, like drawing on paper).

Image elements

Here’s an example of how I have put some of these abstract images together. I’ll start with a background layer something like this.

This is the bottom of several stacked transparent layers. The colors and shapes are created with the tools in Procreate.

Then various elements are created on multiple transparent layers.

This is a combination of individual objects created on separate layers and combined into one layer.
When all of the elements from ALL layers are combined, the finished composition is complete.


Now a different kind of digital magic comes about. When I save the finished composition from Procreate in a digital photo format, I can import it into iColorama. IColorama has a myriad of tools for altering the composition. It can even transform the image completely into many different configurations, some almost totally unrecognizable from the original.

Altered surface textures

These are just a few of the thousands of possible changes that can be made to the surface of the completed image.

In this case the “textured” elements of the original drawing are “raised” and have a three-dimensional look. Notice that the flat color elements (from the background) are not altered.

This example shows how a uniform texture (in this case canvas or maybe denim) can be applied to the WHOLE image evenly. There is an endless variety of textures available in iColorama and they can be combined or added to each other to achieve limitless possibilities for creative expression.

The next three examples show surface treatments that change the look of the image while retaining the composition as a whole.


In addition to surface changes, iColorama has many tools for completely transforming the appearance of the composition. Here are several examples.

( You can click on the individual images below to see them full sized).

As you can see, there are a multitude of possibilities for digitally creating and expanding an original idea using these two apps. One of my favorite aspects of the Procreate app is that it can create a video (time lapse) of the creation of a composition showing the whole process sped up. I can’t display videos on this blog but if anyone is interested in seeing a time lapse video of the creative process of any of the digital images that I have posted over the last couple of months (life drawing or abstract), send me an email with the image you’re interested in and I will email the video to you. Write me at

Continued experiments

Using the Procreate app and the iPad continues to “draw” me into further explorations of abstract image making. In addition, the expansion of creative possibilities through using iColorama app is keeping me busy and excited to try out new ideas. Some of these new images are similar to the previous abstracts and some are more “painterly” and somewhat less geometric or object oriented. All of them are created as free flowing experiments to discover the tools and techniques available in these endlessly creative digital tools.

These two compositions are an attempt at evoking ancient imagery, something like Mayan artifacts.

“Sandstone 1”
Created in Procreate app and altered in iColorama to achieve new textures
“Sandstone 2”
Created in Procreate app and altered in iColorama to achieve new textures


The following three works are more involved with creating the look of a traditional painting surface. Often in abstract painting, artists will prepare the surface with gesso or other materials to create textures which will show through when the paint is applied. I’ve also tried to give more of an impression of brush painting, especially in the last one, fittingly called “Painterly”.

“Textured Geometry”
Created in Procreate app and altered in iColorama to achieve new textures
Created in Procreate app and altered in iColorama to achieve new textures
Created in Procreate app and altered in iColorama to achieve new textures

Textured Abstracts

I have added something new to my digital arsenal. iColorama is a photo editing app for iPad but it is much, much more than just that. There are hundreds of tools for altering the color, light and every other property of a photo or original digital art image. In addition, there are many filters for digitally altering the surface of a composition and unlimited ways to distort and reconfigure an image. I found that if I create a composition in Procreate app then bring it into iColorama I can add new textures to it while keeping the overall composition intact. For me this is very exciting because it expands the range of visual expression many times over. In these new abstracts I have been able to add three-dimensional surface textures to the drawings that were not available to me before. I’ve been working with iColorama for only two days but, as with Procreate, the possibilities are literally endless so you may be seeing some very different looking images in the near future…wish me luck!

Textured Abstract 1
created in Procreate app and iColorama on iPad with Apple pencil
Textured Abstract 2
created in Procreate app and iColorama on iPad with Apple pencil
Textured Abstract 3
created in Procreate app and iColorama on iPad with Apple pencil
Textured Abstract 4
created in Procreate app and iColorama on iPad with Apple pencil