The development of the iPhone, iPad and similar touchscreen devices is revolutionising many aspects of our lives, changing the way we work and opening many new possibilities for art and design. One area of that has seen an explosion of creativity is fingerpainting, which can now be produced on mobile devices with simply stunning results. Apps such as Brushes, SketchBook Pro, Layers and Procreate offer artists a digital canvas on which to work, employing endless choices of brushes, mark-making, effects and a spectrum of colours.
The iPad or iPhone may become a sketchbook, allowing instant drawings and paintings on the move, and a place to produce serious works of art. Big names in the art world such as David Hockney and David Kassan are embracing this technology as a new means for creating digital paintings, while emerging artists are finding this a fresh territory in which to develop their work. This post brings together 20 examples of incredible fingerpainting artworks to amaze and inspire.
1. Rivera by RubensLP
Fingerpainting expert RubensLP presents a cool portrait of Diego Rivera, created using the SketchBook Mobile app on the iPhone. Mexican artist Rivera is considered as one of the most important painters of the 20th Century, know particularly for his large-scale murals; it would be fascinating what he would have produced given access to an iPhone for fingerpainting.
2. Ro by RubensLP
This is another portrait from RubensLP, this time a more personal image, capturing much emotion in a few delicate lines and a carefully chosen colour scheme.
3.Muppets by Benjamin Rabe
Benjamin Rabe is a prolific fingerpainter, producing a huge number of brilliant images from landscapes and portraits to comic characters and cartoons. Here he presents a collection of details of Muppet characters, demonstrating his handling of tone and texture with the Brushes app on the iPhone.
4. New York iPad Painting by Benjamin Rabe
Rabe made this stunning fingerpainting on his iPad, a wonderfully composed image of New York employing perspective and lens glare to create a cinematic sense of depth.
5. B-Movie Monster by Gabriel Palacios
Gabriel Palacios drew this beast with the SketchBook app on the iPhone. The artist’s execution of colour, pattern and blur offers the image a curious three-dimensional effect.
6. Window by Gabriel Palacios
This is another strange, colourful and psychedelic creation from the fingers of Gabriel Palacios, made on the iPad with Sketchbook Pro.
7. Red and Black by Robin Corps
Robin Corps made this cool fingerpainting using the Brushes app for iPhone.
8. Bridge by Zach Durland
Zach Durland presents a slightly eerie night scene with a bridge and road, fingerpainted in with SketchBook Pro on his iPad.
9. Drawing Over Inverse Colours by Stephen L Harlow
This landscape by artist Stephen L Harlow demonstrates the iPads use as a tool for sketching and planning in preparation for traditional painting. The artist drew the scene, with its Van Gogh-style textures, as part of the process of working towards a painting on canvas.
Iquanyin Moon’s experiment in colour and composition shows the realistic paint effects that can be produced on the iPad with beautifully balanced smears and colourful marks.
11. Portrait by Sigmaman
Digital artist Sigmaman reworked this portrait from an old master painting using a richly textured surface appearance and warm colour scheme.
Mike Piggott fingerpainted this still life using the Brushes app on iPad, employing different strokes and marks to represent the reflections and tones in the glasses and their liquid contents.
Designer Ellen Meiselman presents a stunningly colourful and dark abstract artwork, created on her iPad.
This sublime sunset was created on the iPad with Layers, an app that allows naturalistic colours, paint strokes and blends.
This stormy landscape was drawn on the artist’s iPod at the National Gallery in London. The picture is based on a 19th Century work by French painter Georges Michel and made using the Brushes 2 app and Photo FX.
Foistclub presents another landscape study, this time based on Dutch master Rembrandt’s The Mill, which is held at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
A cool comic book-style sketch by artist Passi Falsi.
Susan Murtaugh has made a wide range of beautiful iPad fingerpainting using the SketchBook Pro app. This still life, with its finely handled colours and textures, is of a ceramic cup designed by North Carolina potter Jane Peiser.
19. Dark Blue by Norman Devalliere
Norman Devalliere’s experimental colour study shows how simple, abstract shapes and a tight colour scheme can achieve mesmerising results. The image was made using Brushes for iPhone.
Finally, this is a fingerpainting by David Hockney created using Brushes for iPhone. Hockney is one of the most important figures in recent British art, and continues to be a pioneer, embracing new technology and techniques. Since 2009 the artist has prolifically produced paintings on his iPhone and iPad, sending many to his friends and fans, demonstrating the incredible power digital fingerpainting.