‘Appy Accidents – Glitch Apps

Incorporating random effects into your mobile art workflow.

Something I’ve been asked a lot is how I create the textured backgrounds that usually form the basis or foundation of most of my iPhone and iPad art work. 

Abstract created in Glitch app FilterStack

Actually, there’s no single approach that I use to create my work, however I do explain my usual or most often used approaches in my creative classes usually combining a photograph of some texture with paint applied in Procreate as you can see in the example below.

Background Texture created by blending iPhone photos with paint applied in Procreate app.

But the truth is I never stop exploring different ways of creating these “starter” backgrounds…and to complicate things further, I will often weave one of these ready-mades* in to my image at any stage in the process, including right at the end.

Mixing background textures with paint in Procreate.

As well as the regular approach described above I also love to use different apps that produce random effects also known as happy accidents. 

Image created on an iPhone using Procreate Pocket.

If you’re sceptical about happy accidents, may I offer some words from artist Francis Bacon…

“All painting is an accident. But it’s also not an accident, because one must select what part of the accident one chooses to preserve.”

Abstract created by running a photo through Decim8 app on an iPad.

Glitch Apps like Filterstack which I use to generate these images take me to creative places I could only dream of.

…and some more wise words from Mr Bacon…

“In my case all painting… is an accident. I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do.”

Glitch effects have been gaining popularity in the the visual arts for some time and they’re great fun for kickstarting mobile art creativity.

If you’d like to read more about Glitch effect apps and how they can be used in photography, art and video, you might like to read the Glitch series I wrote for Smartphone photography magazine Mobiography.

The third article I’ve written for a 3-part Glitch apps series for Mobiography magazine has just been published. These fully illustrated articles explore 3 different Glitch apps in depth and how I incorporate these apps and “appy accidents.” into my workflow.

ready-mades* are disregarded or unfinished images (pictured left) that have never been printed or published but find new life when woven into a new piece of art.

= Nicki Fitz-Gerald =



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