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Give Photos a Painterly Look Using Mobile Apps

By Russell Preston Brown

You don’t always have to edit photos with a computer and a big screen; sometimes a phone or tablet will do just fine. Adobe has recognized this by releasing surprisingly sophisticated photo apps for mobile devices—and they’re free. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to use these apps to transform a photo into an artistic image with a painterly look.

For this particular workflow, you’ll need to download Adobe Lightroom for mobile, Adobe Photoshop Mix, and Adobe Photoshop Fix. You’ll also need a Creative Cloud account to sync files between your phone and tablet. (If you don’t already have a Creative Cloud account, try the free 30-day trial of Lightroom CC or consider the Photography plan, which includes the desktop dream team of Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC for $9.99 a month.)

I shot the original photo with an iPhone 6s Plus. To give it more oomph, I first applied basic adjustments in Lightroom on my iPad. I moved to Photoshop Fix to correct lens distortion and remove an unwanted building. I finished in Photoshop Mix, where I added texture layers that give the final image its rich, antique feel. Finally, I shared it from Photoshop Mix to Instagram and Facebook.

In the video tutorial below, I’ll walk you through my process step by step. You’ll learn my favorite techniques for bringing out detail; how to use—not overuse—the new Dehaze option; and how to add more contrast between warm and cool values so your photo really pops.

Learn how to transform a photo you snapped with your phone into an artistic image with free mobile apps: Lightroom, Photoshop Mix, and Photoshop Fix. Russell Brown shows you how.

Click the image above to watch the video tutorial.

While Photoshop Fix runs on iOs only, Lightroom for mobile and Photoshop Mix are available for both iOS and Android. So most of this how-to is also applicable to Android users—you just can’t remove a building or make similar alterations.