MobileMonet, a 99-cent app for iPhone and iPod Touch, uses a two-step process to turn your photos into impressionist works of art. I’ve only had the app for a few days, but I’ve already become an addict.
Taking images from your live camera, camera roll or Facebook, MobileMonet first turns the image into a black-and-white sketch. Using the lower left icon, you can determine the intensities of the lines, as well as black and gray levels. I found that this step created some pretty cool-looking images in their own right, but if black-and-white isn’t your speed, you can begin to add color back into the image by selecting the center icon and swiping your finger. From the paintbrush tool, you can open your minimal toolbox, which contains the brush, an eraser to remove color and a panning hand.
Using the existing colors in your image, MobileMonet uses your finger swipe to apply a soft brushstroke. The more you swipe across a particular area, the more paint is applied. Although there are no options like a harder or softer brush, you can perform detail work by zooming in on the image. However, you’ll have to keep flipping between the brush and the panning tool to move your image, and this gets a bit tiresome.
On the lower right corner you’ll see a palette, which controls the levels of brightness, vibrancy and color. It would be cool if you could select individual settings for each stroke, but this is still fun to play with after you’ve finished. You can always go back and adjust the blacks and grays, too.
MobileMonet’s downside is that there is no ability to save your work in progress (but the app does use fast switching, so you can leave to check email). When saving your work—options include camera roll, Facebook, MMS and email—the screen will remain on your painted image, so pay close attention that it actually saves. Once you hit cancel, it’s gone forever.
Overall, MobileMonet is extremely easy to work with. I made several really cool looking images off my camera roll. While I’m loathe to post anything to Facebook via an app, I did test out the email function. The sent photos are a bit on the low-resolution side, but they are decent in terms of inches.