artographo by Heiko Dreyer icon

artographo ($0.99) by Heiko Dreyer is a wonderful new app for photography and art enthusiasts. Take any photo and turn it into a work of art! Paint each effect on with your finger, so you control the outcome. With a variety of cartoon, watercolor, and photo effects, you’ll have a lot of fun and perhaps create something beautiful.

artographo by Heiko Dreyer screenshot

Upon opening the app, you are greeted with a simple tutorial. Take a quick look and you’re ready to go. Tap the “+” to take or load a photo from your library. Tap the star/rectangle icon on the bottom right to choose your effects. First decide if you want to start with Photography, Cartoon, or Watercolor. Each option contains a number of different Canvas Effects and Paint Effects. Let’s say you choose Cartoon. I like to start with a neutral Canvas Effect, such as Outlines or Grayscale. Then, pick a Paint Effect, such as Regular Color, if you just want to selectively replace the picture’s actual color, or something more exotic, such as Liquid Star, if you prefer. Tap the checkmark to get started.

Tap the paint can icon to choose your opacity and your tool. Pick from paintbrush, spray paint, pen, or eraser. Pinch to zoom in for more precision, and the size of your painting tool will adjust automatically. Tap the back arrow to erase the stroke you just made, or shake your device to erase everything. Even after “painting”, you can easily change the canvas and paint effects; just tap the checkmark to apply the changes. You can save or share your masterpiece by tapping the arrow/rectangle icon. Save to photo library or share via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr. It’s just that simple.

I have downloaded quite a few apps like this, and this is one of my favorites. I’m actually going to be able to delete a number of other apps from my “Photo Artsy” folders (yeah, I have a lot). The user interface is attractive and easy to use. It has dozens of different effects that can be used in combination with one another for endless possibilities. There are nearly a dozen different color effects in each section (Photography, Watercolor, and Cartoon) and still more available for in-app purchasing. The developer tells me he is already planning the first update, which will optimize current features. He is thinking about perhaps adding more effect packs and drawing styles in future updates; I really hope he does!

Want to win a copy? Five lucky readers will win a promo code. Simply retweet this article (you must be following AppAdvice to win via Twitter) and/or comment below. You can enter once each way to increase your chances. Contest ends July 17 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Good luck!