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Turn iPhone photos into beautiful watercolors with Waterlogue

It you can select an Instagram-like filter, then you can create a convincing watercolor painting with the Waterlogue app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

There is certainly no shortage of iOS photo apps, but Waterlogue is worth investigating for its ability to create convincing watercolor paintings across a variety of styles -- and also well worth its $2.99 price. If you are looking for a new outlet for your stock of iOS photos, Waterlogue is sure to enliven your Instagram feed. It would also be fun to use in conjunction with a printer service such as Pixuru.

To get started with Waterlogue, tap the camera button to select a photo, snap one using the app, or use one of the 10 example images that the app provides. As soon as you select a photo, the app gets to work, drawing and painting a watercolor version of your image.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Waterlogue embraces simplicity rather than packing in a huge collection of editing tools. The app provides 12 watercolor styles, which are laid out like Instagram filters. By default, images are rendered in the Natural filter, but if you tap to select a different watercolor filter, a small preview thumbnail appears, letting you compare its look to your previous choice. Tap the preview thumbnail to choose it, or tap your previous choice behind it to get rid of the preview.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Scroll past the dozen filters and you'll come to four brush stroke sizes before encountering brightness controls as well as the option to add a border. As with selecting a different filter, if you change the brush stroke size, adjust the brightness of an image, or add a border, the thumbnail appears to show you a live preview. If you select the preview thumbnail, the app goes to work, which can take a few seconds. It took 5 to 10 seconds on my iPhone 5S, but the app estimates it will take 18 seconds on an iPhone 5, 30 seconds on an iPhone 4S, and so on.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Although the rendering takes some time, the app shows you in real time the changes it is making, from drawing the initial outlines to filling in the details with "paint."

When your masterpiece is complete, tap the heart button to view your sharing options:

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In the case of Instagram, Waterlogue lets you first crop an image so that it's square before opening it in the Instagram app.

Waterlogue's settings are few and hidden on the sharing panel. You can choose to save images as either JPEG or PNG, and also select a default image size.

(Via Slate)