How-to: Make a Gorgeous Painting from a Crummy Photo Using Only Your Phone

Prisma is a smartphone app that uses your photos to create images in the style of an existing illustration or painting. I found a series of steps that consistently has results I really like.

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Prisma! I just think it’s cool. If anyone wants to recreate these results for me in an open source/desktop app, I would be delighted. 😁



I’m using an iPhone so I’ll describe what to do in that context. I’m sure the process is very similar on Android.

Step 1

Edit the photo you would like to process with Apple’s Photos app. Under the Color option choose Saturation and slide it to the maximum.

Step 2

Under Light choose Brilliance and set it to max as well.

Step 3

Open Prisma, choose your photo, and apply the Thota Vaikuntam filter. Save the results.

Step 4

Open the image you just saved, apply the Hunter filter and save your results.

That’s it!


While the resulting images may not be high enough resolution for big prints 4x4s do look really nice.

Share your photos on Instagram or something (#AutomaticPaintings?) and I’d love to see what you make.

I’ve been having a lot of fun and I hope you do to!

Based on a photo by David Slater
Based on a photo by Chi King
Based on a photo by stachelbeer