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Mobile Photography & Art – The Recipe I Can’t Live Without with Anca Balaj from Spain

We have a new section at and it’s called ‘The Recipe I Can’t Live Without’, within that we are asking highly successful mobile artists to give us their one recipe (tutorial) they can’t live without in relation to editing their images. Kicking us off today, is Anca Balaj.  She has created an incredibly creative portraiture recipe . To read the others in this new series, please go here. (foreword by Joanne Carter)

Serves: All

Cooks: In 60- 90 Minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Genre: Super Portraiture Family Classics

“This recipe usually takes me about an hour or an hour and a half, depending on the complexity of the elements or the quality of the starting image. Enjoy it”.


1.  In Procreate open a new file about 25cm x 25cm and insert the photo in a new layer.


2.  Erase the background with a very soft brush and distort the face with the liquify tool.

3.  Paint some crazy hair and add some symbolic object over the head.

4. Add a textured background and paint some decorative elements.

5. Add a new layer in overlay mode. Place it on top of the starting image layer. Colorize the different parts of the image. Adjust hue, saturation and brightness where required.

6.  Save the resulting image and open it in iColorama. Apply Style/Water 2 and then rework the whole image in Brush/Colorize Grafikk option.

7. Apply Effect/Raise here and there, at low intensity and opacity. Use the mask brush to choose the areas you want to highlight.

8. Insert another texture image in Effect/Mix, Overlay mode and 50% opacity.

9. Save the image and reopen it in Procreate. Adjust shadows and lights, enhance colors, painting in a new layer in overlay mode.

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One Comment

  • Carol Wiebe

    I love Anca’s work. Her images have drawn out a number of haikus from my mind—a sure way of my knowing, other than the tingle test, that a particular image really resonates with my soul.