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The Recipe I Can’t Live Without with Catherine Caddigan from the United States

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 Catherine Caddigan from the United States. She has created a very delicious recipe. To read the others in this new series, please go here. (foreword by Joanne Carter)

Basic Ingredients

A few self portraits shot on my iPhone 8 Plus, native camera with a self timer, fooling around with a couple of props. I have a small tripod, with an attachment device for my phone.


I imported one of these with Air drop to my iPad Pro and used the native camera to shoot a magazine spread. (because of copy write issues, images from publications are never my main ingredient (if I use them at all) and are always combined until the flavour is well blended)

Both of these images are imported to Procreate, and there I mix them well, using the eraser I eliminate the background on the model shot, and copy that layer and with more erasing I use parts of that figure in another layer on top of the shot of myself.   And again I copy that layer and select a facial feature (with the selection tool) and delete the rest. I scale this feature for emphasis. I went back to the original, model shot reversing the figure for a negative effect, in layers blending mode.

Once I had a mixture of ingredients that I was pleased with, I enhanced or desaturated the colors with the curves feature, and I used the smear and brush tools to incorporate all into a coherent image. 

I then exported the image to another app, for further enhancement. (This is when I often add text or graphic elements – I might use iColorama, or Firefox or Phonto) In this case I used Graphic, to a add descriptive lines to the image. Next I brought it back to Procreate, and imported a texture layer with type incorporated that I had created for a previous piece, but saved.  After inserting this layer, I used blending modes to achieve a desired effect, reversing the texture layer and using adjustments. I used brushes to smear, erase and paint. I also had an image I had created of some hand pencil drawing on paper, which I had shot and I imported as the last layer for a little spice.

What I like about Procreate is that the finished image was on one layer with the text/texture layer on top. But below are all the layers I used to get there. These I can move up in the stack at any time to take a new look at what I’m doing.

After things “gel” in Procreate, I saved a PNG and took that final image into SnapSeed for some over all adjustments to the final image. 

…and done.

I am so pleased to share my process with you, and grateful to Joanne for asking me.  love

‘Don’t Take Sides’ ©Catherine Caddigan

Contact Details for Catherine Caddigan

Please read…

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  • Carol Wiebe

    Wonderful recipe, Catherine. I especially love how you combine your various “ingredients” in such novel and striking ways!

    I also love Procreate, and work with it quite similarly, even adding the same drawing “spice.” Wouldn’t it be fun to sit in a room together and airdrop our various components to each other, to mix and match? Imagine what we would come up with—that is a PARTY I could get excited about!