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How to use the  Wise Photos app for artistic composition in paintings

The Wise Camera and Wise Photos apps can be used to apply artistic composition rules when creating paintings, not just photography. The artistic composition rules used in our apps were originally created by artists hundreds of years ago and still are being taught and used. You can read more about art and composition in this blog post here.


For paintings, it is best to use the Wise Photos app. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Take photo of the painting or drawing with your iPad

2. Import the photo to the Wise Photos app using the + button

3. Select different compositions by swiping on the compositions bar - most painters use Dynamic Symmetry

4. Use your finger to move the image up and down or left and right, if necessary

5. Pinch the image to zoom in and out to make your painting or drawing align with your composition, if necessary

6. Tap the image to rotate or add more lines to the composition

Using Wise Photos app for artist using acrylic, watercolor, oil, pastels, and ink

Most painters use Dynamic Symmetry for painting or drawing, but you can use any of the twelve artistic compositions that meet your artistic needs.

Here are a few things to consider when using the Wise Photos app for your paintings. In the painting world, artists have a large variety of canvas sizes with different widths and heights. Each canvas has a different aspect ratio, which is the relationship between its width to its height and is expressed with two numbers separated by a colon, such as 4:3. The Wise Photos app is restricted by the iPad's physical screen dimensions, so managing the aspect ratio is a bit different.


As the photo taken relies on the iPad camera sensor, and the aspect ratio of the sensor is fixed at 4:3 for landscape and 3:4 for portraits orientation. The Wise Photos app will automatically find the closest aspect ratio for your painting image that fits on 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 for landscape and 3:4, 2:3, and 9:16 for portrait orientation.


The Wise Photos app will adapt the aspect ratio to the canvas sizes listed below. The values are for landscape canvas orientation - to get the portrait orientation, invert the numbers.


Screen ratio 4:3 → Canvas size: 4" x 3", 8" x 6", 12" x 9", 16" x 12", 24" x 18", 40" x 30", 48" x 36"

Screen ratio 3:2  Canvas size: 3" x 2", 9" x 6", 18" x 12", 24" x 17", 30" x 40", 36" x 24"

Using Wise Photos app for artist using acrylic, watercolor, oil, pastels, and ink

Above, the Claude Monet painting is on a canvas that is 3:2 aspect ratio, so the painting image fits perfectly on the iPad screen. 

Note: The Phi Grid, Fibonacci Spiral, and Golden Triangle will adapt to the image size and will be centered on the screen as they are smaller than the ratios above.

If your image deviates from the aspect ratios above, the image will be centered and a small portion of the edges will go outside the screen. Depending on the painting orientation, landscape or portrait, the top and bottom edges or left and right edges will be outside the screen, so the image isn't physically cropped. You can move the image up, down, left and right with your finger to align the image elements with the desired composition. 

Using Wise Photos app for artist using acrylic, watercolor, oil, pastels, and ink

Above is a Claude Monet painting that has an aspect ration of 7:5. The Wise Photos app automatically selects the closest ratio of 3:2. As you can see, the top and bottom will be a little out of the screen. You can use your finger to move it up and down.

It is best that your canvas is as close as possible to the 4:3 and 3:2 for landscape and 3:4 and 2:3 for portrait, as this way most of your image will fit on the screen, and you will not have to move the image much. The edges of a painting are important, but usually do not contain major composition elements.


The Wise Photos app is a new tool that painters and other artists can rely on to make beautiful compositions.

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