There are quite a few apps that can take a photo of a person or landscape and turn it into credible art, making it an oil painting, a water color, or a pencil sketch.

PhotoViva ($1.99) does a nice job of this task, and also serves as a pretty capable photo editor too. As there’s no shortage of photo editors, let’s take a look at what the artistic parts of PhotoViva offer.

PhotoViva features

Once you import your photo you can select brushes and copy image features by cloning or painting. The brushes are quite configurable, letting you select the type of brush or effect, and even changing the angle of the stroke. Brushes can track the direction of movement, or you can set the brush direction and it won’t vary from that. You can also change the hue, saturation and blur of brush strokes as you paint.

The effects are quite unique, and come out looking very artistic. This is an app that was done with a lot of thought and artistic sensitivity.

My own PhotoViva tests

I tried the app on some landscape photos and was quite pleased with the results. I used large brush strokes to fill my digital canvas, and then used smaller strokes to show more detail. In copy mode, you can copy the source image to your canvas. You can choose your canvas color, and add color noise to vary the colors being laid down.

There are some interesting framing effects, that let you put a frame within a frame that gives a very nice unique look.


For detailed work, you can pan and zoom your photo easily, and there are sliders for saturation and sharpening. A fascinating Autopaint mode just starts painting when you turn it on. The app helpfully provides some images to work on, but most of you will have plenty of photos you want to try.

PhotoViva hasn’t had a lot of publicity, but it is very good at what it does. The more I explored, the more I found, so in every way the app exceeded my expectations. Help is included, but the detailed help is linked to online instructions. You can open any photo at one of several resolutions. I used the highest, so I would have no loss from my original quality after a save. ON some older phones, you won’t get full resolution. The app requires iOS 5 or later, and is fully compatible with the latest iPhone 6 models.

Photos can be sent to your camera roll, and most of the social photo sharing services are supported like Instagram, Facebook and others.

The creators of PhotoViva have taken a fresh approach to iOS photography, and I liked this app a lot. It’s universal, so it runs fine on iPads as well as iPhones.

I can’t say this is a one touch app. It’s designed to let you fiddle and experiment. It isn’t always obvious what each control does, but it is easy to try things and see the result. The edited photos can be of very high quality and should push your creative buttons.

Give it a try, and see if you like it, but be sure to give it a chance, as the more you explore, the more powerful this app is.

Download PhotoViva

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App Store link: PhotoViva – Lamina Design

PhotoViva 3.1.6

Effects Quality
Resolution and Image Quality
User Interface

Can create photos and works of iPhone art of very high quality and should push your creative buttons. The more powerful this app is.

User Rating: 4 ( 1 votes)