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Ever since Instagram came around, the idea of adding filters to your photos has caught on. Those filters have ranged from simple settings that affect brightness and contrast, to more complex filters that make your images pop.

A new filter craze is now taking over the internet. More and more, you can see people turning their selfies into art. Or to be more precise, adding filters that mimic the styles of paintings by famous artists. From Munch’s Scream to Mondrian’s geometric genius, these filters add a whole new dimension to photos.

The brains behind these apps is the DeepStyle neural painting algorithm Create Your Own "Neural Paintings" with DeepStyle & Ubuntu Create Your Own "Neural Paintings" with DeepStyle & Ubuntu Did you know neural networks can also paint? Researchers have trained a huge neural network to turn photographs into "neural paintings" that look as though they were painted by famous artists. Read More , but the way it is applied in different apps is what sets them apart. And right now, you can make these for free!

Prisma (Android, iOS): The Best of the Art Filter Apps

You’ve probably seen this app mentioned either on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter recently. Prisma has really kicked off the art-style filter craze because it is remarkably easy to use, and does a few things none of the other apps do.


With Prisma, once you choose a photo and a filter, it will apply the filter immediately (takes about 10-20 seconds) and show you a preview of your final image. It’s just like how Instagram filters work How Instagram Filters Work, And Can You Tell The Difference? How Instagram Filters Work, And Can You Tell The Difference? Here you'll find everything you need to know about what each Instagram filter does, what it's best used for, and we've got some great examples for you to look at. Read More . You can then slide your finger left or right to denote the intensity of the filter, from 0 to 100 percent.

The instant preview and the intensity are not features that you get in any other “art filter” app at the moment, which makes Prisma stand out. Prisma is available for free on Android and iPhone, but the iPad version costs $2.99.

Download: Prisma for Android (Free) | iPhone (Free)

Pikazo (Android, iOS): Make Your Own Custom Art Filter!

Pikazo has been around for a longer time than Prisma, which gives it a slight edge. For example, not only is it free on all platforms, but it also lets you create your own filter.

You start by choosing an image from your phone’s gallery or shooting a new one. Next, choose from one of the few preloaded paintings to determine your style, or add a custom painting from your phone’s gallery. You can easily find great paintings online ArtFinder: An Ultimate Source For Art & Painting Lovers ArtFinder: An Ultimate Source For Art & Painting Lovers Read More , and choose something that matches your taste.

When you’re done, upload it to Pikazo’s servers, where it will take a few minutes to apply the filter to your image. It’s not instant, which is a little disappointing, but the waiting period isn’t too long (about 5-10 minutes). All your creations are stored in Pikazo and can be shared to social networks or downloaded for free.

Download: Pikazo for Android (Free) | for iOS (Free)

DreamScope (Web): No Waiting, High-Res Images

You don’t always need a smartphone to turn your photos into these brilliant paintings. If you want to know how Pablo Picasso would have painted your portrait, just check it out at DreamScope.


This web app uses the same DeepStyle generator and has several different styles that you can use as filters. In fact, after Prisma, I think DeepStyle has the largest collection of styles.

More importantly, DeepStyle doesn’t compress your images. You can upload a high-resolution photo and get a high-resolution photo in return, whereas all the other apps will shrink it to a smaller size. High resolution will be necessary if you want to print out any of these “painted photos” 4 Tips For Printing Better Digital Photos From Your PC 4 Tips For Printing Better Digital Photos From Your PC Read More and frame them.

DeepArt (Web): Create Custom Styles

Like Pikazo on phones, DeepArt is a web app with the option to turn any painting you see online View Great Art For Free On These 6 Inspiring Websites View Great Art For Free On These 6 Inspiring Websites The Internet’s boom brought many great things with it, including access to places we might otherwise never visit. This accessibility goes hand in hand with the fact we don’t leave our chairs as much as... Read More into a filter style. And the result is surprisingly good, even if you aren’t using a famous painting.


Let’s say you found a wonderful unfiltered image that someone shared on Instagram, after they tweaked with the settings to get it just right. You can download that Instagram image and turn it into a filter for yourself on DeepArt, as long as you sign up for it.

Then upload your own image, choose that new filter you created, and watch DeepArt marry the two. I’d recommend checking out the “Latest Images” tab to get inspired by what people are creating, so you have an idea of what you’d like to do.

r/deepstyle (Web): Discuss All Things Related to Art Filters

Want to know when a killer new app is available? Want an app like this that worked with videos? Want to create your own app? Want to see what others are creating? The internet’s own discussion board, Reddit The Awesome Guide To Reddit The Awesome Guide To Reddit Wonder how your friends always find cool stuff on the Internet before you? They're probably using Reddit, the self-proclaimed "front page of the Internet". Read More , has an entire forum for this.


Over at r/deepstyle, you will find everything related to this new algorithm, from papers on how to make your own app to existing software and galleries. The community is quite helpful with all aspects of this tech, and will even give you suggestions and critiques on how to make your images better.

Which Is the Best Painting for Filters?

With so many different apps out there, you can create a fantastic profile picture or background photo that will draw eyeballs. So let’s talk about how you made your masterpiece.

Have you tried making one of these? Which painting’s filter is the best? And which app did you like the most?

  1. Mishal
    October 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    You guys missed out - Wizart.

  2. Bryan Wolfe
    August 22, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Cool apps. My biggest problem with many of these is that you wonder how long they will stick around. I often fall in love with apps and they either close down or stop being updated.

  3. Woden57
    August 3, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Anything like this for PC? I used DreamScope on the web and it's fabulous but it would be nice to have a local program to use.

  4. Gardenpotter35
    August 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I use SuperPhoto. I bought the "pro" edition. Well worth the $3.99. (

  5. Lina
    July 31, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Cool apps. I used Prisma cause it was a mainstream. I didn't even know about the others of the same type. Will try and pick my favorite one.

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