After buying my iPad Pro I have been looking at the box and the wallpapers that shipped with iOS 12. The swirls and ripples of color always caught my eye. After some time admiring it I rememebered watching a video from Field Notes on how they created their own similar effects with acrylic paint and thickened water. That process was called Marbling and after some quick searching I learned you can do something very similar on the iPad. Here are some examples I have made in the 20 wallpaper pack I have created.
It has been very rewarding to create art that I love, and it’s been therapeutic for me as well. If you want to give it a shot it is actually fairly cheap and easy to get started. Here’s how I do it.
The app I use for this is Procreate, but from what I understand you can use other apps for this as well. So long as they have a Liquify effect you should be fine.
Once there I make a blank canvas for the size of my screen and change the background to my color of choosing — in most cases I choose black as that looks great on the new iPads and iPhones with OLED displays.
From there you can start adding the colors you want to use for the Marbling. It is also a great time to play around with different brushes as well with Procreate. Alternatively you can import an image into Procreate and use that as your starting point for the Marbling. I did so with the artwork of the Supercomputer podcast at the request of Matthew Cassinelli and it turned out great (I also have it in the 20 pack of wallpapers below if you want it).
Once satisfied with the colors you have added, this is where the Marbling starts. Just tap on the magic wand in the upper left of your screen and select “Liquify.”
Once in the Liquify stage you will see a number of options on the bottom and sliders for those options. All of these are better learned through experimentation. It took me under 20 minutes of playing around to understand each one. I recommend you start using the “Push” option first and get acclimated with that. Don’t worry about making things perfect when starting out. Your goal should be to make a mess and learn what each of these tools do before you really start making something.
From there it is just a matter of getting the Marbling to your preference. Play around with the different options and sliders, you can always undo and action by tapping with two fingers or redo something by tapping with three fingers. Once done you should get something like this, or whatever you prefer to make. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to make your wallpaper art.
From there just tap the wrench next to the effect tool you pressed earlier and share it out to the world (or your Photos app).
This image I made is part of the 20 images you can download here for free here.
The files are in a .zip file in Google Drive so if you want to get them on your iPad I recommend you use this Unarchive Shortcut and save the files to your Photos.
If you prefer you can download it via Dropbox as well.