Learn to Use the App Mextures: A Digital Art Tutorial

A Mextures App Tutorial from the Photography Magician, David Hayes



There are times when I’m in between projects or sitting waiting for something to happen when I’ll just play around with a new app just to see what it can do. I did this recently with the app Mextures. While I had used this app in several past projects, I hadn’t checked out all its filter packs so I thought it time I did so! In this month’s article I’ll take you through how I created Version I of this still life and then give you the “recipes” for Versions 2-4.


I set up this simple still life in a corner of my studio and shot it from several angles using the native camera app in my iPhone5. I picked this angle for this project.


When you first open an image in Mextures, you are given the choice to do some cropping…or not. I chose to crop my source image “square” with the thought that I might use it in my Instagram stream.


Mextures offers a full array of Textures categories to work with as well as a set of pre-set Formulas to use on your image. I went for the Textures!


The first texture I put down was in the “Light Leaks 2” category.


In this category, I used the UFO filter. This was my first layer (A) that I will use. Even though I had clicked on the UFO tab, the image doesn’t show much of a change…. which means I needed to go to the Blend menu (C) to do some adjusting!


After trying out several different modes, I picked “Difference” at 100%. I then clicked on the “check mark” icon to put this into place and take me back to the main menus.


OK, first layer in place. To put down a second layer, I clicked on the “plus” icon that will take me back to the Textures menu.


This time I opened the “Landscape Enhance” group.


I thought “Neverland” would be a good one to work with next…love that name. (Also note that the layer counter changed to “2” when I clicked on this texture.) As before I next opened the “Blend Modes” to do some adjusting of this layer.


“Color Dodge” at 100% did the trick for this layer! Clicked on the “check mark” icon to continue the texture build.


But of course I had to use “Grunge” next!


Same flow as with the other layers…first I clicked on “Painterly” to put down my third layer, then activated the “Blend Modes.”


And…”Darken” at 69% did it for this layer. One more layer to go…so I clicked on the check mark…


The fourth and last layer for this version will come from the “Emulsion” pack.


I used the “Washington” texture and a “Blend Mode” of…


“Color Dodge” at 90% to finish up Version 1!


Back in the control panel screen, I clicked on the “Save” icon in the top right corner.


Besides the option to save to your photo library, you can also share with the usual streams, open in another app, or save your texture pack/formula in the Formula category for future use!


Here’s a full screen view of Version 1! Next up, the “recipes” for Versions 2-4. The workflow is the same as I just went through in the order of the filter/blend mode as I list them. Give them a try and then come up with some of your own. Playing around with this app is certainly a lot of fun…and a bit addictive!



The “recipe” for Version 2:

Grit & Grain – ISO 800 – Exclusion @ 100

Light Leaks 1 – Sqwuibbles – Hardlight @ 100

Radiance – Daybreak – Color Burn @42


The “recipe” for Version 3:

Radiance – Lunar – Difference @100

Grunge – 90’s Kid – Color Dodge @ 55

Grit & Grain – Catract – Difference @ 52

Light Leak 3 – West Chester – Screen @69


The “recipe” for Version 4:

Emulsion – Stonewall – Color Burn @ 15

Radiance – Undersea – Difference @ 100

Vintage Gradients – Polaroid – Color Dodge @55

David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at clearerreflections.com.

Art of Everyday Photography - coverFor more photography inspiration and instruction, check out the latest book by Susan Tuttle: Art of Everyday Photography.

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