The developers let me play with an advance version of it. I started by taking a photo of our teapot using our iPad. Then Waterlogue started dissecting the image in real time, searching out contours, dropping in blotches of color, and applying watercolor-like effects, such as a wet-into-wet color bloom. Like magic, and it's accurate with ellipses!
It goes beyond typical Photoshop watercolor filters because it has more visual intelligence, and more of the feel of the real paint. But of course you can still sense the photo behind it.
Here's one based on a photo of me sketching on the streets in Shanghai. The app gives you several different painting styles to choose from. My favorites were Natural, Luminous, and this one, Travelogue. Like a sketch, it leaves unpainted lines at the top, and little white dots in the darks.
The app was designed by John Balestrieri and Robert Clair, who are readers and commentators on this blog. Of course it's no threat to traditional artists (unless the art that someone does is little more than an app), and no substitute for actual sketching. To my mind, it's just a fun new way to think about image-making.
You can pick up a copy of the app when it's released tomorrow, or sign up today for a reminder at the Waterlogue website.