Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

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Make a Photo Look Like a Painting - Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Jacquelin Vanderwood

1 Open up a photo in Photoshop, then duplicate that photo layer. Now create a new blank layer on top of that.

2 Select the top bird photo layer. Click on Filter>Artistic>Colored Pencil and follow the specs below. Specify a layer mode of Lighten and 90%.

3 Again with the top layer selected, click on Filter>Other>Maximum and follow the specs.

It should look something like this below.

4 By now you've basically accomplished the texture and feel of the painting. What you want to do now is play with color. It's the easy fun part.

Select the blank layer. Choose a brush. Set it to Multiply 6%. I have selected a dark purple to begin with. I have begun by highlighting around the neck and letting the brush overlap the background a little to give it a more painterly look. I am using a size 100 because the photo is high resolution. I then changed to an aqua and began filling in the background more. I then selected a yellow and touched around under the neck area. What we are trying to accomplish is a more painterly effect. Then I splotched the background with the yellow as well. Continue on until you get a something you like. Keep the same size brush but just change colors. Below is what I have so far.

5 Now with light green selected, I changed the mode of the brush to Screen and began highlighting. Note that when you paint an area then stop and lift the brush and then go back to that same area, it will lighten up more. You can do this a number of times in the same area. If you want to reduce the size of your brush or even enlarge it, press the [ and the ] while the brush is selected to do this. It's the fast way. I have selected several colors and changed the pressure of the brush to 14% to achieve more interesting results.

These are the some of the basic fundamentals of painting the easy way in Photoshop. To achieve some really deep color at this point, select black and set the Pressure to about 50%.

Below is the general look with a close up section of it. You can see the painterly effect.

6 The last step I chose to do was select a layer style located in the Layers palette, that icon with the "F" on it. With the top layer selected, choose the "F" and select Gradient. For this picture I chose the white red gradient. You can also choose not to do the gradient but I chose to do it because it darkened the background more intensely giving it more light and shadow. 

7 Below is the finished painting, the before and after.


Copyright 2001, Jacquelin Vanderwood, All Rights Reserved

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