Using Photoshop to create a painted effect
Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell
Oliver Wetter explains how to add a painted effect to your photographs with Photoshop
There is a ton of software for adding painted looks to photographs, but an expert still can spot effects that have been added by a series of algorithms rather than pained on and created by hand. Even with the best options, the image will never be perfectly realistic. Any time spent creating this effect will be worth the final result.
Step 01 – Subject and background
When adding a painted look, make sure the subject is separated from the background. You could apply the effect to a whole image or only to the subject or just the background. Whichever area you’re targeting, make a copy of that layer, change the levels and make it around five per cent darker before you start. Then begin applying the effect with a painterly brush, using the Eraser as you go to clean up strokes.
Step 02 – Get brushed edges
To add an authentic paint touch to the outer-edge of a subject, such as the bottom of the figure, use the same technique as before. Paint on the new layer in strokes, random dots or crosshatch and erase where necessary. Next, pick the Eraser tool and as brush tip select a painted look. The eraser set to around 15-20% Visibility you can start to erase parts of the overlying layer to match the look you are going for.
Step 03 – Paint Options
The strokes you make will determine the overall effect. Don’t just stick with simple up and down strokes, you can also try out crosshatches or apply watercolours. Repeat the painting procedure with as many copies of the layer as possible. Experiment with various tip sizes for more detailed areas of the image and to draw in additional features such as the wings and tattoos.