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Tutorial: Watercolor and Oils techniques by Phyllis

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Old 01-05-2003, 04:16 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Fake Paintings with Photoshop

This is the basic technique. The key to this painting method is that there are two slightly different layers, and you erase part of one by painting white on a black layer mask to blend them together in a splotchy sort of way to make the "painting" look. There are lots of ways to make the layers differ slightly in tone, color, shapes, grain, etc. so that the results can be pretty much anything you like. The first example here is a watercolor look, the second an oil painting look.

Watercolor flowers (from mini challenge #62):

Settings in parentheses are for the sample picture with pixel area of about 250K: 650 by 400 pixels. Settings will vary accordingly for different size pictures.

1. Dupe layer and do steps 2-4 on the new layer.

2. Artistic menu>choose a "blotching" filter, or use your favorite simplifier filter from another source--Purpose: to give the picture a blotchy, simpler look.

One of the best choices is KPT Effects pyramid paint, but these Photoshop filters also work well: dry brush (settings 10-10-0), underpainting (settings all to far, sponge (settings 10-0-10, faded to 70%). On this pic I chose the cutout filter with setting 8-3-1 faded to 70%. Note: I would not use cutout on a face.

3. Optional: Artistic>paint daubs simple (setting: 2-2)--Purpose: to add back some detail and highlights. This step is useful when using PS cutout filter or KPT pyramid paint or BuzzPro simplifier, but not always very helpful with other filters.

4. Brush strokes>spatter filter (settings: 20-15), faded back to 50%--Purpose: to roughen up edges slightly.

5. Dupe top layer (the one you ran all the filters on).

6. Place original unaltered layer on top of new dupe, set it to color mode, then merge the two layers--Purpose: to add back original color to one layer, since simplification necessarily mixes colors in the process. KEEP the other filtered layer also, however.

7. Play with the color and tone of one layer.

You now have two layers containing similar filter treatments but with slightly different color. You will now want to change the lightness, contrast, and color, etc. of one of them somewhat to make the two layers even more different. This is where your creativity comes in, but don't do anything too drastic, as the layers must still be harmonious. On this one, I raised contrast on the top layer with autolevels faded at 100% in screen mode (to lighten overall), then shifted the hue/saturation color slider 5 points to the right.

Another option at this point is to use another filter on only one of the layers, to make them even more different. Or you may use the smudge tool on one layer instead of a filter, as I did on Hank's rose. On that rose, I also used a large multicolored confetti brush on one of the layers to add colors to the flat background. The variations between the two layers are where the artistry comes in, so have fun experimenting.

8. Make layer mask on top layer and fill it with black.

9. Choose a blotchy scattered brush and paint on the mask at varying opacities and sizes to suit.

On this picture I used the scattered leaves brush size 50 with 80% opacity, followed by the petal crystals brush size 80 with 100% opacity to add bright highlights. A good all-purpose brush choice is the one called 'heavy scatter flow.' And you don't have to stick with the preset brushes...remember you can turn any brush into a scatter brush by adjusting the 'scatter' settings.

10. Merge layers.

11. Optional: Pattern adjustment layer. In pictures with large plain areas with lack of detail use a blotchy pattern, such as confetti or crystals, set to large scales in soft light mode to create large "brushstrokes." Adjust opacity if needed. (This pic lacks large simple areas but I used a little of each pattern anyway, at 60% opacity. On Lynda Logan's Hope I used the crystals pattern set in the 700's.)

12. Optional: Pattern adjustment layer set to stone at scale of 100% will give nice rough paper texture...lower opacity to 60 0r 70%.

13. Sharpen after flattening (unsharp mask settings: 80-0.4-0 on this picture).

It takes longer to type this than to do it...sounds like a lot of steps but really goes quite fast since you have a plan at the start and just have to pick out which brushes and patterns will work well with the picture you have.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg wc_technique_flowers.jpg (94.8 KB, 777 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 05-20-2004 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 01-05-2003, 04:20 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Oil Painting Version

Samantha (from mini challenge #61) done in "oils"...

Picture size: 600 by 590, approximately 350K pixels.
Settings for steps as numbered in previous post:

2. Sponge (settings 10-0-10, faded to 70%)
3. No filter used
4. Spatter (15-10, faded to 50%)
7. Top layer: autolevels faded to screen mode, 100%; hue/saturation color slider +10
9. Brushes: heavy flow scattered (size 20, 60%), scattered roses (size 50, 80%)
11. Patterns: "gouache light on watercolor" (scale 120), linear light, opacity 25%, also "crystals" (scale 200), soft light, opacity 20%.
13. Unsharp mask (settings 500 - 0.3 - 0)

The steps are all basically the same for either watercolor or oils, the only differences being the brush and pattern choices and the sizes and settings along the way.

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File Type: jpg oil_samantha.jpg (98.7 KB, 667 views)
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