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Photo-Based Art Emulating natural-media painting techniques

Tutorial (book): Watercolor, Photoshop 7 Wow method

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Old 10-13-2004, 03:19 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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Tutorial (book): Watercolor, Photoshop 1-click Wow method

Until now it was my opinion that using Photoshop to render a decent watercolor look wasn't possible. I humbly eat my words.

A good friend, Kent Christiansen, discovered and told me about the "Wow" watercolor technique. These can be found in a number of books, including:
* Photoshop 7 1-Click Wow
* Photoshop 6, 7 Wow
* How to Wow: Photoshop for Photography

...and probably editions for other versions of Photoshop that follow these.

See the following thread for a link where you can download this tutorial and brushes:

Post examples of your results using this tutorial in this thread. Let's see what you can do!


Last edited by DannyRaphael; 08-07-2006 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Link for free download no longer exists.
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:33 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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This interpretation is based on the photo posted here. It was my first shot at using this technique and I was OK, but not thrilled, with the result.

For preparation I used a Curves adjustment layer to neutralize the shadows around his face. This washed out everywhere else, so I inverted the adjustment layer (CTRL + I, turning thumbnail black) and airbrushed with white in the shadow areas.

For color boost I applied a large dose of Saturation.

A new layer was created and all visible layers merged into it (Alt + Merge visible.) It was from this layer the pattern was created.

I started with the Wow 7 Watercolor - Large tool preset and stayed with it throughout. Soon into the effort I set fade to 25% in the brush dynamics setting. I thought that added some realism to the strokes.

These are approximate settings I used depending on what I was doing at the moment:
* Brush size 100-250 pxl, Opacity 15%-20%: Large, broad strokes
* Brush size 30 -75 pxl, Opacity 25%-40%: Medium strokes
* Brush size 5 = 25 pxl, Opacity 35%-25%: Detail strokes

I created several layers... and set a couple to blend mode = multiply to get some strokes to look more overlapped. When I finished, everything looked mostly OK except the facial detail looked like it was drawn by a four-year-old, so I cheated a bit by duplicating the modified background, dragging this layer to the top of the layer stack, added a Hide All layer mask, and with foreground color set to white, I airbrushed in a little detail here and there.

Topped everything off with layer filled with 50% gray, blend=Overlay, opacity=25% to which Art Paper 101 texture (available from was applied.


p.s. After uploading the image, I thought the texture might have been a bit much. The 2nd version is without the texture layer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Fish ain't Bitin djr no texture.jpg (54.3 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Fish ain't Bitin djr.jpg (66.4 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 10-15-2004 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:43 AM
Xaran Xaran is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: East Sussex, England
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I like it - I like it a lot both with and without the texture.

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