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Getting a Photo to Look Like an Oil Painting?

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  • Getting a Photo to Look Like an Oil Painting?

    Hello all, I'm new here and fairly new to photo art as well, though I've done a bit of photo retouch work.

    I've been trying to find a technique or tutorial for applying a realistic oil-painting look to a photograph, but have not yet found anything that suits my needs.

    Most of the actions/plugins seem to fail in the area of brush stroke, paint textures, etc.

    So here are a few questions:

    Is the only way to get realistic brush strokes to use a tablet and literally "paint" the image by myself?

    How does one achieve three-dimensional textures (the classic ridges and depth of oil paint brush strokes) in a two-dimensional image - would I have to paint in the highlights and shadows of every single brush stroke in order to replicate the sheen of oil?

    I notice that most of the web tutorials (even on this site) focus on watercolor, pen and ink, sketch, etc., so I am guessing that an oil look might be difficult to achieve. However, any suggestions or links to other sites, or even book references, would be appreciated!

    Oh, I use PS7 and have access to Painter7 if that makes a difference, but I do not yet have a tablet.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hey Slej:

    Welcome. Glad you dropped in. You asked some good questions that others (including myself) have wondered about. I appreciate you taking the time to post them.

    Take the following with a grain of salt since my traditional artistic skills are zilch.

    RE: I've been trying to find a technique or tutorial for applying a realistic oil-painting look to a photograph, but have not yet found anything that suits my needs.

    That makes two of us.

    Doing an oil-simulation on faces is extremely difficult. The only tutorial I’ve seen that’s moderately decent the one at www.MyJanee.com.

    RE: Most of the actions/plugins seem to fail in the area of brush stroke, paint textures, etc.

    Agreed. Some plugins and actions seems to render better results on scenery-type images where there's more detail with which to work.

    Are you familiar with Mike Finn’s site? If not, he’s done some remarkable things with PS actions, many of which are free.

    Some of his newer ones “set up the environment” (that is, build the layer stack) and it’s up to you to provide the custom smudges or brush strokes.

    Mike Finn's site: http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~mikefinn/action.html

    RE: Is the only way to get realistic brush strokes to use a tablet?

    I’ve seen some very convincing work done without a tablet, so my opinion is a tablet is not a requirement. Those who have tablets (and know how to use them) swear by them.

    RE: How does one achieve three-dimensional textures (the classic ridges and depth of oil paint brush strokes) in a two-dimensional image? Would I have to paint in the highlights and shadows of every single brush stroke in order to replicate the sheen of oil?

    If you’re talking about painting an image from scratch (not via transformation of an existing image), then I would say yes.

    Based on what I’ve seen in the past year and a half that I’ve been fumbling with this sort of thing, I’ve never seen a plugin or action that suitably takes the place of manual brush strokes. Painter or Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint are going to provide the functionality you're looking for.

    RE: Photoshop, Painter

    I, too, have access to Painter but have barely cracked it open, but it appears that some Painter settings take texture / shadowing / highlights into account. I’ll let the Painter knowledgeable folks be more specific on this one.

    While the PS7 brush engine is a huge leap over previous versions, Painter runs circles around PS in this area.

    Other resources:
    * No books I’m aware of.
    * www.WetCanvas.com is very good.
    * www.ArtSig.com (fairly new site, so forums just getting started)
    * www.casmaran.com (Cricket Blake’s site)

    Hope this helps a little.

    ~DannyR~

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DannyRaphael
      Hope this helps a little.
      Thanks Danny - that does indeed help. You've confirmed my suspicions, but you've also given me a few other avenues to explore. I will definitely check out those sites you suggested.

      My best guess is that the oil brushes within Painter, when coupled with a pressure-sensitive tablet, might achieve the desired effect. Time for another investment, of both money and time!

      You are spot on with the comment about painting faces (and I'm primarily a portrait guy, so that's what I'm going for.) I know a few pro photographers who have taken week-long Painter classes and their resultant work is quite good ... however I believe they are literally "painting in" every single brush stroke as we discussed.

      I appreciate your feedback.

      Comment


      • #4
        One more place to check...

        www.artistrymag.com

        Karen Sperling does some really good Painter tutorials.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Getting a Photo to Look Like an Oil Painting?

          That was a good thought and you can try with some professional. There are many ways and its upto the paintings and the clarity of the picture. You can use some chemicals to look like photo. If you needs services on this kind of works, please post your needs on Mineeds.com and providers will post their bids on your needs.

          Seattle Art Painting & Drawing | Oil Painting | Watercolor and More - Get Bids & Save | MiNeeds

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          • #6
            Re: Getting a Photo to Look Like an Oil Painting?

            Slej... I have been experimenting with achieving more texture in photo art and find that brush selection and adding layer styles of bevel/emboss and drop shadow can be very effective.

            Go easy on the layer styles. Just a one pixel drop shadow sometimes is all that is needed.

            Hard edged brushes, bristle styles work best for me.

            Paint on many layers and leave spaces/gaps between paint strokes so the layer style has "room" to show. If the edges of paint strokes overlap you can lose the effects.

            Check my gallery for some samples. http://www.retouchpro.com/gallery/sh...0/ppuser/13798

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Getting a Photo to Look Like an Oil Painting?

              I hope you were able to find the solution that you were seeking for your oil paintings. Keep in mind that you can find professionals and college art students who will gladly bid for the opportunity to help you complete these type projects on http://www.workforbooks.com

              Comment

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