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Portraits to Paintings: Resources

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  • Portraits to Paintings: Resources

    Objective: Manipulating portraits so the final result looks like a painting.

    Editorial opinion:
    From what I've seen so far I don't think it's all that difficult to achieve very attractive results if you have access to the right resources.

    What are the right resources?
    The answer is subjective, of course, but here are some that I've found to be exceptional.


    Stephen Lequier (aka: Trimoon)

    Here are a couple examples of his work:

    In addition to offering several free tutorials at his site, Steve has a couple CD-based tutorials for sale that are very good. Here's a piece created by RetouchPRO member Xaran (aka: Christine) based on Steve's watercolor tutorial:

    Jeremy Sutton

    Here's a rich collection of Painter tutorials (some related to creating paintings and sketches):

    Jeremy does some amazing transformations using Painter. In addition to a DVD training set and numerous books, he presents various live classes as well.

    I've viewed the DVD training set, Painter Creativity for Wedding & Portrait Photographers. It presents a number of photo-to-painting methods demonostrated from first stroke to last. To me the primary benefit of this offering was the ability to literally watch him create each project. It's one thing to flail away with Painter while plowing through a book or Internet tutorial. It's an eye opening experince watching a master take it through its paces.

    I also own Jeremy's book, Painter 8 Creativity. It contains well written, very detailed step-by-step instructions for many (by not all) of the methods presented in the DVD set.

    Besides the excellent tutorials, it contains the BEST intro to Painter I've ever seen. If you're new to Painter (like I was when I read it), you'll find the content meaningful and complete, with plenty of screenshots and a lot of sage advice and golden nuggets.

    Marilyn Sholin

    Marilyn is an accomplished photographer and artist, with studios in New York and Florida. Her "paintings from photos" are among the most amazing I've seen anywhere.

    Here new tutorial CD and optional accompanying book are available here:

    Click here to read the review. (2004/06)

    Cher Threinen-Pendarvis
    The Painter 8 WOW! Book

    p. 229 - Cloning a Portrait. This article describes a basic photo-to-painting method.

    pp. 230-232 - Creating a Photo Painting. This is an excellent article that describes a method by Michael Campbell. The example photos really hammer home the technique. This one is a real winner.

    Other than the two sections noted above, there's not much content devoted to creating paintings from photos. Consider this a Painter "ideas" book. It's richly illustrated and the content format is fairly general.


    Jane Conner-ziser

    Jane is another well known photographer and artist. Check out her gallery to get a feel for what she's able to do with Photoshop and Painter.

    She, too, has a tutorial CD coming out Summer 2004. I hope to get a chance to review it, too.

    Sam Grey

    Click on the Painted Portraits button to see Sam's offerings.

    Helen Yancy


    Several interesting styles offered. Many (to me) look like they were rendered by Photoshop actions.



    Talk about options.

    Judy Horn
    At the 2004 Puyallup (pronounced "pew-al-up") fair near Seattle, Washington I had the pleasure of meeting Judy Horn, who had some of her works on display.

    Her website doesn't do her digital paintings justice. Framed and up close they are amazing. She uses Photoshop and Corel Painter. She prints her portraits on an Epson 9600 printer using Epson watercolor paper.


    * Image Editors: Just about any of the major ones will do - Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, PhotoPaint, etc. From what I have seen, however, to get unique results that go far beyond just applying built-in filters and effects, one must supplement the basic editing program with plugins or other programs.

    * Painting Programs: These have functions/capabilities that image editors typically do not have, specifically the ability to simulate realistic looking brush strokes and various types of drawing/painting media, for example, oil paints, charcoal, chalks, etc.

    The major players in this categorey are Corel Painter ( and less popular, but very capable Deep Paint (

    Most of the "big hitter" professionals like Jeremy Sutton, Marilyn Sholin, etc. who do these types of portraits-to-paintings manipulations use Painter.

    If you've not used Painter before, beware: It's as complicated (and in many ways as unintuitative to learn) as Photoshop. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are amazing.

    * Plugins: While the Buzz plugin ( is very popular among photo-artists, for portrait work I don't see a strong need for it. If you have it, fine, but it's not one I would spend an arm and leg on for this category of manipulation.

    Another that's a nice to have, but not a requirement, is P & A America's Virtual Painter 4. (Jasc's Virtual Painter 3, if you can still get it, is a suitable substitute. Same program, just a version earlier.) Two of the effects (Oil Painting and Gouache) seem to work well on some portrait manipulations.

    For the tradional skills challenged, like me, I consider the Microsoft Impressionist plugin a must have (and low cost) supplement to the arsenal. It is simply unparalleled functionally.

    Impressionist is part of a program called Image Composer that was packaged with some versions of Microsoft Front Page. There's no need to install Front Page or Image Composer. One only needs to copy the Impressionist files from the Front Page CD into a new folder inside Phothshop's plugins folder, make a few minor changes to folder names and off you go.

    If you are an eBay shopper, search on "Front Page 98" (or "FrontPage 98"). There are Front Page auctions going on almost all the time. If you're not an eBay shopper, I usually have a few legitmate FP CDs on hand for sale. Contact me if you're interested.


    Red River

    Marilyn Sholin alerted me to this site. I like it because it's easy to use and you can tell right away if a particular paper is compatible with your printer.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    As time goes on I will add to this thread as I make new discoveries.

    Got a resource you'd like to add to this thread? Pul-eeze, by all means, share what you've discovered.

    Last edited by DannyRaphael; 12-09-2004, 05:46 AM. Reason: Updated a couple links.

  • #2
    Upsizing images, upsize, resolution, stairstep interpolation

    It's not uncommon for photo-artists to have a need to make images "larger" for printing. This free tool might come in handy.


    • #3
      Just wanted to share this little jewel too.

      Free for all; even a Mac version. The program is a standalone called ArtRage. You can import and export bitmaps which is cool if you need to do additional edits in PS (or GIMP; ).


      • #4
        Danny - you forgot Painter IX for Martin Addison which has some excellent examples of all the different brushes.



        • #5
          Its about time Danny you had a website to show off your wonderful work too!!!


          • #6
            Here's that link again:


            Copy and paste all of that. It's truncating as a one-liner for some reason...


            • #7
              Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

              hello i saw some beatifull jobs and i want to do a portrait paint to my son and husband can sombody help me explain step by step how do you do this kind of portrait,or a link to go to do family portrait with paint oil in photoshop or corel,please help it´s for christmas help help please
              [IMG]Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version Name: 89875483_6U97Uohf.jpg Views: 8 Size: 99.8 KB ID: 74935[/IMG]


              • #8
                Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                Hello everyone, I am new to this site so you will have to bear with me as I learn to navigate around. I am looking for a software program to convert photos to engravable image for my laser engraver. Does anyone know of anything that can do this?


                • #9
                  Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                  what kind of engraver is it? what kind of software came with it? have you checked the manufacturer's site?

                  and welcome to RP.


                  • #10
                    Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                    I thought engraver printers use there own built-in stippling software. Cool that you actually have one. Only seen pictures in magazines for these devices.


                    • #11
                      Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                      I have an Epilog laser and the only software I have that they recommended when I bought it was CorelDRAWX3. They recommend Photograv but the cost is outrageous.


                      • #12
                        Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                        have you installed the drivers and hooked up the usb or ethernet cable yet? and, i see from their manual that AutoCad will also work. it also says in the manual:
                        Create your job in the graphics software of your choice, (for example –
                        CorelDraw). There are three different modes of operation for the laser and the
                        way you setup your artwork will determine if you raster engrave or vector cut.
                        which would make me think that paint shop pro, photoshop or any other software that allows for normal printing would work here. just make sure the drivers and any other software they include is installed and working. from your software, you have to choose your 'printer'. in your case it would be the epilog. when you hit 'print', rather than being sent to your normal inkjet printer (or whatever), the job will be sent to your epilog. if you cant find that option under your printer options, then most likely you havent installed the drivers or other required software.


                        • #13
                          Re: Portraits to Paintings: Resources

                          besides the manual, you might want to look at this page:


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