Watercolor Painting Tutorials
You might not want to convert all your photos into imitation watercolors, but some look really good with this treatment. 1. Find a picture that you think might look good as a watercolor, or download the one shown in the Try It Yourself section from our website. It's called rhodies.jpg. To get to the website, point your web browser to www.samspub-lishing.com, and type the book's name or ISBN. 2. Choose Watercolor from the Filter Artistic submenu. 3. In the Watercolor filter window, shown in Figure 9.4, use the sliders to choose a combination of texture and brush detail that you like.
Photoshop 7 does have a watercolor filter, but in most cases, I find that it makes the images too dark with too many odd-looking brush strokes. Therefore, we use another approach. To soften the brush strokes and make them look more like a watercolor wash, use a blur filter. For this particular image, these few steps produce a realistic-looking watercolor. After using many images and trying many different techniques to create watercolor paintings, I've concluded there are On larger files, and when photographs have been scanned with a flat-bed scanner or negatives or slides have been scanned with a film scanner, the same techniques work well if you first apply a light Gaussian Blur to the image. The larger the files, the better this technique seems to work provided that the image is a good-quality image with minimal grain. Sometimes, you may also find that an image can be made to look more like a watercolor painting if you apply some of these filters more than once. Experimentation is...
Watercolors produce great pastel effects because their water-soluble pigments are not as opaque as oils or acrylics, and they tend to soak into the paper, producing a soft, diffused effect. It's a good plug-in for landscapes, female portrait subjects, or any image which can be improved with a soft look. While you can select the amount of brush detail, Watercolor doesn't work well with detailed strokes. Figure 8.26 shows the Spatter and Watercolor filters at work. Figure 8.26. Spatter (left) and Watercolor (right). Figure 8.26. Spatter (left) and Watercolor (right).
For digital watercolors, look for photos with large plain areas and not a lot of detail. In general, try lighter-colored pictures because the Watercolor filter tends to darken images. Although almost any picture makes a good oil painting, I like to use the technique to rescue otherwise bland landscapes. It helps if Q. In the watercolor discussion earlier in this hour, you recommended waiting until the very end to apply the texture because any changes made before the final save would alter the texture's appearance. Shouldn't those same rules apply to oil paintings as well
Wet Edges creates a sort of watercolor effect when you paint. Figure 6.7 shows an example of the same brush and paint with Wet Edges on and off. Paint builds up at the edges of your brush, and, as long as you are holding down the mouse and painting, the paint stays wet. In other words, you can paint over your previous strokes without building up additional layers of color. If, however, you release the mouse button and begin to paint again, you will be adding a new layer of paint, which creates an entirely new effect. Notice the overlapped strokes in the figure.
One of the remarkable tricks Photoshop can do is simulate the appearance of other media. The effect can be achieved through the use of a filter (I jump ahead a little in this hour and introduce you to some of Photoshop's artistic filters). It can also be achieved through the use of the Smudge and Blur tools, or by choosing custom brushes and carefully applying paint with a particular blending mode. You can create a picture from scratch, or you can start with a photograph and make it look like a watercolor, an oil painting in any of a half-dozen styles, or even a plaster bas-relief. Whatever the method, the results will amaze you.
Before I began using an image editor, I enjoyed airbrush and watercolor painting. Because of that background, I have always wanted to be able to transform digital photos into images that look like a painting without having to apply lots of brushstrokes. Very early on, I learned that to create a successful digital painting, most digital photos need to be simplified that is, many of the finer details need to be removed or simplified. Then those simplified areas need to once again be simplified, only this time just in terms of color, as brushstrokes are usually painted with a single color. Finally, those stroke-like marks need additional effects, such as texture, softness, or thickness to make an image look like a painting.
The Canvas texture comes the closest to replicating watercolor paper, especially if you scale it down some. Sandstone works well, too. I like to set it at 70 , with a relief height of 3. Use the sliders to set relief and scaling. I find that applying the same texture a second time with the light coming from the opposite direction gives me the best imitation of textured paper. Of course, you can also print your images on real watercolor paper. Lighter-weight papers run through an inkjet printer very nicely.
The type of paper you use makes a huge difference in the quality of the resulting print. Do not sell yourself short by printing an important presentation on inexpensive bond paper. You can print on a wide variety of substrates, including canvas, textured watercolor paper, satin, rag, velvet, glossy and matte finish photo paper, and more. Consult a service provider, paper companies, or your printer manufacturer for media options that are designed to work with your printers.
You can also get art papers for some kinds of inkjet printers. These are heavy rag papers, much like artist's watercolor paper. Find these at www.inkjetmall.com, among other places. I've had very good luck printing on Somerset Smooth and Somerset Velvet with the Epson Stylus Photo 750 and 1200 printers. These fine-art papers are ideally suited to printing pictures that you've converted to imitation watercolors, pastel drawings, and so on. This is because they are the same papers generally used for those techniques. If you use a heavy art paper, feed in one sheet at a time and set the printer for thicker paper (if it has such an option).
Like any image editor, Photoshop enables you to alter photographs and other scanned artwork. You can retouch an image, apply special effects, swap details between photos, introduce text and logos, adjust color balance, and even add color to a grayscale scan. Photoshop also provides the tools you need to create images from scratch. These tools are fully compatible with pressure-sensitive tablets, so you can create naturalistic images that look for all the world like watercolors and oils.
Filters are Photoshop commands that can significantly alter an image's appearance. Experimenting with Photoshop's filters is a fun way to completely change the look of an image. For example, the Watercolor filter gives the illusion that your image was painted using traditional watercolors. Sharpen filters can appear to add definition to the entire image, or just the edges. Compare the different Sharpen filters applied in Figure 28. The Sharpen More filter increases the contrast of adjacent pixels and can focus a blurry image. Be careful not to overuse sharpening tools (or any filter), because you can create high-contrast lines or add graininess in color or brightness.
Dry brush is a term used by watercolor painters to denote a particular style in which the brush is loaded with heavily concentrated pigment and dabbed, rather than stroked, on the paper. Figure 16.7 shows the Dry Brush dialog box with a small Brush Size and a high Brush Detail. You can see the result in Figure 16.8.
Watercolor is one of 15 artistic filters. Cutout Dry Brush Film Grain Fresco Neon Glow Paint Daubs Palette Knife Plastic Wrap Poster Edges Rough Pastels Smudge Stick Sponge Underpainting Watercolor The Watercolor filter works most effectively on pictures that have large, bold areas and not a lot of detail. Because it also tends to darken backgrounds and shadows, it's best to start with a picture that has a light background. The photo in the figures that follow features some very white flowers. When you select the Watercolor filter (or virtually any other Photoshop filter, for that matter), you open a dialog box like the one shown in Figure 9.2. This Filter Gallery has a thumbnail view of your picture and a set of sliders that enable you to set the way in which the picture is converted. Many of the filter dialog boxes also show you the list of available filters and a thumbnail-sized sample of the effects they produce. If you click and drag on the thumbnail image, you can slide it...
While you can use this filter alone, it works well with other plug-ins, as a first step to reduce the amount of detail before you apply a second filter, such as Watercolor or Grain. Textures, particularly canvas, can add to the painterly effect of this filter. Figure 8.27 shows the Angled Strokes and Palette Knife filters.
In Photoshop, you draw with paths and paint with strokes. You can draw from the ground up and create realistic-looking objects, everything from a nut and bolt to a guitar or a limousine. You can color black and white line art, create charcoal sketches, or paint in an oil or watercolor style from the ground up. In fact, you are limited only by your ability and your imagination to use Photoshop's various vector and painting tools.
In this hour, you saw that digital painting is an area where Photoshop truly excels. You can work from scratch or convert images you have uploaded as digital photos or scans or have created in some other compatible program. After you have the image in Photoshop, the various filters and brushes enable you to turn your work into a good imitation of an oil painting, watercolor, or drawing. The Artistic filter set includes filters that can do much of the work of conversion for you. For best results, though, you'll want to go in and touch up the picture after the filter has done its work. Choose tools and colors that are appropriate to the medium you're trying to imitate. Experiment, and if you find a technique or filter combination that works especially well, make notes on it. Yes, you can even write in this book (Well, not if it's a library book )
Torn Edges, 316 Water Paper, 318 Smart filters, 267-269 Stylize filters Emboss, 335 Find Edges, 333 Glowing Edges, 333 Trace Contour, 334 Wind, 335 Texturizer filter, 270 type effects, 350 underpainting (oil painting technique), 173 watercolor filters, 166 applying, 167 brush detail, 167-169 shadow intensity, 167-169 texture, 167-169
The techniques in this chapter cover how to create line drawings, rough marker sketches, pen and ink sketches with a watercolor wash, fine art images with filters, and more. While one technique is for those with traditional painting skills, the others may be used by just about anyone with a few digital photos. While I would consider this to be a fun chapter, some of the techniques are rather long and they can be time consuming.
Underpainting gives you the basic elements of the picture, minus the details. Using the Underpainting filter requires making some settings decisions. The Texture settings are exactly the same as in the Texturizer filter used on the watercolor. Here, though, you want to bring out more of the texture, so you use a higher relief number, and possibly a larger scale on the canvas. You can also paint on burlap, sandstone, or brick, or on textures that you import from elsewhere. The Brush Size setting ranges from 0 to 40. Smaller brushes retain more of the texture and detail of the original image. Larger brushes give a somewhat spotty coverage and remove all the detail. Texture Coverage also ranges on a scale from 0 to 40. Lower numbers here reveal less of the texture higher numbers bring out more of it. In underpainting, the texture is revealed only where there's paint, not all over the canvas.
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