Casandra's Portrait: Portrait Painting in Oil

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Tutorial: AKVIS ArtWork

Casandra's portrait


The author of the tutorial is Gordon Sisson.

In this tutorial Gordon tells, how to make something special from an ordinary photograph using AKVIS ArtWork.

    Original photo


One friend gave him a 2.5 x 3.5 inch snapshot of her daughter, Casandra. When AKVIS ArtWork was released, Mr. Sisson immediately had the desire to try creating a painting. The picture was well-focused, and after its resizing to the required size (8.5 x 11.0 inch) he desided to make an oil painting from the photograph. He wrote:

"One of the most distinguishing characteristics of a painting is brush strokes. Experimenting with ArtWork, I realized that strong brush strokes for the background were too intense for attractive skin tones. In Photoshop it is fairly easy to have lovely painted skin tones along with strong brush strokes in the rest of the picture. Here's how."

  • Step 1. Open the resized photo in Adobe Photoshop and call up AKVIS ArtWork plugin from the Filter menu: Filter -> AKVIS -> ArtWork.

    Original photo of the girl
    Original Photo
  • Step 2. Adjust the sliders on the Painting tab to create distinct brush strokes. Click on to process the image using these settings and to apply the result.

    Adjust the settings
    ArtWork Panel Showing the Settings and the Result

  • Step 3. Select menu item File -> Save As and name this file as background.jpg.

    The enlargement shows that the brush strokes are too strong for skin tones:

    Strong brush strokes
    Strong Brush Strokes (in the style of Van Gogh)
  • Step 4. Now it is time to create a good painting of the skin tones. Open another copy of the photograph and call up AKVIS ArtWork. The picture below shows the ArtWork panel with the settings and result creating a level of painting more suitable for skin tones.

    Another settings for portrait
    Settings and Result in Creating Painted Skin Tones
  • Step 5. Process the image by , apply the result and save this file as skin-tones.jpg.

    The enlargement shows less intense brush strokes more suitable for skin tones:

    Less intense brush strokes
    Less Intense Brush Strokes
  • Step 6. We have created two files — one is background.jpg and the other is skin-tones.jpg.

    Now we will combine the two files so that the skin tones can be applied to the background painting.

    - Click on the backgroung photo and press Ctrl+A (on Windows), +A (on Macintosh) or use menu item Select -> All to select the entire image.

    - Press Ctrl+C (on Windows), +C (on Macintosh) or use command Edit -> Copy to copy it.

    - Then click on the skin-tones image and press Ctrl+V (on Windows), +V (on Macintosh) or select the command Edit -> Paste to paste the other photo into it. Both photos are now in the same file which has two layers in it. All you see on the desktop is the background photo.

  • Step 7. Click once on the top layer to make sure it is selected, and click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a layer mask to it.

    Layers Palette
  • Step 8. Now, use a black brush to blend the two photos together:

    - Select the Brush tool (hot-key B), click on the brush thumbnail in the Options bar to get the Brush Picker, and choose a medium size, soft-edged brush.

    - Press D to set background/foreground colors to default - the default foreground color is black, and the default background color is white (in alpha-channel, the default foreground is white, and the background is black).

    - Then press X to set the foreground color to black and start painting with black brush on the face and skin to reveal the skin-tones photo from the layer below.


      To refine the edges a bit, you can choose a smaller brush and zoom in on more detailed areas, if you wish.

      Use the Left Bracket [ key to quickly make the brush smaller.

      If you paint too far and start to reveal areas not wanted from the layer below, switch the foreground color to white and paint back any parts of the photo on the top layer.

      Press the X key to swap your foreground and background colors.

  • Step 9. Here is the final painting created from a small snapshot using AKVIS ArtWork. The transformation to a painting is very striking when printed. All the subtle changes do not show clearly on screen.

    Casandra's Oil Portrait
    (click on the image to see a larger copy)
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Painting on a Canvas — Painting on a Canvas
   — Adding a Frame — Adding a Frame
   — Text and Watermark — Text and Watermark
   — Working with Presets — Working with Presets
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Styles Styles
   — Oil Painting — Oil Painting
   — Watercolor Painting — Watercolor Painting
   — Gouache Painting — Gouache Painting
   — Comics Effect — Comics Effect
   — Pen & Ink — Pen & Ink
   — Linocut — Linocut
   — Pastel Painting — Pastel Painting
Examples Examples
   — Harmony: Oil Painting Portrait — Harmony: Oil Painting Portrait
   — City Canal View: Oil Landscape — City Canal View: Oil Landscape
   — Animated Comic of a Cat: Make a Cartoon — Animated Comic of a Cat: Make a Cartoon
   — Emergency Cow: Make a Poster — Emergency Cow: Make a Poster
   — Greetings from Canary Islands — Greetings from Canary Islands
   — Summer Coloured Green — Summer Coloured Green
   — Casandra's Portrait — Casandra's Portrait
   — ArtWork for Art Students — ArtWork for Art Students
   — Day at The Beach — Day at The Beach
   — ArtWork Oil Gallery — ArtWork Oil Gallery
   — Oil Painting of Orchid Flowers — Oil Painting of Orchid Flowers
   — Miniature Painting — Miniature Painting
   — Still Life with Peaches — Still Life with Peaches
   — Work of Art from Flawed Photo — Work of Art from Flawed Photo
   — Antique Collage: Comics Effect — Antique Collage: Comics Effect
   — Baroque Architecture: Linocut — Baroque Architecture: Linocut
   — Ballet Art - Trying ArtWork Styles — Ballet Art - Trying ArtWork Styles
   — Human Flower (Gouache and Inking) — Human Flower (Gouache and Inking)
   — Oil Painting with a Hand-Drawn Effect — Oil Painting with a Hand-Drawn Effect
   — A Little Secret - Two ArtWork Styles — A Little Secret - Two ArtWork Styles
   — Mythical Horse: Watercolor Picture — Mythical Horse: Watercolor Picture
   — Forest Nymph — Forest Nymph
   — Ballet Dancers: Oil Painting — Ballet Dancers: Oil Painting
   — Portrait of a Lady: Modern Art — Portrait of a Lady: Modern Art
   — Sunset on Lake Garda in Pastel — Sunset on Lake Garda in Pastel
   — Creating  a Semi-Processed Image Effect — Creating a Semi-Processed Image Effect
   — A Holiday In Normandy — A Holiday In Normandy
   — Orange Door: a Comic-Like Painting — Orange Door: a Comic-Like Painting
   — Interior Design: Painting from Rendering — Interior Design: Painting from Rendering
   — Painting & Photography — Painting & Photography
   — Scrapbooking Ideas — Scrapbooking Ideas
   — Painting in Autumn Colors — Painting in Autumn Colors


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