This tutorial created by Andre Villanueva illustrates (no pun intended) a workflow for using AKVIS ArtWork to give your Photoshop collage work a stunning, hand-painted look with literally just a couple of clicks. That is something that is hard to do with Photoshop’s very limited set of artistic filters.
- First, make sure that layer is active.
- Hold down Shift and use + (plus sign) or - (minus sign) to rapidly cycle through the various blending modes.
- With the appropriate layer active, press the Add layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers panel.
- Using a soft-edged brush with black as your foreground color, paint out the areas you don't want. Black will completely hide areas, while shades of gray will provide varying levels of transparency.
- Don't worry if you accidentally mask out an area you DO want to keep: just switch your foreground color to white and re-paint the area back in. (If you have black and white as your foreground/background colors, you can use X to quickly swap them.)
- Create a new layer at the top of your stacking order.
- Use the Stamp Visible command: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E (Windows) / +Alt+Shift+E (Mac). This will stamp all visible layers onto that new layer.
- Go to Filter -> AKVIS -> ArtWork.
- Experiment with the myriad styles and settings - it's fun! The author is especially impressed with the Oil - Expressive style. This is what was used for the example piece.
- Click the After tab to process the image and see it with the current settings applied.
- If you are satisfied with the results, click the button at the top. If you want to experiment further, keep adjusting the sliders.
- After clicking that button, you will be taken back to Photoshop, and the layer will now have the AKVIS ArtWork filter applied to it. Cool!
- For added realism, create a new layer above the stamped layer and add some organic brush strokes using the Brush tool, and blend colors with the Smudge tool. If you have CS5 or higher, try using the Mixer Brush for very realistic brush strokes and blending.