City Canal View. Make an Oil Painting out of Photo

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Tutorial: AKVIS ArtWork

City Canal View: Oil Landscape


On a nice Summer day I was walking along the city canal when I was overcome with an irresistible itch for painting. I did not have paints and no easel, and, to be quite honest, my landscape studies had never excited my drawing teacher at school. But I had a camera with me, so I took a photo of the view. Then, using the program AKVIS ArtWork, I converted my photo into an oil painting. The result was just the painting I had in my mind.

    City Canal View Oil Painting: City Canal
    Original ImageResult

AKVIS ArtWork Deluxe was used when creating this tutorial. The Deluxe/Business version (in contrast to Home license) has a Stroke Direction tool . This tool can do wonders!
You can download the images in full size to compare the result with and without this feature: a zip-archive with three files 1st-result.jpg, 2nd-result.jpg and 2nd-result-with-canvas.jpg.

Please follow these steps to create an oil painting from a photo:

  • Step 1. Open the image in your photo editor. We used the plugin version of ArtWork. But you can work with the standalone program, the steps will be the same.

    View of the City Canal
    Original Image
  • Step 2. Call the plugin AKVIS ArtWork. In Adobe Photoshop you can use the menu item Filter –> AKVIS –> ArtWork.

    The image will be loaded into the workspace and, if it is large, scaled to fit the Image Window. To avoid a visual distortion effect, it is recommended to set the scale to 100%.

    Fragment of the Image
    Fragment of the Image (Scaled to 100%)
  • Step 3. Adjust the parameters. The changes are automatically applied to the sample in the quick preview window. You can move this square with a double left-click to the required point of the image.

    I would like to paint my landscape in an expressionist manner, in large strokes. Actually most painters do not try to make a photographic reproduction of the reality, they do not reproduce every minor detail. So I increased the value of the Simplicity parameter. This parameter simplifies the image by reducing the level of detail. The strokes are rougher and the image looks more like a painting. You can notice that at Simplicity = 6 the level of detail is quite reasonable.

    Default Settings Simplified
    Default Settings Simplicity = 6

    To make the image brighter, we increase the value of Saturation to 15.

  • Step 4. Click on to process the whole image with the new settings. Here is the result (1st result.jpg):

    Leaves Boat
    Leaves Boat

  • Step 5. We are happy with the result. But we can make it yet more realistic (that is more like a painting) if we use the Stroke Direction tool . This tool gives us full control over the strokes as it allows to set the stroke direction. If you examine the image 1st-result.jpg you can notice that the boat, the trees and the building came out well, but the water and the sky are not perfect. The reason is that the strokes are laid randomly, while an artist would use horizontal strokes for the sky and would follow the direction of the river stream when laying the strokes on the water:

    Change Direction
    Change the Strokes Direction
  • Step 6. Click on again. The result is here: 2nd-result.jpg. You can also add a canvas and an inscription to the painting: 2nd-result-with-canvas.jpg.
  • Step 7. Click on to apply the changes and close the AKVIS ArtWork plugin. It took me only 4 minutes to create my modest piece of art. I printed it on good paper and hung it on the wall in the dining-room.

    Oil Painting Oil Painting on Canvas
    Oil Painting On Canvas

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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