The author of the tutorial is Robert Bates:
After reading how AKVIS ArtWork can be used to turn scans of old photos with defects into paintings, I decided to give it a try with one of my photos.
The photo is in bad shape. It is very dark, has many dust specks and other defects, and has a texture which makes the image appear less than sharp. So before I can create a painting from it, I’ll need to make some corrections. The AKVIS Enhancer and Noise Buster plug-ins will be useful.
The photo is very dark, so increase the parameters Highlights and Lightness to the maximum setting, 100. Press to process the image and then to accept the changes and return the photo to the graphics editor.
The result is an improvement, but the original was so dark that another pass through Enhancer would help. This time set Highlights and Lightness to 25.
Now the photo is bright enough and the colors are more vibrant.
Call the AKVIS Noise Buster plug-in (Effects –> AKVIS –> Noise Buster). The plug-in’s workspace opens. Change the settings as seen below.
Here's a closer look at the settings:
This should be enough. I don’t want to remove too much detail, since I want to make a painting from this photo. You can see the image, before and after Noise Buster here.
Select the Clone Stamp tool . To remove the specks and other defects, select the diameter for the tool that will work best for you, select an area near the defect with the Alt key and then left-click the tool over the defect.
After making our way across the photo, we find a white spot next to the girl’s right leg. After removing it, the transition between her leg and the background is not smooth. What to do?
Select the Blur tool . Reduce the diameter of the tool and apply it with the left mouse button, making a few passes over the defect. You can scale up the image to make this easier. Now the transition is much smoother.
The defects have been removed. Let’s move to the next step: turning this photo into a painting.
After some experimentation, I choose these settings…
...but of course you can choose your own, it’s just a matter of preference.
We can guide the paint strokes using the Stroke Direction tool . Select it and draw some guiding lines on the photo, where you think a change in stroke direction would look best.
Now press to process the image and if you are satisfied with the result, press to accept the changes and return the image to the graphics editor.
Here is the result – an old photo turned into a work of art! You can click on the result to open a full size version and see the brush strokes in more detail.