Portrait of a Lady
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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.
- AKVIS ArtWork software (This tutorial assumes you have installed as a plug-in);
- Photoshop software;
- Model photo;
- Mixed media scans or imagery.
Step 1. Open up Photoshop. Start off with a model photo. You can use your own photograph, or grab a photo from a royalty-free library such as sxc.hu.
Step 2. Start gradually adding your mixed-media scans or texture photos as layers above your base model layer. An excellent free source for texture assets is mediamilitia.com, particularly Mixed Media Pack. For each of these scans/textures, cycle through the layer blending modes so it will blend with the base model photo.
To quickly cycle through a layer's blending modes:
- 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.
If a scan/texture layer is too strong or doesn't look right in a particular area, apply a layer mask:
- 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.)
Step 3. Once you are finished with the collage portion, it will be time to use AKVIS ArtWork to deliver the coup d'grace.
- 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.
Step 4. With the stamped layer still active, we will now use AKVIS ArtWork:
- Go to Filter -> AKVIS -> ArtWork.
Call AKVIS ArtWork Plug-in
- 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.
Oil Painting (Expressive Preset)
- If you are satisfied with the results, click the button at the top. If you want to experiment further, keep adjusting the sliders.
Apply Oil Effect
- 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.
Organic Brush Strokes
Step 5. Taking it further: You could make multiple copies of the stamp layer, apply different AKVIS ArtWork settings to each one, then use layer masks and blending modes to blend them together. The possibilities really are endless!
(Click on the image to enlarge)