Bring your Photos Back to Life Using the Oil Painting Technique in AKVIS ArtWork

I took this sunrise photo in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and I just didn’t like it.  I must have processed it for 2 hours.  It just sat on my hard drive.  I didn’t upload it to my website or post it on Twitter or Facebook.  That is until I found this picture to painting software.

CVNP Sunrise
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Sunrise – Before
The other night I found this photo in Lightroom. I must have some attraction to this photo.  I processed the photo with AKVIS ArtWork 7.0 a picture to painting Photoshop Plugin that I’ve been testing.  To my surprise, I now really like this photo.  It made it to my blog, I uploaded to my website, and it was tweeted and posted to Facebook.
CVNP Sunrise in Oil
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Sunrise after Processing in AKVIS Artwork 7.0 (Click the photo to see a larger version of the image)
AKVIS ArtWork 7.0 is a powerful picture to painting photo processing application.  ArtWork V.7.0 processes photos into 7 different painting styles: Oil, Watercolor, Gouache, Comics, Pen & Ink, Linocut, and Pastel.  Pastel is only available in the more expensive Home Deluxe and Business Licenses.  My favorite painting styles in the application are Oil and Watercolor.
Here are some of the features I really like about AKVIS ArtWork 7.0.
  • Seven different paint styles.  ArtWork has seven different painting styles to give an artist a lot of choices in processing their photos.
  • Presets.  Each painting style has numerous presets that you can use to get you started.  You can also save your own presets for later use.
  • A lot of adjustment sliders.  Each paint style also has quite a few sliders to adjust the image.  This gives quite a bit of flexibility in customizing your photo.
  • Custom Canvas.  AKVIS ArtWork also allows you to customize the canvas for the painting.  There is a large selection of textures to select for your canvas or you can add your own textures.  There are also sliders to tweak the textures.
  • Hover Help.  Hover help is available for each menu item, icon, and slider. This feature is particularly helpful on the sliders   You don’t have to remember what each slider does for each painting style.   I wish Adobe had this feature in their Oil Paint filter.
  • Guiding Line Tool.  This is a very helpful feature that allows you to control the direction of the brush strokes.  This feature is only available in the Home Deluxe and Business licenses.
The only dislike I could find in the application was that you had to click the Run button to see the effect of slider and preset changes on the entire image.  There is a preview square that can be moved around the image to preview changes to that portion of the image.  This isn't a huge issue compared to the features offered by ArtWork.
AKVIS ArtWork Desktop
Overall, I really liked ArtWork.  The application has a lot of features and customization that allows you to create works of art with your photos.  ArtWork is priced at $72 for the home license, $99 for the Home Deluxe, and $189 for the Business license.  Give ArtWork a free 10 day test drive and let me know what you think.  I plan to provide more examples of photos that I processed with the ArtWork including information on processing the image and settings.  So stay tuned to the blog.
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