Turning your photos in to paintings give your pictures an interesting, painterly look. Prints of these photos may also sell better as people are looking for paintings to hang on their walls. In this blog post, I'll cover 3 techniques and tools to turn your photos to paintings. The 3 approaches that I use are the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop, the Simplify plugin from Topaz Labs, and the AKVIS ArtWork Plugin. The final photos for each method are included in the post as well as the settings for the plugins. Which technique do you like the best? Click on each photo for a larger view will come up in a new browser tab.
The photo that I started with was a 3 shot HDR sequence (-3, 0, +3) of Peacham, Vermont that was processed using Google's (Nik Software's) HDR Efex Pro 2. I cropped the photo to make it into a pseudo panorama. After I applied each technique to the photo, I used Google's Viveza 2 to locally adjust the saturation and brightness.L
Adobe Photoshop's OIl Paint Filter
The Oil Paint Filter is included with Photoshop CS6. It can also be installed into Photoshop CS5. Turn the layer into a smart object by right clicking on the layer and selecting Convert to Smart Object. This will allow you to reopen the filter and adjust the setting. You will also be able to change the opacity and blending modes. Select Oil Paint.. from the Filters menu.
Here were the settings that I used to create this painting of Peacham, Vermont using the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop CS5. See my blog on how to use the Oil Paint filter for more information.
Simplify Painting Oil Preset
Topaz Simplify 3 is a plugin for Photoshop created by Topaz Labs. It can also be used through Lightroom with their Fusion Express or PhotoFXLab plugins. When using it with Photoshop make sure you create a duplicate layer prior to selecting the Simplify plugin through the Filters menu. You can then adjust the effect of the filter using layer masks in Photoshop. In Topaz Simplify, select the preset (Oil Preset) in the left panel and fine tune the settings in the right panel. Here are the final settings I used on this photograph.
AKVIS ArtWork Oil Style
AKVIS ArtWork is a plugin for photoshop that lets you apply several different painting styles to your photograph. Once again, convert the layer to a smart object prior to selecting the AKVIS ArtWork Filter. See my blog post on how you use the Oil Painting Style in AKVIS ArtWork. Below are the final settings that I used for this photo of Peacham, Vermont.
Related Blog Posts
Using the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop CS6 for your Nature Photography
Painting Flowers using the Oil Style in AKVIS ArtWork
Bring your Photos Back to Life Using the Oil Painting Technique in AKVIS ArtWork