Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour. ~ November 2014 - Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour. ~ November 2014

Nov 19, 2014

Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour.

When you search among the photographs available on or it doesn't take long to discover the variety and quality. There is something to suit every need and style.

However, as much as a photograph can provide the perfect visual detail to a project there are times when it's necessary, or just fun to put a different spin to them. You might, for example, wish that the image you liked was a painting rather than a photo. With image editing software, you can of course achieve this. While the process might not exactly make you a Van Gogh, the results are satisfactory for most purposes and come without the expense of hiring an artist.

Author Seth Godin has said that art is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the soul of the artist. Well, the 'artist' we set onto this task has a basic understanding of Photoshop but a strong desire to learn through experimentation. The key point is how much fun it can be to take an image and see what you can do with it through a little trial and error.

The first step, obviously was to select a photo that we thought would make a great 'watercolour'. This gorgeous shot of autumn in New York's Central Park (#296795), one of the most popular downloads this season, seemed ideal.

Opening the image in Photoshop, we didn't bother changing the size, but it will be something you'll need to do to meet your needs. Our first step was to brighten the overall picture and intensify the colours just a tad by going to 'Image'>'Adjustments'>'Hue/Saturation' and changing the settings to -3 for Hue, 2 for Saturation and 1 for Lightness.

Next we renamed the background layer to 'original' then right clicked and created a duplicate copy.

With this one highlighted we chose 'Filter'>'Artistic'>'Dry Brush'. The settings used were Brush Size, 3, Brush Detail, 2 and Texture, 1. Play with these to get the effect you like. Next change the 'Blend Mode' to 'Screen'.

Highlight the original layer and select 'Filter'>'Artistic'>'Cutout'. For this purpose we set the Number of Levels to 7, the Edge Simplicity, 3 and the Edge Fidelity, 2, but again, you can play with these setting to get the result you want. Choose Soft Light for the Blend Mode and you're done.

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A Featured Collection:

There's a nip in the air and a chill in our bones as we look ahead to winter. This collection of photos remind that there is beauty out in the cold:

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