Painting Photo Portraits

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by shawngibson, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. Wow, when I had to 'select a category' most of these categories are the ones I created for PDN almost 20 years ago. I'm getting old...
    I've been putting a concerted effort lately into something I'm completely unfamiliar with: namely, painting photographs.
    I know there are techniques spanning the history of photography for taking a monochrome image and colourizing it, but usually they are based on huge blocks of colour (for example, an entire face with a particular colour or a swath of blue for a dress); but I've been trying to actually paint old BW photos (both digital and film) with a Wacom pen in a manner that is more like a painter, i.e., almost pixel-by-pixel.
    When I paint, which is rare these days, there is a lot of material involved, i.e. paint; and there's also a lot of wasting that material because I scrape a lot of it off in order to find what I'm looking for.
    With Photoshop, that's not a problem:)
    I've never used PS to "paint" before and frankly, as someone who always works from photos, I always want to start with the photo. In other words, I've no interest in creating 'brush strokes' ex nihilo.
    So I've been sticking to basic brushes on a colour layer in PS and just adding fake colour, with the occasional dodge/burn layer and the occasional 'drawing' layer to sharpen softness in key points, like the shadows of eyes.
    The short of it is, while I'm not wasting money on paint, it is STILL just as time-consuming to 'paint' in PS as it is with a canvas. Several months into this, I've still not finished a single 'painting'.
    But I must say, it is INCREDIBLY rewarding each night to come home from work and not be afraid to create something new, because I know it is non-destructive, and it is also not going to cost me money for paint:)
    Applying painterly techniques, for example the turbid effect (Reubens) in Photoshop, layering, adding depth by way of another layer, it is all incredibly fascinating.
    Here are a few examples, and I must stress, none of them are finished...but wow this is fun:
    Have any of you turned photos into digital paintings? If so, what advice do you have, given my early efforts?
  2. None of them finished?? Wow, they are good. Makes me think I would like to try that
  3. Thanks Brian. It's very challenging and time-consuming...but it's really cool because I am essentially making 'studies' layer after layer, while not having to consume paint, canvas, materials.
    At the end of the day, they will still be digital, and won't have that awesome smell of lavender oil of spike and Canada Balsam, but they'll be pretty...I hope:)
  4. Look at:
    Its called hyper-realism. Its paint and brushes work. Anyone can do it in PS. Its also what I am starting to do. I did one last year. It took 3 months and I got paid for the three months work.

Share This Page