Painting a Photograph
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Establish the need and fill it - RIGHT from the beginning! - What is the final objective?

painted detailBeginning with one photograph or many (as in assembling a collage) and simulating an oil or acrylic painting is very gratifying for a Digital Artist. The digital tool box available to a creative Digital Artist is extensive and broad in scope because of the widespread and inexpensive software and hardware.

1. Photo Editing

Selecting a photo out of say 10 shots of a vehicle begins the Painting process. Editing (massaging) the photo with a good Editing and Cataloging software package such as ACDSee Pro3 Manager establishes a sound base - PHOTO PAINT or Photoshop are great programs for roughing out and possibly inserting new detail from other shots into the Artwork (particularly for a Collage) - I may change the wheels, paint out the front license plate, insert something red into the background, etc - Enhancing the qualities of a good photograph has few boundaries, you are able to stretch and push all the visual content parameters which I call “massaging the process” - blurring out or replacing the background of the principal subject, adjusting the angles of perspective (accentuate the positive!) - fade the shadows (horizon depth), manipulate color saturation and tone, even fading colors (transparency) - 3D-ing a photo by multi layering transparencies and erasing center point highlights and shadows – backlighting a Head Shot – lots to do!

2. Painting

painted detail

Having experience as an artist producing Watercolors, Oils, Acrylics and Charcoals utilizing brushes, pallet knives, air brush, charcoal, etc. is an advantage starting out with a Digital Art software program like Corel Painter. The program can make you look good at the start but it will pull you back as you realize how few of the capabilities you are utilizing – There are thousands of tools and materials at your disposal but learning how to use them properly and developing technique requires plain old hard work – The beauty of working on a computer allows the Artist virtually unlimited scope in creativity.

3. Printing

Printing your Digital Art is a different matter – The easy part of the process is done and the real work starts with the Printing - The texture of the canvas and brush details will not show until you print a minimum 19”w x 13”h, plus a margin area large enough to show brush detail fade off and paper or canvas texture’s can offer in-house printing up to 24x36 inches - utilizing Epson inks with a lifecycle of 100 years on paper or canvas of high quality and various textures, thickness, weight and finishes.

4. Framing

Framing your piece of Digital Art is the final step and it should take some serious thought – The Artwork should be displayed properly and I usually recommend that you go to a professional framing facility if the print is larger than 19”x13” - I can offer very nice frames with plastic instead of glass (essential for shipping) if standard sizing is maintained - The quality is excellent and sets off the Art very well - I ship framed art across North America and experienced no damage.

car painting
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finished painting