Creating a Work of Art from a Photograph

Have you ever looked at one of your photos and said to yourself "Wow, that almost looks like a painting"? Did you know there are techniques that can transform that photo into a watercolor or pen and ink painting or charcoal drawing? And then it can be printed on canvas or fine art watercolor paper for that true art feel and permanence.

Photography today is bridging the gap between "fine art photography" and simply "fine art". What takes a painter days, weeks and months to create a painting masterpiece, a photograph can be transformed into a watercolor, a pen and ink drawing and even a charcoal drawing in a few hours. And many if these techniques can be applied to the same image. It all depends on how you want to "interpret" your art work.

Adobe PhotoShop offer many wonderful filter tools and it simply requires a little bit of time and experimentation to learn how to use some of these to enhance your photographs. Adding a little "noise" or Gaussian Blur "to an image can do wonders to transform a photo.

As you become familiar with many of these filter tools, you will soon discover that you will want to apply certain tools to different parts of your image. An easy way to do this is to select an area of ​​your photo that you want to apply an effect and "cut it" from the main photo and copy it into a new folder. When you have done this, you can work on each part of the image independently. When you completed your effects to the part you had cut away, simply copy it back into the original image and move it to the proper location. It literally "snaps" into place when you line it up with where it needs to be.

Photoshop Elements has some wonderful "Effects" tools and experiment with some of these to see what they can do with your image. Ahhh, and when you have created some masterpieces, try converting them into black and white or select portions of your image as black and white while other portions remain in color. You will get a "painted effect" on the color portion.

Another interesting fact of transforming these photographs in this way is that you are literally altering the pixels of the image. This allows you to enlarge the image far greater without the image resolution loss that you would experience with a normal photo. For example, we have applied some techniques to an image taken on an 8 megapixel digital camera and have then printed that image at 30 x 40 inches on canvas and it is stunning … and it can easily go larger.