How to Transform an Image into a Stylized Painting

Follow the steps below to learn how to transform your image and achieve this effect

1. Open up your selected image in Photoshop, double click on the background image in the layers pallette, when the window box appears click ok. (This will unlock your background and make it editable)

2. Select the magic wand tool from the left hand toolbar and then click on the area you want to remove. Once the area has been selected press delete. You can change the tolerance number which is located on the toolbar directly above the image to make the selection area larger or smaller.

Magic wand tool

3. Zoom in to around 200% - 300% and use the eraser tool to remove any remaining areas of the background.

4. Next click open and search for your new background file, I got my background from www.sxc.hu with is a great site to source free images for using in your graphic designs. Once you have opened your new background use the move tool to drag and drop it onto your original image.

Inserting new background

5. Then click edit > free transform, this will allow you to resize the new background to fit the size of the original image. Press enter to save the changes and then drag the new background layer to the bottom of the layers palette. You should end up with something that looks like this.

After inserting new background

6. Now we are going to add a filter effect to make the image look more painterly. Click filter > filter gallery and choose the watercolour option from the artistic folder. Play around with the sliders until you have achieved a result you are happy with. Then repeat this for the other layer to ensure both layers have the watercolour effect applied.

Paint effect

7. To help make the two layers more harmonious in colour and tone you can add a curves layer by clicking adjustments > curves in the right hand side.

Curves layer

8. Next we are going to add a new layer and fill it with 50% gray, this layer will be used for painting in highlights and shadows. To paint the highlights select the paintbrush with the colour white and begin painting in your highlights, you can change the opacity of the brush if the effect is to harsh. Do the same for the shadows but with the colour black selected. You can change the size of the brush to do detailed shadows and highlights also to create a greater depth to the image

50% gray layer

Highlights and Shadows

9. Finally you can select image > adjustments and alter the vibrance and contrast of the final image to add to the overall dramatic effect of the image.

 Final image

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