Beginners Guide to SFX
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From Portrait to Painting

Oct 07

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In today’s episode we turn a portrait into a wonderful work of art using Photoshop custom brushes, various filters, and mixing blending modes. The first and most important step is to start with a photograph you love because this tutorial is a bit more in-depth than a few in the past. The reason I decided to post this tutorial is because of a recent job I used these techniques for. It was a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of phlearning. You can use this processing technique as we do in today’s episode, or apply it to your own images such as graphics and action shots. This can be used in a way to spice up a portrait that needs that extra kick.

We started by using filters such as cut-out to take away from the original to make it look more like a graphic image. Then we used a custom brush to create a splatter pattern, and using the colors within the image we created a pattern that can be incorporated over the portait to look like paint. Then we created a vignette using various blending modes to achieve the desired effect.

  • Mark ODo…

    This is exactly why I am addicted to Phlearn.  Once again your technique is something I would have never thought of.  I need to stop being so conservative with the use of layers.  Thanks man!
    BTW what time is the meeting tomorrow?  I have a fun Halloween shoot scheduled but would love to catch some of the meeting if it’s early enough.

  • Beth Duri

    Here is my attempt at using those splatter brushes on a self portrait that I took yesterday. I definitely need to work on this technique. Not sure if I succeeded or not but I had fun trying :)

  • Andrea Peipe

    Crazy episode Aaron! I just tried it on the side but it looks awful because I think you need to have the right image to work with (I was just playing around). Thanks for showing us, really creative what you did there! Will try again at the weekend… 

  • Aaron Nace

    WOW, this is so good Beth

  • Ágúst

    I totally went overboard on this one. Thanks alot for the new brushes :)

  • Mariah Texidor

    Fantastic :D !

  • Mariah Texidor

    Aaron you saved my life. I have been stuck with an assignment from school that I have to illustrate a childhood memory, and I think this technique will help me so much!! Especially since it’s about children! If they come out good enough after the first few tries ( most likely after Monday) I’ll definitely post them! =D  TY!

  • Eric Burgers

    One word:  AWESOME!

  • Val-west

    Wow… Val here… that was intense but so worth it.. Here is my meger attempt at the techniques.

  • Robert Kronqvist

    Hi Phlearn, after you changed to a new videoformat (or vimeo did) i can no longer watch it on my computer. I have no problem with youtube 480p fullscreen or vimeo non hd fullscreen.. but with this new videothing, it lags alot on my small 10″ computer. I mostly use it while laying in bed watching your videos.

  • Stefano Tealdi

    It does not work anymore with the iPad.. which video service are you using now?

  • Jeni

    Here’s my attempt.  I most definitely do not have the patience to work on something like this for hours. lol  So, this is as good as it gets for about an hours worth of work. =)

  • Beth Duri

    This is beautiful Jeni! I love the colors and textures.

  • Beth Duri

    This is amazing Ágúst!!

  • Mariah Texidor

    This is really great!

  • Steffen Lund

    Great with alot of photoshopping again! :-) btw nice portfolio Christopher!

  • Demetrius Austin

    amazing work Agust…

  • Steve

    Wait wait wait…. have we lost Amelia? :0/

  • Aaron Nace

    This is so awesome Agust

  • Andrea Peipe

    Very cool work!

  • Aaron Bennett

    Wow, Chris has some real cool photo tekkers on his site. Bravo! :-)

  • Cristian Brigo

    Ciao Stefano,
    it works fine on my Ipad2, it takes a bit longer to start up but that could be my connection.

  • Stefano Tealdi

    I also have an iPad2 but it can’t load it.. damn..
    (bello parlare in inglese quando siamo entrambi italiani hahaha)

  • Anonymous

    Aaron, Do you think you could do an episode on different types of printing techniques like giclee, metallic print etc and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using those ? 

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap August, that is awesome. :)

  • Val-west

    I posted this on my flickr page and it actually made explore I was impredded to say the least….

  • Amelia Fletcher

    ahaha aaron you are a mess! like the episode though :)

  • Mike Fendt

    here is my attempt I hope you like it. 
    I used Aaron’s idea but at the end I added a white layer added a mask and painted in a the image to give it a border and a painted feel. 
    Thanks for inspiring me and im going to make a few more of these. 

  • Anonymous

    The video was not found? Would be great if you could fix it. ;)

  • James

    That was fun to play with! Love those brushes!

  • Romisz

    Love this one …. 3:43 especially :P

  • Brandon Johnson

    W.O.W – Just what I needed to see today. #late #obvious

  • Guest

    Love this painting tutorial!

  • Indah

    Loved the tutorial <3

  • Sydney Solomon

    The link to the brush does not work.

  • Kayla Pfob

    Awesome tutorial! Had so much fun with this :) would love some feedback

  • Kayla Pfob

    ahh love this!!

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