Today I have a really fun arty tutorial for Photoshop/PSE and I think you will love it!
I adore using artistic plug-ins and filters on my images. I applied the Topaz Impression Photoshop/PSE plug-in (app) on some of my images to decorate my newly painted laundry room. You can see one of them below. Pretty, right? Once I hang them up I will post a photo of my wall.
I know these artistic filters can also be lovely on portraits, but sometimes you don't want your model "painted". I love the painted background in the image below, but the girl looks a bit freaky, right?
This tutorial today is inspired by the Disney "Mary Poppins" movie. We recently watched it again because I love the effect of the live characters against the beautiful painted backgrounds. The penguins make me swoon! I realized that this method would be easy to duplicate in Photoshop/PSE and would be stunning on portraits.
So today I am going to show you my method to create beautiful artistic painted portraits that you can proudly hang up and impress your friends and family. You can also use this on still life images or any image where you want to mix reality with fantasy. Heck, this type of editing might even become your "thing" and clients will beg for it. ;-) Just imagine, a huge gallery print canvas of your children edited using this technique, hanging over your fireplace.
CoffeeShop "Mary Poppins" Fantasy Portrait Painted Background Tutorial:
1. Open your image. I am using several beautiful portraits from Jill Wellington (Blog, Facebook) in this tutorial.
Make a duplicate of your image (Ctrl-J). Add a white layer mask to this layer and click to select the image on that layer, not the mask. We are going to apply the Topaz Impression filter on the top copy so we can mask out the girl later.
2. Paint: Click on Filter on top and go down until you see Topaz Labs and then select Topaz Impression. NOTE: If you don't have Topaz Impression you can use any of the Filter Gallery options in Photoshop/PSE that apply a painterly effect.
For this image I picked Degas Dancers I. Topaz Impression gives you a huge variety of artistic options, and if you click on the little menubar on the upper right you can fine-tune each setting or create your own personal settings. I made no adjustments to Degas Dancers I. Press OK to accept the edit.
3. Mask out Girl: I turned off the painted layer on top and used the Quick Selection Tool (W, under the magic wand) to select the girl on the Background. Once I selected her I turned back on the top painted layer and clicked on the white layer mask and filled the selection with black. I want to remove the painted effect off the girl completely so only the background is affected.
Alternatively, you can keep both layers on, click on the layer mask of the top painted version, and use a soft black brush to paint out the girl.
As you can see, the girl is completely realistic and only the background is painted.
4. Vignette: I love to darken the edges a bit, so I added a Levels adjustment layer on top, put it in Multiple blending mode and used a black soft brush to click on the girl to make sure she was not darkened. I lowered the opacity so the edges weren't too dark. Now she really "pops".
5. Artistic Color: Now you can start playing with the painted background color if you want. I found this painted background too green, so I added and grouped a Levels adjustment layer above the painted background. Any color changes in this layer won't affect the girl as she is masked out on the grouped layer below (see screenshot above).
In this Levels layer I selected the red drop-down and moved the white highlight slider to the left to add some red to the highlights. I then selected the blue drop-down and moved the bottom Output Levels to the right to add blues to the shadows.
This is a neat way to split-tone a colored image and I love the effect on this image. What lovely colors!
Fantasy Color: If you want your background to appear even more magical like the "Mary Poppins" movie, there is an easy coloring trick using the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and I have posted a step-by-step "Fantasy Color" tutorial here.
In this image, instead of the Levels adjustment layer I added a Hue/Saturation layer grouped to the painted layer and moved the Master control to +83 (adds pink) and the Saturation to +11.
Then I painted out the pink effect from the grass (soft black brush on the layer mask of the Hue/Saturation layer) and then added the pink back on a few of the bushes in the grass. This is such a pretty edit!
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