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Creating a Watercolor from a Photograph

This tutorial came from my entering a challenge at who provided the original picture to work with. Procedures will vary from picture to picture depending on the lighting, colors and content. This procedure worked for this image.

1. Open your image and duplicate your background layer.

2. Since paintings are more "fuzzy" then photographs, give this image a motion blur of 10 and angle of 0 because most of the lines in the photograph are horizontal.

3. To textures the image a little, apply an underpaint: click Filter=>artistic=>underpaint. Settings used were lighting from the top left, where light was coming from in this image. The brush size was 4, coverage 15, and with sandstone. This defined some lines, yet blended some rich colors.

5. Use the watercolor filter to blend the colors better within the lines by clicking Filter=>artistic=>watercolor.. All lighting for the painting effects was from top left to go with the original lighting. Set detail to 11, shadow intensity to 0 because the shadows are intense on this picture in the foreground already. and texture 2 to bring out the textures of the waves.

6. The picture needed the levels adjusted to lighten it up. I did not want the contrast increased, so I only adjusted the upper arrow setting to 180 (settings 0,1.0,180). Click on the background layer and Insert a New layer. Fill this layer with white.

7. Watercolor paintings rarely go to the edge of the paper. Created a rectangular marquee around the outside of the image, about 50 pixels from the edge, using a feather of 50. Inverse the selection. Using a spatter brush for the eraser, set at 75%, use horizontal strokes to erase the edges, going into the image. Since the feather was for 50, it allows strokes into the image, making it look more realistic.

8. Click Select=>unselect. Then it needs to to have the texture like watercolor paper so apply texturizer by clicking Filter=>texture=>texturizer,  set to sandstone, magnified to 200%. relief 4. The light again was from the upper left.

9. The big wave in the background was bleached out and created a hole in the canvas. Use a 27 pixel spatter brush to draw a curved line, or twirl on a new layer in the middle of the white area. Resize the curves smaller using the move tool and bounding boxes. Duplicate it twice, resizing each to fit. then set each to opacity 9, 10 and 14.


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