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How to Create a Painterly Portrait in Photoshop

What makes a painterly portrait painterly, and how do you create a painterly portrait in Photoshop?

Is it the glowy photoshop effect? The texture? The contrast? Brushstrokes? As with most art, defining painterly portraits using photoshop is subjective; what do you think defines a painterly portrait? 

If you are looking for an easy way to create a painterly portrait in photoshop, try actions!

Painterly Photoshop Actions are a great way to enhance your image. They take the guesswork out of the tools you need to use in Photoshop. Try adding the layer mask so that the desired effect shows only where you want it. Using actions speeds up your editing workflow and saves you time with your editing!

This fine art image was created using multiple tools in Adobe Photoshop. The dark areas have been lightened and a matte effect has been applied; a dodge and burn technique has been used to enhance shadows and highlights. In Photoshop, the curves tool and selective color were used. As a result, the image was given more dimension and the color was altered.

Painterly Editing Tutorial

Step by step instructions for this Fall Fern Fine Art portrait can be found in the Summerana Academy

Finding inspiration from artists that paint is one way to learn how to use light to enhance a photograph.

Have you looked at art by Bob Ross, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn or Norman Rockwell? Look at how they use light to enhance and draw attention to parts of the image. See how some painters images almost jump out from the page with their painting style? Is that the technique you are looking to recreate? There are some other places you can find inspiration for your images: see more places here.

Painting Portraits Using Photoshop

This image is the second of a 2-part editing tutorial. Learn the techniques of nostalgic and vintage art in this tutorial series in the Summerana Academy

Manipulating an image to create a surreal effect in addition to using photoshop actions to create soft skin can create a painterly portrait in Photoshop. Secondly, you can use the liquify tool to exaggerate features and add volume to hair. Additionally, this will help the eyes stand out in this image by adding extra eyelashes. Lastly, dodge & burn plus the curves tool helped to add shine and enhance the bright areas and darken the shadows.

Surreal Photoshop Portrait

The editing tutorial for this surreal portrait is available in the Summerana Academy

Are you ready to create a painterly portrait? We would love to see your painterly photographs. Show us by sharing your images to our Facebook group, or tagging us on social media.

Here, we reveal more secrets to creating a painterly portrait. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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