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Adapting color in a photograph for photo painting

From: Painter 11 Essential Training

Video: Adapting color in a photograph for photo painting

When you think about photographic and paint, the color comes from really two very different sources. Photographic prints are composed of dye layers whereas paintings are composed of pigments. And so what happens is, each of these mediums has very different, in some cases, colors that are represented in the image. Now, the image I have got called up right now is a photograph. So, it's got photographic colors in it and if I were to translate this into a painting, I would want to do some things and I'm going to go ahead and make a copy of this, so we'll be able to compare these.

Adapting color in a photograph for photo painting

When you think about photographic and paint, the color comes from really two very different sources. Photographic prints are composed of dye layers whereas paintings are composed of pigments. And so what happens is, each of these mediums has very different, in some cases, colors that are represented in the image. Now, the image I have got called up right now is a photograph. So, it's got photographic colors in it and if I were to translate this into a painting, I would want to do some things and I'm going to go ahead and make a copy of this, so we'll be able to compare these.

So, I'm going to do a Command+A or Ctrl+A for select all, then I'm going to do a Command+C or Ctrl+C to copy, then Command+V or Ctrl+V to paste and now in our Layers palette, we have got the original and then one that I can change so we'll be able to compare them. So, one of the first things that you have to consider is that pigment based paint has much more vibrance and much more saturation than your typical painting can ever have in it. So, one of the advantages of paint is it's not constrained by this dye based memory of photography that we tend to encode in our mind, so that we have a very specific sort of sensibility about what represents photographic color.

So, one of the first things I do to an image prior to painting is, I increase its Saturation. I'm just going to go up to the Effects menu here under Tonal Control and if you go to under Adjust Colors, you will find the controls for this and this is where I can adjust my saturation up. Now you do need to kind of look in this little window here to find it and again from a photography point of view, people will be cringing and going, oh, wow! Look he is really over saturating that, but you have to do that in order for this, as a photograph we look at it and it's like, wow! Way too over saturated, but as a painting, those colors aren't necessarily overly saturated at all and the other thing that we can do here is when you think about this is selective blurring or selective reducing the information about the things and what I want to do is the subject to this painting really is the wild flowers here, just were brilliant on the mountain, when I was up shooting and I don't want all of these colors to necessarily be as important.

And so there is a couple of things I could do. One of the things I'll do here is I'm going to go Painter's Blenders, actually I'm going to go down to Painter's Photo Brushes and one of the photo brushes here is Blur. So, I'm going to grab blur and I'm going to resize that up here in the Property bar and I'm just going to go in here and blur this out a little bit. So, it's something that I didn't do in the camera quite so much, I can do it here and I think you will see in just even a moment how much this starts to get your eye to read this foreground much more so than the background and you don't have to do this so that it looks photographically correct.

It's more a preliminary step towards changing this into a painting and by having already somewhat pre-blur these areas out. I can start to reduce the importance. Once again, in this kind of situation, I don't have the lighting control like I would on a stage so much. I want to retain the look of outdoor lighting. So, it's obviously important here to keep this looking basically photographic, but I don't necessarily need to do it to the point that it looks photographically correct and that's another thing.

It's real easy to sometimes keep yourself in that photographic vocabulary when you really don't have to. So, some of these things even though, they are not true to the photograph, have a tendency to work in terms of what you do for the painting and one of the things I've developed, the more I go out and shoot photograph with an intent towards painting them is, you develop a sensibility that you can almost look through the camera and still see what it is you want to do as a painting and the more you learn how to do that, and it does take time in going through several iterations of interpreting a photograph into a painting, the more you do this, the more you build the machinery to be able to almost apply a painting filter as you are out of photographing, so that you can see what you want to end up with prior to ever painting it.

Now, another thing I want to talk about in terms of saturation is what happens when you start painting and a good example brush here might be in the Artist's Oils brush, I'm going to go down here and get the Grainy Blender. And I'm going to start to just kind of paint in here and I want to show you what happens when you start to mix these areas, because we are taking these highly saturated colors and we are blending them together. So, what once were individual saturated colors, are beginning to get dulled down by the fact that they are getting mixed- up and we'll just kind of go back into here, but you can see that the saturation starts to get diminished in this and that's why sometimes even over saturating may seem like it's too much but the fact that you are going in here and actually softening this area up and how far you might take this, could vary, I'm doing this more to demonstrate to you how much the colors get dulled down by mixing.

You may or may not want to diminish the background so much that you almost don't know what it is but even now, you can see, this still reads as a mountain scene with a very, just kind of diminished background back here. We are starting to figure out how to make the flowers really be the stars of the show here. Just by blending, blurring, they retain their saturation, the saturation of the background has been dulled down through painting and I'm not going to try to finish this off, but I want to give enough so that if we go and look at the before and after, you can see already how we have taken it from those photographic colors into a much more painterly space.

The addition of brush strokes now and the softening down of those colors, this starts to have a much more painterly feel to it than the original photograph it came from. So, Color Adaptation is just pushing colors more towards pigmented color and away from photographic, and kind of dye based colors so that you end up with an image, which is going to have a much more painted look to it because we are transposing that vocabulary of the color that we associate with the photography with the saturated color that we associate with painting.

Color Adaptation, use it.

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This video is part of

Image for Painter 11 Essential Training
Painter 11 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 12151 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome/demo
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files
      55s
  2. 3m 45s
    1. What Painter can do
      1m 15s
    2. Let's paint!
      2m 30s
  3. 23m 16s
    1. Starting Painter for the first time
      6m 39s
    2. Creating, opening, and saving files
      4m 52s
    3. Sizing image resolution for output
      6m 16s
    4. Extending the canvas
      2m 36s
    5. Creating and using templates
      2m 53s
  4. 37m 46s
    1. Navigating Painter
      8m 46s
    2. Rotating the canvas
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Tool palette and Property bar
      6m 41s
    4. Understanding Tool palette selectors
      8m 58s
    5. The Brush Selector bar: an art store in a palette
      4m 2s
    6. Configuring palettes
      6m 16s
  5. 28m 37s
    1. Accessing and controlling color with the Color palette
      8m 27s
    2. Mixing color in the Mixer palette
      10m 41s
    3. Color sets: choose 'n' use color
      9m 29s
  6. 37m 13s
    1. Understanding the six axes of motion
      3m 19s
    2. Introducing tablets: Intuos3 and Intuos4
      8m 6s
    3. Introducing tablets: Cintiq
      7m 49s
    4. Customizing your Wacom tablet: part 1
      4m 57s
    5. Customizing your Wacom tablet: part 2
      9m 25s
    6. Maximizing your tablet's pressure response
      3m 37s
  7. 14m 56s
    1. Understanding the selection tools
      2m 16s
    2. Making selections using the Lasso tool
      3m 20s
    3. Making polygonal selections
      2m 51s
    4. Making selections using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 29s
  8. 42m 34s
    1. Understanding layers
      8m 1s
    2. Using the Preserve Transparency control
      2m 50s
    3. Using the Pick Up Underlying Color control
      4m 36s
    4. Resizing and rotating layers using the Transform tool
      5m 45s
    5. Making selections using channels
      4m 23s
    6. Working with layer masks
      9m 52s
    7. Adding text
      7m 7s
  9. 37m 40s
    1. Understanding the Brush Creator workspace
      6m 11s
    2. Exploring brush properties using the Randomizer
      8m 15s
    3. Exploring brush properties using the Transposer
      4m 45s
    4. Using the Stroke Designer to create custom brushes
      9m 39s
    5. Managing brush variants
      8m 50s
  10. 38m 24s
    1. Adjusting brush size: three techniques
      3m 3s
    2. Fine-tuning your stroke in the Brush Controls palette
      5m 12s
    3. Working with texture-aware media
      8m 59s
    4. Painting with Artists' Oils brushes
      10m 45s
    5. Painting with RealBristle brushes
      3m 39s
    6. Working with hard media
      4m 57s
    7. Painting with markers
      1m 49s
  11. 20m 21s
    1. Understanding the Image Hose
      3m 26s
    2. Controlling the Image Hose
      8m 32s
    3. Creating a nozzle file
      8m 23s
  12. 22m 11s
    1. Warmup exercises
      7m 54s
    2. Draftsmanship: drawing media
      10m 56s
    3. Doodling
      43s
    4. Creating outline sketches utilizing the conceptual squint
      2m 38s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Understanding cloning
      3m 1s
    2. Tracing a clone's source using Tracing Paper
      3m 27s
    3. Painting a cloned image
      5m 55s
    4. Creating a Quick Clone
      2m 46s
    5. In-document cloning
      2m 19s
  14. 25m 51s
    1. Understanding the vocabularies of paint photography
      8m 51s
    2. You must destroy detail
      6m 20s
    3. Focusing on the subject
      4m 1s
    4. Adapting color in a photograph for photo painting
      6m 39s
  15. 28m 16s
    1. Under-painting
      6m 26s
    2. Auto-painting
      5m 25s
    3. Using manual controls for auto-painting
      11m 53s
    4. Restoring detail using the Restoration palette
      4m 32s
  16. 18m 44s
    1. The photo as wet oil paint
      6m 47s
    2. Cloning the canvas and building detail with multiple layers
      11m 57s
  17. 25m 57s
    1. Applying surface texture
      6m 53s
    2. Matching the color palette between two images
      4m 10s
    3. Marbling
      9m 27s
    4. Exploring the Growth effect
      5m 27s
  18. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding frame-by-frame animation
      2m 9s
    2. Creating an animation with onion-skinning
      11m 51s
    3. Using a movie clone source
      11m 10s
  19. 17m 47s
    1. Using each application for its strengths
      4m 24s
    2. Working with Photoshop's PSD file format in Painter and Photoshop
      4m 52s
    3. Configuring color management
      8m 31s
  20. 33m 25s
    1. Setting preferences
      7m 37s
    2. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      5m 5s
    3. Saving and restoring palette layouts
      4m 3s
    4. Creating custom palettes
      3m 36s
    5. Accessing favorite brushes using the Tracker palette
      5m 55s
    6. Organizing custom workspaces
      7m 9s
  21. 8m 17s
    1. Undo, undo, undo
      3m 33s
    2. Painting on layers
      1m 57s
    3. Save often, save early
      2m 47s
  22. 10m 7s
    1. Resetting brushes: Painter's panic button
      2m 0s
    2. Resetting workspaces with the Shift key restart
      6m 12s
    3. Troubleshooting brushes with the brush checklist
      1m 55s
  23. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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