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Learn to think like a painter and render images from photographs that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the elements of an image with expressive painterly qualities, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
Here's where I'm at now in the process of adding detail to my image and you can get this file from the Exercise folder for Chapter 12. What I want to talk about now is starting to add elements that aren't in the original scene, which is yet another way to differentiate yourself from the language of photography and the language of painting. We're going away from what the camera sees and we're putting into this what our vision of what we want to see is. And at this point on one add the pedestrians into this scene.
And so here's how the process worked for doing that. There weren't any people in this scene and I needed some reference. So what I ended up doing was going out on the web and just using a Google search to find you know pedestrians or street scenes and in doing so I found several examples of people walking. So I had some anatomy reference how people walk and I actually put them on my second monitor in my studio and then here's what I did.
I did little sketchy versions based on these references that I had and I wanted to keep them intentionally very loose to go along with the rest of the style of the painting and it also once again is yet another move away from photography because these definitely are not photographic silhouettes of people. They are hand rendered in a loose style. That's what I wanted. And once I made them, I took them and I would take these and I would bring them down into the scene.
I didn't worry about when I rendered them what scale they were at. Because I knew I was going to need to rescale them anyway. And in this case I will just kind of play with this so I got a scale that seem appropriate and I am looking at kind of the height of the fire hydrant here, the size of the car which is probably a little bit further back, so this would be a little bit oversized. It's probably a little taller, maybe like this. And so I would put those into the scene. Now here is another one that's finished and the nice thing about this too is you know I can play with where I want to put this, her silhouette. It kind of stands out against the plain detail of the cab.
So I am going to put her there. I am using my arrow key here just to adjust it a little bit and I am going to put the gentleman here. And now here's how I went about coloring these. Because these are just silhouettes, I can take this layer and lock its transparency and now I can paint into this without fear of going past the edges of the already sketched out silhouette. So let's add some color to him. I am going to give some blue for his suit and I am going to take my brush and make it very small here.
So I've selected my Fan - Round Opaque Brush and sized it down a little bit. And now I am painting and as you can see, the paint doesn't go beyond the confines of the silhouette, which is perfect for what I'm doing here. So I am just going to paint him in and I am going to add a little bit of detail. But you don't want to sit here and try to you know add stripes and everything else on this. We are indicating. We are not trying to unnecessarily get every single detail on here. I am just going to take what looks like a darker blue here and just put a little bit of shadowing on this to give it a little bit of dimension.
But you can see, I mean, very little real effort is going into this. Let's see I guess the appropriately attired men. We have brown shoes, so we'll just put a little brown down there. Well, I want to get some flesh tone, so right here is a good flesh tone. I make my brush a little smaller. That's maybe a bit much, but we can darken it up a little bit. Again, just, I am not going to try to put eyes and everything. You don't need that, just enough to represent a human form. Now I am going to darken along the edge here little bit, just maybe to get little bit more profile, and now we might add a little bit of brown to the hair.
I am going to turn off the Transparency Lock and the one thing I might do here is just additionally put a briefcase in the hand, business situation. See, and here you're kind of thinking a little bit about the story of this. You know, who are these people, where are they going? Limited what you're adding, but it's just enough to give a little bit more of a story to it. Now the other thing I may do here is I am going to add another layer above and we'll just call this Highlights and this just gives me another layer now.
I am going to add little highlights to them to help pop them out a little bit from the scene. And so I am just going to grab some white and let's get a nice fine brush here, so I will get a Round Fine Opaque. And I always test one so I am just going to draw with it, and okay that's pretty good. I do notice that right now the brush is very slow, so you can see my brush all of a sudden seems to be painting in molasses and as I've told you before, if you encounter a slow brush what is the first thing you do? You look up and see if Sample All Layesr is turned on and yes it is.
So I am going to disable it. So look, now my brush is real time again. So I'll delete that from there. Now I can use this Highlight layer, just to go and I am just going to add a little bit of highlight on them. And this just helps to differentiate them from the background a bit. Merely you don't have to be necessarily accurate to any lighting source or anything. We are just adding little bits of highlight and you can see, because you reserve white only for the highlights, these are the brightest colors on the whole scene.
So the addition of these highlights, just like I've done in the cars in the background and whatnot, give these particular elements more weight visually. Without them, it sort of melt into the scene. With them they pop better. So, little highlight elements. While they are very small details, they sure do change the character of how you read these particular elements within the scene. Now that we've got two pedestrians in the scene, the one thing that's a little odd about them is just still seem to be floating the scene because they're not reflecting in this foreground.
And in order for them to see actually in the scene, they need to be appropriately reflected as are the cars and the lights and everything else. So, I'm going to grab my Move tool here and I am just going to select the man and the woman and I am going to hold down my Option key, click and drag, and make a copy of them. I don't need the highlights in this case. And then I am going to take those two layers and go to Transform and go down and say Flip Vertical and now I may want to work on each one of them individually to line them up.
But now I've got these reflections of them. However, at this point they're way too prominent. So I need to dial them down somehow and the way to do that is to first of all lower their Opacity at least to about 50%. And reflections typically are the most intense nearest the object that they are reflecting from, that's causing the reflection, and then they diffuse out as they move away. So a simple way to do that is to grab my eraser and then just take one of these, the woman in this case, and I am just going to feather that reflection out a bit.
And then we'll go to the man, same thing. If he is completely disappeared by the top of his head, that's fine. You just want to get that hint of reflection. And these are so easy to overdo. You don't want to call attention to themselves. Yet it's the kind of element, if it's not there it's noticed. There, that's nice and subtle. It's enough there to place them in that scene and dimensionally kind of give them proper weighting visually. So that reflection looks good and basically what we've done here is we've taken something that wasn't in the original and put it in there just to add an additional element of life and storyline.
In the next movie we're going to talk about the addition of the appearance of a physical surface to the painting, which gives it a sense of physicality, almost like it's a photograph of an actual physical painting.
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