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If you've ever reproduced a photograph with an inkjet printer, you've most likely learned the lesson that, as output size increases, greater image resolution is required. Most of us learned this lesson the hard way, by printing a low resolution image at a large size. The result is a blurry rendition of the image that looked sharp and crisp on-screen. The prevailing rule of thumb is that a photograph destined for printing must contain sufficient resolution for output at a specific size. These are wise words when printing a photograph, but you'll be surprised to learn that you can cheat this supposed commandment when interpreting a photo into a painting.
So what I want to do here is enlarge this image, so I can print a very large size of it out when I print it on a inkjet printer. And let's take a look at the current image size. So, 240 is a good resolution for inkjet printing, and right now if I printed this image out it would be roughly sixteen by ten inches, which is okay, but I want a larger image. In fact, I want this to be twice as large. So I'm going to go ahead and break this commandment, and I'm going to take this and make this 200%. So it's going to be essentially twice as large as it was.
So let's go ahead and apply that, and let's go up to 100%, and sure enough, there it is. Look at it. It's kind of soft and fuzzy. This would not make a good print. But here is the beauty of working with painting. For a photographic output, this is insufficient, and we can see it right in the image itself. It's too soft. However, we are going to be replacing this image with brush strokes. Now, they're still made up of pixels, but when we start applying brush strokes at this newer resolution, the brush strokes are now going to be the carrier of the resolution.
And being applied at this resolution, it's going to work out just fine, and let me show you what I mean. Here's a sample. This image has been resized to 200%, and if we look over here, you can see, here's the painted version of that image. Because all of this photographic softened detail has literally been replaced, and this color's been used in the brush strokes, this looks fine. This is absolutely perfect, sharp, crisp resolution for an image twice the resolution that we've been working at. So the lesson to be learned here is that, while you do need to have a specific starting resolution with a photograph when you're going to print it out to a specific size, you can actually take advantage of the fact that you are going to be replacing photographic detail with brush strokes in your final image.
And by enlarging the image prior to the application of brush strokes, you can take this image, which, yes I totally agree, not sufficient resolution for large output as I want to do, but after I've applied the brush strokes to it once I've enlarged it, it's perfect. So this is at trick you can use. You don't necessarily have to have a high resolution image to start with when you're painting. Certainly the smaller the image it is and the larger you enlarge it, the more softer and blurry this is going to become, but remember that you are just using this as a palette of color that is going to be interpreted through the brush strokes.
So that soft, blurry image, when that color's picked up and funneled through the brush stroke, it's going to become a nice, sharp, finished image at the higher resolution. So, keep in mind that this is a nice little trick you can use to get around this supposed resolution limit that you're faced with when you're normally printing with a photograph.
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