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Thread: From Photos to Painting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    From Photos to Painting

    I am a keen amateur photographer who can't paint a lick.

    I own a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and can use it to some 'arty' things to my photos. But maybe ArtRage can do more ...

    I was wondering if ArtRage would be a useful tool for turning a pretty good photo into a pretty good painting (if used by someone who can't paint a lick).

    If so, any tutorials/examples?

    TIA for any replies


    Rex Boggs

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ambient Design
    Hi rexboggs5,
    ArtRage has the ability to load a photograph as a tracing paper, overlaid on your canvas as you work. As you start a stroke, ArtRage can choose the colour from the tracing paper. So even if you just do lots of random splots of paint, you'll end up with a painted (quite impressionistic) version of your photograph.
    But you can do better than that by following the contours and edges with your brush to make it less random.
    If people who can't paint at all (me, for example!) can produce great results by using the tracing feature.

    Try the Starter edition of ArtRage 2.5 It's free for download and use, and it has the tracing feature.
    You can download the Starter edition of ArtRage from here:
    AndyRage's mantra for graphics engine code:
    "Sure - how hard can it be?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tiffin, OH USA
    Hi Rex. Yes, by all means try the free version and bear in mind that for what it would cost you to develop and print a roll of film, you can buy the full version ... $25 US. With it you can do even more like have a reference image to look at while you paint from which you can pick colors just for starters and not to mention all of the stencils etc. You say you can't paint but, you may surprise yourself. ArtRage is very intuitive and powerful and there are all grades of ability who use it ... many of whom have surprised themselves by discovering talents they didn't know they had. And don't say "can't".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Most people do not realize this, but painting from a photograph is more challenging than painting from nature, not less. It is certainly out of reach of someone who does not have the painting skills - the result will be obvious as a filtered or painted-over photo.

    So no, no program can substitute for the skill. It's an illusion. :) But you can try to learn the skill.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I use the tracing feature simply to `gesture', just to give me an idea of where to place the main features, points of interest etc. In a portrait for example this would just be the location of the eyes, ears, shape of face..... then I delete it and just go for it. This programme is extraordinary - it just seems to unleash my creativity. I do find a photo reference is helpful though and I use the zoom here a lot, esp. when painting eyes which are so expressive. It's a great feature.

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