I wanted to give my father-in-law a canvas print for his birthday and chose a photo of my granddaughter playing her violin with him in his living room. But the lighting wasn’t great (the original was very dark) and the background distracting, so I found a photo of the lake from their back deck and tried to see if I could merge the two pictures.
Here’s the original photograph:
This is the lake view that I wanted to modify for a background:
I started by cutting out the two figures in Photoshop:
It looks funny right now, but that will be cleaned up later. Next I open Corel Painter (this was done in X3). I make a clone of the edited photo and begin using brushes to get the look I want (I use chalk, pastel and camel oil cloners).
I begin refining and simplifying some of the background and trees by using brushes directly, just as if I were painting on a canvas. There are so many options – every type of brush and medium you can imagine!
This is the final painting…I called it “Sunrise, Sunset” and he loved it 🙂
Because this was sent to a printing service to be put on a stretched canvas, I used a transform tool in Photoshop to extend the painting over the sides of the canvas. This is what it looked like when I emailed it to the printer – I left the gallery wrap edges transparent so you can see how I stretched the image. The image was 16″ x 20″ at 200 dpi and I extended it 2″ on each side for wrapping. The actual file was full color. Some printing services will do the wrap extension for you, or you can choose a solid color for the sides.
If you’re a traditional artist, this is a great way to plan your composition and then use as a reference for your painting.