Sunrise, Sunset – Combining Subjects in Photoshop and Corel Painter

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:

Violin Crop 1

Violin Crop 2

I pasted the two figures in over the lake photo and played with the proportions until they looked correct.Pasting in the Subjects

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 🙂

Sunrise, Sunset

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.

Sunrise, Sunset Gallery Wrap

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