Painting Landscapes from Photos

BLACK FRIDAY STARTS EARLY. Save up to 40%!   See offers

Painting Landscapes from Photos

Many professional photographers and hobbyists find that they enjoy editing their photos in Adobe® Photoshop®; from changing tones and colors to adding filters or special effects. Many are discovering the joy of taking this photo editing a step further and painting their photos using Corel Painter and a Wacom® tablet.

In this tutorial you’re going to see how I turned a landscape photo I took in Cambria, CA into a painting in Corel Painter.

Sp1
Sp2

Photo and painting by Karen Sperling

When you paint a painting from a photo, it’s a good idea to keep in mind traditional art concepts used by master landscape artists throughout the ages. These include:

1. Eliminate details

Eliminate details in the painting compared to the photo. Here’s what the original photo looked like.

Sp3

It had a lot of details, which I eliminated by cropping the photo in Photoshop.
Cropping the photo also helped with the rule of thirds, the next art concept to keep in mind.

2. Rule of Thirds

Follow the rule of thirds, which recommends that your subject falls on the imaginary folds if the canvas were folded in thirds.

After the photo was cropped, the rocks in front fell approximately on the intersection of the imaginary folds, represented by the blue circles, becoming the clear subject.

Sp4

3. Choose a color scheme

One of the differences between a photo and a painting is that a painting has a chosen color scheme. I chose a color scheme by opening the photo in Painter and looking at it next to a color wheel. I decided to use an adjacent color scheme, using colors next to each other from red-orange to blue-green on the color wheel.

Sp5

In Painter, I chose File: Quick Clone. This created a copy, or clone, of the photo and deleted the contents of the copy so that I had a blank canvas to paint on. By cloning the photo, I set up Painter to allow me to turn on Tracing Paper, which lets me see a 50 percent non-printing ghost of the photo. I press “command” on Mac, or “Ctrl” on Windows and type a “T” to turn on Tracing Paper. Repeat to turn off Tracing Paper.

I chose the Oils brush category and the Real Oils Smeary variant. I chose a shade of burnt sienna, or brown, in the Colors palette. I began to paint, creating a tonal painting, which is a traditional art technique to show the areas of light and dark to use as a guideline for colors later. Lift and paint to paint darker tones; scribble to paint lighter ones.

Adjust the Size slider in the Property Bar to change the width of brushstrokes.

Next I started adding color using the same brush.

Sp6

At this point, I used four variants of the Oils brush category and painted the rocks in the foreground, the plants and the shoreline in the background.

I outlined with the Fine Camel variant, made distinct brushstrokes with the Real Tapered Bristle, painted smooth oily strokes with the Oily Bristle and blended in places with the Real Oils Smeary variant. I also blended with the Blenders Just Add Water variant a little, but I didn’t blend a lot because I wanted the brushstrokes to be visible.

Here you see the rocks at various stages in the painting from left to right, including the final, all the way to the right.

Sp8

I was playing around less with the brushstrokes and more with getting the highlights, mid-tones and shadows right, based on the photo, and using the colors in my adjacent color scheme.
I used the Artists Impressionist variant to paint the water. I blocked in areas of color, and I put in lines of light and dark based on where I saw highlights and shadows in the photo by lowering the Jitter slider in the Property Bar and painting.

Then I blended in places with the Blenders Water Rake.

Sp9

And that’s how I turned a landscape photo into a painting in Corel Painter!

We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

See what's new in Painter 2020!

Download your FREE 30-day trial and see for yourself why Painter is the top choice of artists worldwide, with dozens of new brushes and art materials for all types of artists.


Related Tutorials


Tools You Need

Painter 2020

Envision painting perfection with the world’s most realistic and professional digital art and painting software for Mac and Windows.

ParticleShop

Create one-of-a-kind effects with ParticleShop, a powerful NEW brush plugin for PhotoShop, CorelDRAW and PaintShop Pro.

Painter Essentials 7

Start your creative journey with Painter Essentials 7, the best paint program for beginners to explore their artistic curiosity using easy-to-learn tools.

Wacom Intuos Pro Large

This 17″ super-slim tablet offers the perfect drawing space and natural creative control for illustration, editing or digital design.


Related Images

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Get a FREE creative pack!

Get a FREE creative pack!

Sign up for our newsletter and get a free creative pack plus the latest tips, tutorials, and special offers in your inbox each week.

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for your email confirmation and free creative content pack.