There is a particular style of art I really like, which is a combination of watercolour and sketch. My Pinterest board has many of these images, all done by talented artists, of which I am not one, when it comes to using real paints.
Rebelle is software that digitally produces a realistic watercolour effect. It is *so* real, that I have actually spent the last few weeks learning how to use actual watercolour paints, so that I could understand and use the software better. Which has been a fun and interesting experiment in and of itself.
The above image was one supplied to Awake students by Gary Henderson, and is a lovely lighthouse, very unlike the shorter squat ones we have in NZ.
How I made this:
- Bring original photo into Rebelle, load up a colour tracing layer and then paint in the watercolour layer over the painting. It automatically picks up the colours of the image which makes this a LOT easier. Painted everything except the sky.
- Open PS and bring a jpg file of the lighthouse file up, add in three separate layers, and using special watercolour brushes paint in the sky, sampling colours from the original image
- Layer in the sketch made of original photo in Akvis Sketch over the top, and remove excess sketch elements and soften sketch effect to be less overpowering.
It is far from perfect but it has achieved the effect I was after. My biggest challenge is painting large areas of sky with Rebelle, the maximum brush size was simply too small and I couldnt manage a soft wash without too many brush edges looking obvious. This did not please me aesthetically.
However the specialty watercolour brushes I had bought recently worked very well in filling up the sky with softer blends of colours. Three different brushes were used to give a bit of depth and softness.
Finally the sketch layer adds the structure to the image to bring it all together and make it whole.
This isn’t a technique I am going to use a lot, it really only suits certain images. Plus all that fiddly painting was giving me terrible hand cramps!
It might seem like a lot of work to turn a photo into a painting, there are easier options, but I personally like the authenticity of the watercolour style done this way.
Do you like it? Perhaps too fussy for you? Got some painting tips to share?