My digital paintings begin as digital photos. I use Corel Painter Essentials, Photoshop PS5, and Topaz Filters to transform them into digital paintings.
1. Using Photoshop, I clean up the photo, sharpen detailed areas and removing anything I do not want in the final painting. Re-size to desired printing size. Save and exit.
2. Open the edited photo in Corel Painter Essentials and decide the style of painting to create. Configure the painting process. Pick textures, Brush sizes, canvas styles, etc. Start the auto paint process. Stop the process when the photo details are starting to take shape, leaving some unpainted areas.
There are many brush styles and settings to customize the look. Use the manual paint brushes to brush in the unpainted areas and blend the rough transitions. I work the detailed areas to clean up any unwanted brush strokes.
When the painting is almost finished add the texture and lighting effects. Depending on the desired look I may use more than one type of painting style in Painter.
Save as RIF and PSD formats. Close the app.
3. Open the PSD file in Photoshop. Remove any unwanted effects from the painting. The painted layer and the original photo layers are both included in the PSD file. I apply multiple Topaz filters to enhance the painting layer to my liking.
Once I'm happy with the effect. I move the painted layer above the original photo layer and set the painted layer mode to overlay. Turn on the original photo layer on and lower the fill opacity to 10-30% to bring some of the detail back into the image but not enough to over power the painted layer.
This process may be repeated to increase more detail. Add a new layer on top and add my logo. I made a custom brush of my logo to make it easier to reproduce. Save the PSD file and then save a JPG version for DA.
This is the condense version. The painting portion often has hundreds of steps of brush strokes.