It’s easy to transform your landscape photographs into the look of impressionist paintings with the use of the “Match Color” feature, along with some filters and adjustment layers.
- For the color palette, we’ll use the impressionist painting “Sunset in Venice” by Claude Monet. You can download the painting from a link I provide in the video description or project files. In order to use it for your color palette, the painting file needs to opened in Photoshop.
- Open a photo that you would like to transform into an impressionist painting. You should now have two documents open in Photoshop: the Monet painting and your photo.
- To achieve the best results, your photo may need to be resized. Go to Image > Image Size. Make its Resolution: 150 ppi and its Height: 720 pixels. Don’t be concerned with its Width. To fit the photo onto your screen, press Ctrl + 0 on Windows or Cmd + 0 on a Mac.
- Make two copies of your photo by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J, twice. Go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. Make the Luminance and Color Intensity: 100 and the Fade: 0. Open “Source” and choose “Monet”. Then, click OK.
- We’re ready to add an impressionist-style texture. Go to Filter > Pixelate > Pointillize. Make the Cell Size: 3.
- In the Layers panel, reduce its Opacity to 50% and then hide the layer. Make the middle layer active and go to Filter > Oil Paint.
NOTE: If you’re working on Photoshop CS5, you can either go to the Adobe website and download “Pixel Bender”, which is similar to the Oil Paint filter or you can go to Filter > Artistic and experiment with those filters. The results won’t be exactly the same as using the Oil Paint filter, but some of them will still give you an impressionist look.
- If you’re using the Oil Paint filter, make the Stylization” 10, the Cleanliness: 2, the Scale: 0.1, and the Bristle Detail: 10. The Angular Direction is irrelevant, since the Shine is 0.
- Go back to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. As before, make the “Source” image – Monet. Invoke “Auto-tone” by pressing Ctrl (Cmd) + Shift + L and then “Auto-levels” by pressing Ctrl + Alt L on Windows or Cmd + Opt + L on a Mac.
- Make your top layer visible to see your finished image. If you feel that some colors are too vibrant, brush over them with your Sponge Tool to desaturate the colors. To adjust the size of your brush, press the left or right bracket keys on your keyboard. Make sure the “Flow” (located at the top) is 100%.