I have completely submersed myself in the PS mixer brush tool and I’m loving it in here. It seems the trend in portrait photography is creating images that look and feel painterly. One way to achieve that painterly essence is by applying painterly textures and using blending modes to seamlessly merge them with your digital portrait. The effect can be so pretty and really gives a high-end feel to your final product. In this post I’m going to walk you through how to create a painterly abstract texture or artwork using any image you want. The key is choosing digital photographs that have beautiful color schemes and color combinations. You can use any image you find on the web actually. Copyright does not apply when you are using the image for color inspiration only.
In order to create these textures you will need my brush set and mixer brush tool presets. I’ve gathered these brushes from here and there and everywhere over the last 20 years. A lot of this brush set was gathered together and created by a great digital painter by the name of Houston Sharp. All of his brushes are creative commons and free for use on any project. I’ve altered a lot of them to work for different projects I’ve had. I’m now #SharingItForward to you. I do use Photoshop CC 2015. The brush set should work fine in earlier versions of Photoshop however, I’m not sure the Mixer Brush Tool Presets will. A lot of the mixer brush features I’m utilizing are in the latest upgrade. However, if you have not upgraded to the PS CC 2015 I highly recommend it. It is totally worth the upgrade.
Here are a few short articles on how to install these sets… It’s pretty quick and painless…
Creating this beautiful painterly basket weave texture…
- Once you have downloaded the brush sets, choose some images whose color scheme you like. I was looking for some warm pastel tones so I chose the following textures and layered them, in this order and turning the top texture to a blending mode of overlay. Which deepens the colors and brings out some wonderful pastel rose and cream tones.
Once the textures are layered with the blending mode it looks like this…
It was actually surprising to me how pastel and pretty these tones turned out once I sample and started painting with them. It looks like it would translate much darker.
2. Once you get your base images layers, next create a layer on top of everything. Choose the mixer brush tool and select the tool preset named “Palette Knife 2”. Hover over the texture and, starting in the corner of your canvas, sample the color from the texture layer (you can sample the color by holding down the Alt key and the eye dropper tool will appear) and begin applying the color in an “x” pattern. It will look like this…
Every “x” you make, sample the color from the texture underneath and paint the first line of the “x”, sample again and paint the second line of the “x”. Keep this pattern going, until you cover the entire canvas. You will end up with a beautiful basket weave effect that is soft and silky looking. How beautiful is this? I love it!
If you like the above texture you can download it and use it for any project you want. I only ask that you in turn create a painterly texture and share it with your fellow artist friends. Keep learning and keep #SharingItForward! That’s what this blog is all about!
There are SO many ways to create beautiful painterly textures using a similar techniques and various images. Play around with the tool presets, choose a sunset image and just sample and paint random strokes. The beautiful abstract art you can create with this technique is endless… and addicting… I would love to see what you create! Post your abstract to your social media and tag it #SharingItFoward!
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Keep learning and keep #SharingItForward!