Direct Skill Of Retouching Photos with Background Textures

Retouching Photos with Background Textures

Our Tip #3 deals with line drawings and how to create a watercolor from them using Photoshop. In this installment, we will take a photograph, and overlay textures to create a “watercolor”. To keep the tutorial simple, I’ve kept the layers and therefore the effect to a minimum. Having said that, sometimes subtle effects are more impressive than ones that are overwhelming. Below, is the original snapshot, with a distracting background. On the right is the finished piece.
Step 1With your magnetic pen tool, select the area where you want your new background pasted into.

Step 2 Within the Layers palette, choose the Paths tab. Under the pull down menu, choose Make Selection. In the dialog box enter 2 to 3 pixels, anti-aliased for feathering and click OK. We’ll want a soft edge when we Paste Into.

Step 3 Open your background file, and select a section that you’d like as your new background. Copy it, and select Edit>Paste Into.I could have stopped at this point. The background is fun, but I’ll continue adding my watercolor textures to the photograph.This time, I chosen the sweater with the magic wand. And before pasting inside, I chose Select>Feather… to soften the edges. I once again used the same watercolor background as I used for the sky. It’s important to maintain a “look and feel” through out your work.Step 4 After pasting inside, as in Step 3, I altered the brightness and contrast, with Image>Adjust>Brightness/Contrast and changed the color balance – Image>Adjust>Color Balance.I went back and forth between Brightness/Contrast and Color Balance before I was happy with the results. You can always delete the layer and try again.

Before long, I’ve replaced the entire photograph with textures. The next step is to dial in transparency. We will want to retain some of the definition of the original photograph.Step 5Begin by selecting a layer and choose the opacity slider. This is how you can make each element transparent. Manipulate the transparency until you’re happy with the results.Final TweaksWhen your done, you’ll probably want to darken and lighten certain areas. This will put the finishing touches to your painting. I’ve use a combination of tools on this tutorial. I airbrushed the background sky using black set at 25% opacity. I added highlights by selecting an area and manipulating the Brightness/Contrast controls. I think you’ll find adding textures to your work satisfying.
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