Adding a painterly effect with Photoshop Elements 11
All the effects can be found under “Filter” menu on the top toolbar in PE. So if you start by uploading
one of your photos into PE, then you can have a play with all the effects. First of all, I used the Cutout
effect in PE, which you can find as follows: Filter > Artistic > Cutout.
Prior to using this filter, I reduced my image size to 683 x 1024 px and saved the image using a slightly
different heading plus the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + letter S.
My Cutout settings were: 4 for number of levels, 1 for Edge Simplicity, and 2 for Edge Simplicity.
New version saved with a slightly different heading.
I wished my final picture to look about halfway between the original and the cutout version. This is
easy to do in Layers …
Get up the Layers palette (Window on top toolbar > Layers). Now in the top right hand corner of the
Layers palette, you will see a slider to change the opacity of the top / active layer. I then reduced the
opacity to 55%, so that the underlying background layer was just starting to be visible.
While still in Layers, I used the Eraser tool (the small pink India rubber icon in the left hand toolbar)
to etch away a little of the top layer, to add a few highlights to the hair. I used a soft-edged brush,
50 px in size and a low opacity (20%).
Some artists like to paint extra colour onto the top layer, which you could do with the paintbrush tool
(also to be found in the left hand toolbar). I haven’t had much success doing this in the past … when
highlighting hair, my attempts made the person look like Worzel Gummidge. 🙂
The next job is to flatten the two layers down to one layer, so as to save the final result as a jpeg image.
Go to Layers on the top toolbar > Flatten image. Save your work, with a slightly different title.
(Ctrl + Shift + letter S).
Adding a canvas effect to your image … in Photoshop Elements, select Filter > Texture > Texturiser,
and have a play with the various settings to your taste > select OK.
However I prefer to use GIMP for adding canvas. Gimp is a photo-editor, which you can download for
free from online. I’ve written a few webpages about using Gimp on my website ….
I talk about Canvas effect at the bottom of this page … sorry about the advertising on this site – you can block this by using an ad-blocker, such as Adblock Plus.
To find the canvas effect in Gimp, select Filter > Artistic > Apply canvas. Have a play with the settings (I used the light coming from the top right, and a depth of 4) > OK.
BTW, when saving your work in Gimp, you have to use the command: File > Export or the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + letter E.
I find that the Canvas effect is a good painterly effect just used by itself. When your image isn’t very sharp, you can cover up its lack of sharpness by using this effect.
The Film Grain effect.
Earlier today, I showed my granddaughter the photo I’d taken of her, and what I’d done in Photoshop. She then had a go with both the Film Grain effect and with the middle slider in Levels, and got a portrait similar to the one below. This evening I’ve had to go back to have a play with the Film Grain settings, so as to find out what she did … here they are: Grain 15, Highlight Area 13 and Intensity 5. I darkened the image slightly in Levels.
Happy photo-editing !