How to Convert Photos to Painting Software
By Carl Hose
You don't have to be an expert painter to create stunning paintings these days. With more advanced image editing software, it's possible to turn any photograph into an oil painting with a few clicks of the mouse. Not all graphic software is capable of performing this routine. Most of the higher-priced programs have the tools necessary for artistic rendering of photos. The good news is, there are a few low-cost alternatives that offer painting tools as well, making it possible for almost anyone to become a digital Monet.
Choose image editing software that has artistic image editing filters. If you own Photoshop, you already have one of the most popular graphic software programs available. Other options include GIMP, which is free image editing software with artistic tools comparable to Photoshop. As a plus, GIMP is cross platform, so it works on PC or Mac. There's also Photofiltre, which offers a free version and has paint conversion filters. Either of these programs will convert a photograph to painting. GIMP is a good place to begin. It's easy and has a variety of artistic tools.
Open GIMP and go to the "File" menu. Choose "Open" and browse to the location on your computer where the photograph is that you want to convert to a painting. Click the photograph to open it in GIMP.
Go to the "Filters" menu, choose "Artistic" and select "Oilify." A work palette will open. Adjust the mask size from the default nine to a fourteen and click "OK." The mask size increases the oil painting effect. You can always go to "File" and choose "Undo" if you want to further increase the mask size. For most photos, size fourteen on the mask size produces an oil paint effect without removing a lot of definition.
Experiment with the different paint settings to get various types of paintings using the same process as in step four. GIMP has a Van Gogh filer that creates paintings in the style of Van Gogh and GIMPressionist, which allows you to select everything from brush size to canvas type, allowing you to create a wide range of paintings from a single photograph. As long as you can find your undo command, you can't mess anything up, so have fun.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.