Wednesday, February 7, 2018


When I was on Anna Maria Island last month, I saw a notice for a member's show at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton.  I didn't go, but liked the image that won first place (and I had seen it in real life in December during a gallery tour in Holmes Beach on the island).  I am 99% sure that the artist took her photo into PhotoShop (or a similar photo program), unsaturated the photo and then used the Posterize tool in the program to get the shapes she painted in after transferring the photo to her watercolor paper.  

I thought I'd try it on one of my Savannah, GA photos of an old building.  It was a bit tedious, since I didn't enlarge the photo much (just an 8 x 11 inch size paper). 

Now, some people will tell you they don't posterize their work to get this look - but they do.  And I learned this technique years ago in a Nick Simmons workshop as one way to "manipulate" your original photo using the PhotoShop tools, and make it more interesting.  Nick spent a day on how to use PhotoShop in this way.  

So this is not new.  It's just that some artists are now saying they've discovered this new technique.  It's interesting that this technique seems to be a big thing right now in some of the juried art shows, so look for some of the posterized and painted watercolors - I bet you see some.  


Jennifer Rose said...

I see artists all the time saying they use a "new" technique in photoshop, a program that has been around almost 30 years and has had most of the current functions for a long time *rolls eyes*

Sadami said...

Aw, I'm a stone age woman/artist.... I still do not know well how to use phshop and technology. I have to confess I do not understand what Rhonda wrote in this post. Kind regards, Sadami

AK said...

I believe in letting the eyes do all the work. That is the only way forward.

RH Carpenter said...

I do a bit of eye rolling, too, Jennifer Rose, when I hear that kind of thing. Using photo programs to make changes to your pic before printing it out and then using it for artwork isn't new anymore.

Sadami, it's just PhotoShop (an Adobe program used by a lot of photographers and artists). There are many free programs around that will do some things.

Asit, so you don't believe in using any photos, just real life. It works beautifully for you, but I have to admit, I'm not a plein air person :)

Maria Hopp said...

I wasn't aware of this, thank you for the insight. I don't think I'll be using it since I feel like it ruins the process, but I might try it once or twice.