As a model photographer I needed to find my niche, which is why I started to use Photoshop to create composites. As time went by I started to experiment with Photoshop actions to try to give portraits I shot something extra creative wise. It was when I was looking at different actions when I came across actions to create digital paintings from a photo. Curious as I am I tried a couple and I quickly found a new pasion to turn my artwork into digital paintings. Using actions at first but later combining different actions and hand painting and sketching using a tablet.
As my own style developed I never stopped using actions as part of my digital paintings, but most of the time I use them as finishing touches, and effects when an artwork is almost done.
The actions I like to use the most are;
- Impressionist by Sevenstyles ($9 at the moment of writing)
This is by far my favourite action for creating digital paintings. The impressionistic style paintings this action creates are very realistic looking and the action comes with a bunch of brushes I use to create my own artwork.
The action will take a while if you are using large resolution images or if you are using an older computer but the results are worth the wait.
During the action’s running it will pauze and ask you to paint your main subject.
When the action is done you can customise almost everything to your liking.
I highly recommend this action for the standalone artwork it creates but also for using parts of the output as special effects in my own paintings and as a bonus a couple of amazing brushes.
It’s compatible with all recent photoshop versions, but Photoshop has to be the English version.
- Technicalart by Unicdesign ($8 at the moment of writing)
One of the first actions I tried because I liked the sketch effect created by this Photoshop action. When this action is done you will have an amazing sketch in multiple layers ranging from a rough sketch to more detailed sketch work. The watercolour effect can be customised to your liking.
Every time you run the action it will give you a new, unique result. It also includes textures and different color options.
The action is compatible with all recent Photoshop versions but like most actions it needs to be an English version.
I noticed a newer version 3 being available now, but I have not tried this new version myself yet, but the sketching looks amazing in the product images. This version seems to lack the watercolour painting effect though.
- Palette knife action from Sevenstyles ($9 at the moment of writing)
Another amazing action from Sevenstyles I love to use to create digital paintings is the Palette knife Photoshop action. The action creates a highly textured painting that looks really organic and authentic. It uses multiple steps so using it is a little bit more complicated then most actions but the results are worth it. Make sure to watch the autor’s YouTube instructions as it will help you setup everything correctly.
The action will also come with brushes, a bunch of textures a high quality canvas texture. Combining this action, or just the textures, with the Impressionist action provide you with endless possibilities.