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Make a Portrait Look Like a Painting Photoshop

How to Make a Portrait Look Like a Painting in Photoshop

by Waseem Abbas on Dec 20, 2018

Do you want to edit your photo so it looks like a painting? Some photos can look striking as a painting. In this article, we will show you how to make a portrait look like a painting in Photoshop.

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Photoshop from Adobe’s site here.

Making a Portrait Look Like a Painting

First thing you need to do is open your portrait in Photoshop.

Now right click on the Background layer in the Layers panel on the right-hand side of your Photoshop screen and select Convert to Smart Object.

Convert Smart Object

Next, go to Filter » Filter Gallery and select Rough Pastels. In the settings, you should set the Stroke Length to 35, Stroke Detail to 4, and Relief to 8. You can leave everything as-is and press the OK button.

Rough Pastels

This will add a texture to the image that gives the basic look of paint brush strokes. But, we’re not done yet!

In the next step you need to turn off the visibility for the Filter Gallery from the Layers panel (click on the eye icon to toggle it off).

Hide Filter Painting

Then select the Quick Selection tool to make a selection on the body in your portrait and check mark the Auto-Enhance option.

Quick Selection Tool

First, click on the area of the image where you want to add the selection.

Then you’ll probably need to zoom-in and click multiple times to perfectly select the body in the portrait. (Here’s a tip: If you selected more than you meant to, then press Alt + Shift + Click to remove the selection from any area.)

Make Selection

Now you can turn on the visibility of Filter Gallery, and click on the mask layer of the Filter Gallery to activate it.

Activate Mask

Then, simply go to Edit » Fill and choose Black in the Use dropdown. Press the OK button.

Fill Black

This will remove the texture from the selected area. Now press Ctrl + D to remove the selection.

After removing the texture, you should press Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer with the filter effect.

Layers Panel

You’ll need to click on the mask of the Filter Gallery for Layer 0 Copy and press Ctrl + I to inverse the colors.

Inverse Filter Painting

Next, go ahead and double click on the Filter Gallery to edit the settings. Set the Stroke Length to 0, Stroke Details to 1, and Relief to 5.

Rough Pastels

You should again go to Filter » Filter Gallery. This time you need to choose Smudge Stick from the filters.

Smudge Stick Settings

We used the following settings:

Stroke Length: 0
Highlight Area: 20
Intensity: 4

Lastly, you’ll need to add a Curves adjustment layer from the Adjustments panel (you can find the Adjustments panel at the right-hand side, above the Layers panel in your Photoshop screen).

Simply lower down the curve as shown below to add a nice shadow and glow effect to your image.


That’s all. You can see the before and after image below.

Before and After Portrait Look Like a Painting

Use the above settings as a guideline, but feel free to change it up to suit your own style and needs.

We hope this article has helped you to learn how to make a portrait look like a painting in Photoshop. You may also want to check out our guide on how to create a typography portrait in Photoshop.

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