Digital Monet: The Impressionist Effect February 25 2016, 0 Comments

Have you received the latest FREE itinerary from Tangie’s Art Journal Caravan?  If not, you can sign up here!  As always, it was full of wonderful ideas, challenges, and inspiration.  Every itinerary I receive sparks something new and different, pushing the boundaries of my creativity.  Usually I’m inspired by color, words, or quotes, but this week what really caught my eye was the Artist Mastermind: Claude Monet.

In Tangie’s latest foray into authenticity, she has introduced a Vlog, and this week’s episode did not disappoint.  Her insight into Monet, his work and how it relates to us all as art journalists has deeply inspired my latest piece (and sort-of tutorial for you), which I’m super excited to introduce.

But first, a little bit about the legendary Claude Monet.  Monet is perhaps one of the world’s most famous painters, born in France in 1840.  He, and other artists such as Renoir and Sisley grandfathered the Impressionist movement in France during the 1860s. Monet and his counterparts sought to break out from the confines of the Realism movement that was popular at the time. Instead, these artists gravitated toward new colors and techniques. Impressionists saw the world differently than their predecessors; they strived to explore the world around them through the use of light and movement.

Now, while I may not be a world famous artist, I certainly can play one in Photoshop!  So today I will show you a few fun techniques that you can use to create a unique work of digital art that rivals those of the great Impressionists.

First off, a quick disclaimer: I am working in Photoshop CC, those who are using different versions may not have all the same options, but there are likely workarounds, it may just take a little more research and leg work.  I am also on a PC, so keyboard shortcuts will be different for you Mac peeps. 

I started off using this photo that I took of Lake Struga in Macedonia.  I found it reminiscent of several of Monet’s most famous paintings.  

The first thing I did is duplicate the image (CTRL+J), in theory this is so that you don't damage the original image, but in practice it's just become a habit. 

Next, I applied my first filter: Filter -> Stylize -> Oil Paint

I played with the settings until it looked good to me, your photo might be different, but these are the settings I settled on:

I love this filter, we're off to a great start. 

Next, I opened up my Filter Gallery (Filter -> Filter Gallery)

... warning: a world of possibilities is on the horizon!

In here the options are almost limitless.  It took me quite a bit of playing around to find the effects I needed to create the Impressionist-esque look I was going for.  But, here's where I finally landed:

Poster Edges

Add New Effect Layer -> Accented Edges

Add New Effect Layer -> Sponge

Hit OK and voila! A fabulous Impressionist rendition!

The piece isn't perfect, but I love the way it came out.  Hopefully this quick and dirty tutorial will get your artistic wheels turning in a new direction.

The effects I chose are not the end all be all of pseudo Impressionist digital artwork either... There are oodles of other filters in the gallery to choose from (I'm also partial to the Dry Brush), the Liquify tool does some really awesome Impressionist warping effects, and if you have the patience, the smudge tool can do an awesome authentic job of recreating brushwork of the era.  You could spend an entire day (week or month) delving into the fun of filters in Photoshop. 

Thanks for playing along today... and if you're feeling brave, post your piece in the comments below, we'd love to see your beautiful creation!

Are you ready to join us in the 2016 Art Journal Caravan?  It’s back  and better than ever!

For more information on the Art Journal Emporium visit Art Journal Emporium - Tangie Baxter & CO.

[posted by Karli-Marie]