1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Art History Brush Tutorial

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by MGlennn, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Now available in Tutiki:


    Comments or Questions to this tutorial are always welcome, please feel free to post them here.


    OK...first of all, two weeks ago I didn't know what the art history brush was. So..........why should I do a tutorial..???? :rolleyes:  Good question....

    I am thinking that as a beginner I may approach this in a way that other beginners might find more useful than a tutorial by someone who actually knows what they are doing...:wink:

    So here goes....a beginners approach to the art history brush (AHB)...

    Original below....this is the photo of an orchid that we are going to try to turn into a painting...


    Next you have a choice...you can either open a photo that has been sized, cropped and converted to 8-bit already....or.....you can just convert "this" photo to 8-bit as is shown below....go into the image>mode box and select 8-bit...


    Next you want to set the "state" for the AHB....this means tell the AHB what to try to imitate....to do this we will click on the snapshot icon as illustrated below.....


    Below shows what it looks like after clicking the snapshot icon...VERY IMPORTANT...click in the box next to "snapshot 1"....a little brush will appear telling you that you have set the "state" for the AHB...


    Now we need a new layer....


    This shows what it should look like so far...after the new layer (empty)


    Next we want to create the Background for the "painting"...or you could call it the "canvas"...I do it by filling the empty layer you just created with a color....any color....could be white...could be black....anything....I chose one that I thought was complementary to the photo....

    Go into the edit menu and choose fill (Edit>fill)..


    This shows me picking the color...


    After you fill that layer, this is what it should look like....notice you can't see the orchid anymore...


    Next you want to make the layer you just filled transparent so you can see the orchid underneath and be able to paint better....set the opacity of this layer to about 80% as shown below....notice the orchid showing through :biggrin:


    OK... almost ready to paint. You could just start painting on this layer, but I like to create a new empty layer to start my painting in...leave it empty


    Now....make suuuuuuure the layer you just created is the "active" layer and then click on the AHB....go up into the brush menu and pick a brush style and size.....I picked watercolor 67 pixels....see below...also note the other settings in the brush menu....


    Now take the brush and make a pass over your "canvas" from left to right..you do this by clicking and dragging.....as you see below, the AHB "magically" knows when to change color...it is trying to return the "painting" to the state you set in the beginning.....it will look very abstract, however, because the pixel size of the brush is so big...much like in real painting you would use a big brush for big stuff and a tiny brush for finer details....I made four passes with different sizes of brush (shown in red..70, 40, 20, 10) to show you the difference the different sizes make.....


    In the illustration below, all I am doing is making multiple passes from left to right, over the "canvas" with the 70 pixel brush....as you can see, it is still pretty abstract....


    Next make another new empty layer....you will paint in this layer with a smaller brush...


    All I am doing is creating a new empty layer each time I change brush sizes (my method....lots of other ways to do it)....and I am choosing a smaller brush each time....70 pixels first then about 30 then about 10 then about 5 etc.....make short brush strokes over the canvas and you will see the detail come out more the more you "paint" and the smaller the brush...


    I ended up with a brush of about 5 pixels.....here's the "final" product....

    happy to answer questions...this is a simplistic approach (intended)...there are many other variations....try it...you will get hooked like I did after seeing what DianeR has done......


    Attached Files:

  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Your hired to write all tuts for PS from now on. Big bucks !!!!!!!!!!

    Finally someone that can address and understand really HOW to write for a true beginner like me.

    Haven't even read it all yet.
    The first few frames answered the duhhhhh's I had.

    Thanks a billion.

    Now maybe I will try it.
  3. Don't do it...
    :wink: :wink: ....he he he ...you'll get hooked too....:Shocked:
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
  5. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You might want to post this over in the retouching forum DPR Many would be very thankful :>)))
  6. Big thanks, Mike.

    I tried AHB recently and the image ended up like a big mess. Now I know what I did wrong and will try again.

    Thanks again.
  7. Keep trying...
    :wink: ...just takes practice.. (like I am an expert...haha)....:biggrin:
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Mike much more expert than us that are reading. :>))))))) and not painting.
    Two weeks ahead of me, makes you an expert in my mind. lol

    (Well we now Diane has been doing this for awhile) :>)))
  9. Hey, Mike! Thanks for this post. Your approach is a lot better than the scatterbrained one I tried with my first Art History Brush creation. You are a lot more self disciplined than I am. Many, many thanks for doing this!:smile: :smile: :smile:

    aka beaucamera I
  10. Thanks, I had not tried this before. Thank you for going to the trouble to explain this tool. You have a talent in teaching. Thanks again.
  11. Thanks for checking it out Virginia...keep working at it...
    :wink: but also study for your tests..????:confused: 
  12. :Happy: Mike this is a great starter AHB tutorial - it's one way to go and once you get started, you're hooked as you say! LOL! Thanks a lot for posting this - maybe they could put one of those "tacks" on it so folks could find it easily?!:smile:
  13. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Yep we need a sticky on this one for sure.......
  14. Mike, a big thank for this starter tutorial. Clear and easy to follow. Appreciates your efforts a lot.
    Best regards.
  15. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005

    Hi Mike

    Thank you very much for the obvious time and effort you have put into the AHB tutorial which is excellent.

    If only all tutorials could be as "walk-through" as this - it is excellent.

    I am saving it now to disk!!!

    Best wishes and thanks again

  16. Thanks to Gale, Diane, Phil, Muril, Dao and Ray for the kind words :smile:

    I am pleased to have been able to give something back to the group as I have learned much more from you guys...:biggrin:
  17. I am a really beginner! I am looking forward to trying this!
  18. It really is pretty easy to start with....:smile: :smile: and lots of fun !! But.....it is really hard to get the images that some of the better painters do....I am still working on it and not there yet....I am glad it is fun :biggrin: :biggrin:
  19. Robert


    Jul 24, 2005
    Hi Mike,

    It's time I started some painting and so I had a read through your excellent tutorial. Thanks for taking the time! Your tutorial is very straight forward and each step illustrated clearly.
    Thanks!!!:smile: :smile:
  20. Thanks Robert...appreciate the kind words :biggrin: :biggrin: Between the two, I think smudging is a little easier than the AHB (never have been able to get a really good AHB "painting" yet)...but both are challenging...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.