Continued… a tutorial on how to create an expressive oil paint effect in Photoshop with brushes
Take your time with this part of the process. It’s important here to build up the lighter tonal masses in the painting by overlaying multiple brush strokes. This brush responds very well to the pressure applied to the stylus, so take advantage of this, varying your pressure to build up tone and texture.
Now’s the time to reinforce those darks a little. Add a new layer and change the Blending Mode for the brush back to Hard Light. Now use the brush at a smaller size to reestablish the silhouetted trees in front of the building on the right.
Take your time here to resolve the windows in the buildings. By using the brush at a suitable size, you can add these quite simply with single strokes, just to establish the dark areas within them. Also, at this point, you can add the darker reflections in the water on the right using simple horizontal and vertical strokes.
By using your brush at a very small size, you can give the impression of detail in the painting, simply by adding points of light here and there throughout the building. For this you need to use a kind of “visual shorthand” made up a deft effective strokes to add the impression of detail.
This same technique can be used to add focus and detail to the water. Increase the Opacity of the brush in the Options bar and add short, deft strokes to sharpen up the surface. Using the finished painting as a reference, add some touches of bright colours to indicate reflected light.
It’s important now to underestimate the importance of line here. Using your brush at a very small size with dark blue/black, you can easily add some defining line here to refine particular shapes, such as the boats and incidental details. Touches of fine lines within the buildings also help to resolve the architecture itself.
The initial colour painted on to the canvas serve as the overall colour for the sky, but it’s worth breaking this area up with some subtle strokes of similar lighter and darker shades. Use very little pressure on your stylus here so the individual strokes blend nicely.
The image really comes to life once you start adding a few absolute highlights. Use your brush at a very small size here, in Normal Mode to add sharp, opaque highlights to the water and within the building itself.
Use a combination of the above techniques to slowly work up the detail in the painting. Use the finished image as a reference here and choose colours from the supplied swatches. Use the brush at high opacity to indicate leaves in the trees in the top left.