photoshop creative

What’s the easiest way to paint still-life objects such as a bowl of fruit in Elements?

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Q&A, by Mark White
March 5, 2015

It’s Q&A day every Thursday…

The easiest way to create a still-life painting is to start with a photo and use a process known as smudge painting. Begin by making a copy of the photo layer to work with. Then remove the finer details by using the Smart Blur filter. The settings will differ for each photo, but a good place to start is with a Radius of 3 and a Threshold of 25.

Then select the Smudge tool and in the tool options, select one of the Splatter Brushes. This will help give the painting the appearance of having actual brush strokes. Set the brush’s Size to just smaller than the smallest detail you want in your still-life scene. Start with Strength set to 50% and adjust according to your image and workflow. Then, it’s just a simple matter of tracing the colour and contours in the image with the Smudge tool.