I came across a photo that looks like it is being painted. I like the look and would like to replicate it with one of my pictures, the question is how is this done or created? I am using Photoshop CS6.

Here is the image:

Example Image

1 Answer 1


There are many settings you can play with to get the effect you want, so take the following as a starting point. Experiment and have fun.

  • Start with a complete image, put it on its own layer and add a white background underneath.

  • Mask off the area you want to become "blank canvas". Since you don't need a smooth, geometrically perfect area, use the Lasso tool.

starting point

  • Select a bristle brush (new in CS5).

bristle brush

  • Adjust the brush settings until you have a "dry brush" look. (I'm using CS6, which is why the UI looks darker than you're used to.)

brush settings

  • Make white your foreground color and brush in the edges on the mask (not the canvas!) using short strokes. So as not to spoil the illusion, be sure you don't leave any hard edges from your original mask.

painted mask

The paintbrush image you'd add in after the fact. Eyedropper a color near where the brush tip sits, and use that to color the paint on the tip of the brush.

  • Thanks! That is what I am looking for. Quick question though, I do not have a tablet and having a bit of trouble replicating the brush strokes to look real. Any tips? Also which brush is that you used? (name)
    – L84
    Jun 3, 2012 at 1:26
  • create paths and stroke them with a brush this may give you a more realistic feel @Lynda
    – skids89
    Jun 3, 2012 at 2:15
  • @Lynda it's Flat Bristle. Tricky to work without a tablet, but you can use the Fade parameter on the Opacity and turn on a texture, then use that brush to stroke along a path as skids89 suggests. Jun 3, 2012 at 3:12
  • A tablet is on my wish list => Thanks for the information.
    – L84
    Jun 3, 2012 at 4:06
  • Easiest way to get real brush strokes: Buy a brush, paint and paper. Then scan it in and use it as a layer mask.
    – DA01
    Jun 3, 2012 at 20:42

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