Flower Impressions -- Painting Part II

In an earlier post, I described how to create a painterly, impressionistic look to flower photos using the camera hand-held with a slow shutter speed. Today I explain how to simulate the impression of a "painted" flower using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Painting effect created in Adobe Photoshop
Motion Blur filter settings: Angle 90 degrees, Distance 130 pixels

The steps are the same in both Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
  • Open a flower image.
  • Choose Layer>Duplicate Layer (Ctrl + J or Command + J).
  • Name the layer “Painting” and click OK.
  • Choose Filter>Blur>Motion Blur.
    • Adjust the angle of the “steering wheel” for the direction of movement.
    • Adjust the Distance slider to produce the desired amount of blur.
    • Click OK.
  • If you don’t like the effect, in the Layers panel
    • You can lower the Opacity of the filter to reduce the effect.
    • You can also experiment with different Blending modes.
    • You can delete the layer and try again.
  • You can add a layer mask for the filter so you can hide the effect from portions of the image. (optional)
    • Choose Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All
    • Click on the mask thumbnail.
    • Choose a soft edge paintbrush.
    • In the Tool Bar (Elements: Tool Options), be sure the Mode is Normal and the Opacity 100%.
    • Set the foreground color to black (type D, then X).
    • Paint over the area you want to remain sharp.
    • Change the size of the brush using the square bracket [ ] keys.
  • Make any adjustments to brightness, contrast, and/or color you wish using adjustment layers (Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Hue/Saturation, etc.). (optional)
  • Choose File>Save As and give the image a new name.

If you'd like to learn more fun ways to create flower impressions, join my class at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana, beginning April 4, 2019. Click here to register.