Tutorial on Creating a Water Color Type Image or Soft Effects

In this tutorial, I worked with the whole image and did not break it up into parts as I have done in previous tutorials

The first step is to decide whether to work from the Deep Paint plugin in Photoshop or to use Deep Paint as a stand-alone. I decided to use it as a stand-alone so those users who do not have Photoshop can still follow the tutorial.

The second step is to decrease the size of the file to be opened in Deep Paint. I like to work with a file around 7 MB. The size will depend on the amount of memory in one's system. I have not found a degradation of the image when resampling it after finishing it. Possibly on a commercial four color press this degradation would show. On my Epson 870 printer, it does not.

Finished Picture

From now on I will list the steps starting from one.

1 - Open a psd, tif, or bmp file in Deep Paint. Then save it as a .dp2 file. Save the file often. In the preference section of Deep Paint, the option to save it at specified intervals can be selected. Edit/Preferences/General.

 Original Image

2 - Map out either on paper or in your mind the hierarchy of layers so that the background can be done first, for example, and then a layer with a boat  can be placed over the background. This will keep colors purer. Also it will allow for the uppermost layers to be more transparent than the lower layers. When I worked on the water, I tried to leave the area of the boat free.

Original Image Layers in Deep Paint Cloning Setup

3 - The first step in actually starting the picture is to set the psd, tif or bmp file as the cloning source. I usually set the transparency slider between 65-80%. I then, set up the number of layers in their hierarchical order from bottom to top.

4 - From then on, I choose my brushes for the effects I want. I am always creating new brushes if I think that I will use them often. The choices of brushes are very individualistic. While I create my own, brushes and cloners can be used  from the Deep Paint presets. Cloners can be made from any of the Deep Paint brushes by just choosing the cloning stamp.The brushes that are similar to ones I have made are 1) the Brush Cloner from the Cloner category. I modified it to a scale of 24 and 2) the Chalk Cloner from that same category. The Brush Cloner creates a rough pattern. I used this for grassy and wooden areas. The Chalk Cloner is a smooth cloner and I used it for the sail on the boats, for example. Two other brushes that I really like are brushes that I have converted to cloners. The brush called Tooth Paste is from the Variations category and the one called Slime is from the Weird category. Both can give nice raised areas  and are good for details and texture especially when their scale is set to 5 and their shape squashed and angled. The arrows next to aspect and rotate control these two functions 

5 - Once I am satisfied with how the layers look, I boost the source layer to 100% and modify the opacity of the other layers as I desire. One must remember that the computer screen will be brighter than the final image.

Image from Deep Paint 

6 - I merge the layers and save the file as a psd or tiff file. I then open it in Photoshop for final editing. This is my preference. One could print it from Deep Paint and retain more of the lighting effects. I, however, have not experimented with this approach. For this particular piece of work, I merged it with the original Photoshop file and resampled it so both were 300 dpi. I then split the Deep Paint layer so that I could adjust the individual layer opacity sliders for the final effect. 

Layers in Photoshop

7 - Even though the three main images (the original Photoshop image, the one from Deep Paint, and the finished combination) appear similar in the tutorial, in print they are noticeably different.Click to here to see large final image