I recently remodeled my bathroom and my wife wanted a picture to put over the tub. We had used a gray, white , and black color scheme for the remodel and accented it with some burgundy reds. She wanted the picture over the tub to add some more color to the room. We went shopping and just couldn’t find the right picture so I volunteered to make one. It needed to be large – 2 feet by 3 feet, and had to have the right colors to accent the gray of the wall. The major problem was that she wanted it to be a soft watercolor and not a photo.
We went through a lot of my photos and came up with several choices. As I tried to figure out how to convert the photo to a watercolor, I realized I might have volunteered too soon. I started going through all kinds of tutorials on the internet and realized I would first have to collect the tools for the job. Since I have Photoshop CC I was able to download the free watercolor brushes that come with it. Then I found a couple of videos on YouTube that had a style that my wife liked. Now came the real challenge – produce something that she liked and I would be willing to hang on the wall!
I spent quite a bit of time learning all kinds of techniques and methods to come up with something decent. I was using a shot of a water lily I took at Gibbs Gardens and the more I worked on it , the less I liked it. I finally scrapped it and started using a rose picture that I had taken at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama. I ended up combining two shots to come up with the basis of the watercolor.
This shot had most of what I needed but was short of leaves. I went through some of the other shots I had take the same day and took the leaves from this shot.
I then combined pieces of both and rearranged parts of the first shot until I had a composition I liked that I could use as a model.
Next I started creating the watercolor. There are many layers in the PSD that I built and each one brought its own challenge. One set of layers is the background washes. Then comes the set of leaves and buds. After that is the blossom and then the spatters and colors on the top layers to finish it off. After quite a few iterations and color adjustments I completed the picture to my wife’s satisfaction
I will be having the final result printed on canvas on a 24 inch by 36 inch frame. Here is what I came up with –
What do you think of it? I had a lot of fun learning a lot more about how Photoshop works and also renewing some of my drawing skills that I hadn’t used in a long time. It was a very entertaining journey even though it had some difficult moments. But isn’t that what life is like anyway?
Until next time —