An aristocrat posed stiffly against a shadowed background. An amused young woman posed in front of a countryside landscape. These were common subjects of artists like Rembrandt and Da Vinci. These two artists epitomized the oil painting techniques popular during the early and middle renaissance. They used smooth lines, small brush strokes, and pure colors.
In contrast, the Impressionists of the late 19th century, competing with a new invention called the camera, emphasized brush strokes. Impressionists, like Van Gogh and Monet, used large brushes, or even palette knives, to create an impression of a scene, rather than a photorealistic view. Their paintings celebrate extreme colors, light, and textures. The exaggerated brushstrokes were used to create a feeling of movement. Both oil painting techniques are still popular today.
Choosing the right photo
Start with an appropriate photo. For a Mona Lisa style image, pose in front of a landscape or a simple curtain—don’t smile, too much. For a Rembrandt style painting, take a photo in front of a black wall or curtain with light coming from the side, like a window or lamp. Good subjects for a Van Gogh or Monet impressionist painting might be a colorful garden or field of flowers, a reflecting pond, or a skyline at night.
Using the Oil Painting and Impressionists effects to create your masterpiece
Once you have the right photo, go to the create page and upload your photo to get started.
Next, click Impressionist or Oil Painting in the left margin. The menu expands, displaying several effect options. Impressionist effects provide several painting techniques of impressionist painters and oil painting effects will create a variety of oil painting techniques.
Select an effect preset to start the modifications to your photo. The BeFunky progress bar appears while your image is modified with the chosen effect. It won’t take long. Soon your modified image will appear on screen.
But don’t stop there. Try playing with these effects until you achieve the painting technique that works with your image. Some effects alter colors dramatically. Some include bold brush strokes. You can exaggerate or diminish these characteristics by experimenting with the settings. Click the Settings button (gear icon) next to the effect name to open the Settings pop-up.
The trademark of an impressionist painting is noticeable brush strokes and bright colors. The Impressionist effects include settings to control Brush Length, Brush Size, Color Detail, and Highlight Area. Slide these controls to reduce or intensify these effects. You might be surprised with the results.
Oil paintings also feature brush strokes, but they are not the focus of the painting. The Oil Painting effects give you controls for Brush Size, Brush Length, Color Space, and Brightness (Color Space is not available for effects #1 or #8). Try combining several controls to see how they affect your image.
Your new "oil painting" will be that much more amazing if you print it on canvas, frame it, and hang it above your sofa. Your friends won’t believe you when you tell them it’s just a photograph. To prove it, show them how to add the oil painting effects to their photos on BeFunky.com.
While you wait for your canvas print to arrive, upload your masterpiece to the BeFunky Flickr group and share your images link at the comments section below.