Tutorial – A Realist Photoshop Painting Effect

Travel photos are ideal to recreate as paintings, as you will see from this sample picture from All-about-Egypt of the columns at the Temple of Karnak. A free Photoshop action of this painting effect is available for download at the end of this tutorial.

Recalculate the original photo file size to 9″ x 12″ at 72dpi,
about 1.3 megapixels. After the photo painting is finished you can bring it back up to a larger file size.



Save a copy of the original photo in the clipboard (Select All and Copy).


Open the Layers Box in the Window Menu

Create three new layers with the original image (Command J)

Set the top layer to Mode: Colors

Set the other two layers to Mode: Difference

Save the file with a new name


Select Layer Background

Click on Filter>Pixelate> Mosaic

Cell Size 62 pixels Click OK

Hide Layer 1 (click on the eye icon)

Click on the right top arrow and choose Merge visible

With Background still selected click on Image>Adjustments>Equalize

Now select Layer 1 to make it visible again and flatten the image


Paste the original image you saved in the clickboard (Command V)

Set the current layer to Mode: Hard Light

Flatten the image

Click on Image>Adjustment>Equalize

Click on Edit>Fade Equalize

Slide the Opacity ruler to 50%. Click OK


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