One of my fine art photography clients came to me with a photo of a recently deceased restaurant owner from his favorite restaurant in Prescott, Arizona. He wants to create a gift of a framed art portrait printed on canvas to hang in a place of honor to remind patrons of the vibrant, fun host he was.

Here’s the challenge. The photo was a snapshot taken with on camera flash with a busy background. Take this image and turn it into a 40 inch canvas. Challenge accepted! I used my ‘Photo-Synthesis’ technique to create this art piece. First I isolated the subject from the background using various selection tools and placed him on his own layer. Then using the stamp tool I moved the catch lights in his eyes to set the direction of light. Painted some shadows using the soft light layer mode using a soft black brush to add some shadows to his face to add some depth and dimension. Because it’s an Italian restaurant I selected several textures captured from walls in Europe and blended them together using Adobe Photoshop in various blend modes. Added some painting techniques I’ve been studying and toned the image to a warm reddish golden color. The  art portrait has not been through final tweaks and possible color changes that my art patron can ask for if he desires, but I thought it was far enough along for me to share with you.

Here’s the before and after… You decide. Success??

sample art portrait imageArt Portrait created by Bob Coates Photography from snapshot.

To see more art images from Bob Coates Photography check out this web site. If you would like to talk about a me coming to speak to your photography group about these techniqes or other photography education programs give me a shout. If you have enough members my expenses may be picked up by Panasonic as I am a Lumix Luminary.