Paintings from Photos

A few months ago, I talked to someone about printing photos in large format on canvas. When I got home, I located a packet of "canvas inkjet paper" I purchased many years ago, but never used up. It is a pretty cool paper, it is thick and has a structure like a painting but is of course blank.

At first I though about just printing a photo, but then I remembered something. Back in my pre-Photoshop days when I used Picture Publisher from Micrografx, the software had filters that emulated a few different drawing styles, including charcoal, water color and oil painting. However, there is nothing native in Photoshop giving the same capability.

I did some searching, looking for oil painting actions, plugins or filters. Finally if found Dynamic Auto Painter (DAP), a $49.95 program that sounded promising. I downloaded the demo version and tested it. I was amazed, this was a really neat program. Perhaps a narrow niche, but worth the money. What the program does is to analyze the picture and then redraw it from scratch, using different brushes and tools, in many layers. Just like I imagine a real painter would do it. There are about a dozen or so different filters, and the user can change parameters like color palette, detail level, how fine brushes to use, etc.

I picked a few photos and ran them through Dynamic Auto Painter, and below is the result. The photo of the Waxholm ferry is not the same as the one I processed (I don’t have access to it at the moment), but they were taken just a few seconds apart.

BigBen_original BigBen_illustrator 


Waxholm_original Waxholm_benson 


I printed the picture of the ferry on the 11" x 8.5" canvas paper, and it turned out really good. My biggest issue now is to find more paper like that, as the manufacturer seems to have closed business.

More examples of pictures I processed using Dynamic Auto Painter can be found here.


Leave a Reply