Converting Photos into Oil Paintings in Photoshop

The textured strokes and rich colors of oil paintings have fascinated art lovers for centuries. Translating a photograph into an oil painting using Photoshop allows for a fusion of modern digital techniques with traditional artistry. Here's a systematic guide to achieving this artistic transformation:


  1. Adobe Photoshop.
  2. A high-resolution photograph, preferably with distinct contrasts and vibrant colors.


1. Prepare the Image

  • Launch Photoshop.
  • Open the chosen photograph via File -> Open.

2. Duplicate the Layer

  • Right-click on the Background layer in the Layers panel and select Duplicate Layer.

3. Apply Surface Blur

  • Navigate to Filter -> Blur -> Surface Blur.
  • Adjust Radius and Threshold sliders to subtly blur the image while preserving edge details.

4. Oil Paint Filter

  • Proceed to Filter -> Stylize -> Oil Paint.
  • Adjust sliders, especially Stylization and Cleanliness, to define the brush strokes and achieve the desired oil paint effect.

5. Enhance Details

  • Introduce a Duplicate Layer of the original photo.
  • Set the blending mode of this layer to Overlay.
  • Adjust the layer's opacity to balance between the original details and the oil paint effect.

6. Adjust Colors and Tones

  • Navigate to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves to tweak the overall brightness and contrast.
  • Optionally, Color Balance or Hue/Saturation can be adjusted to enhance or change color themes.

7. Add Canvas Texture

  • Open a canvas texture image and place it above all layers.
  • Set its blending mode to Multiply or Overlay.
  • Adjust opacity to ensure the texture is subtle but noticeable.

8. Final Tweaks

  • Use the Dodge and Burn tools to highlight or darken specific areas, emulating the effects of light and shadow in a painting.

9. Save the Artwork

  • Select File -> Save As to store the transformed image in the preferred format.


The marriage of photography and classic oil painting through Photoshop offers a unique canvas for creativity. The final image, imbued with the depth and texture of oil paints, stands as a testament to the blend of digital innovation and traditional art forms.

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