These Photoshop Brushes Let You Turn Photos Into Paintings Stroke-by-Stroke

Artist and designer Jessica Johnson of Creators Couture has created a unique set of Photoshop brushes that do something we haven’t seen before. Stroke by stroke, and controlled by brush size and direction, you can add an impressionist painting effect to all or part of your photos.

The set is referred to comically as the “Instapressionist Photoshop Brush” collection, and the trick is that these brushes take advantage of the bristle brush engine, using any photograph you choose as the pattern or base for the brush.

“The beauty of this technique is you can ‘paint’ over your image in directional strokes, and it uses the photographic image as a base,” Johnson tells PetaPixel. “So you don’t have to really draw or paint anything to create painterly effects on all or part of your image, from subtle to bold depending on brush size.”

There are no filters, no layer styles, and no actions involved. The entire effect is created using the brush, and the nature of the effect is controlled by the size of the brush, your flow setting, and the direction in which you paint. You can see the brushes in action in the quick video below:

In most of the demos Johnson has posted to the Creators Couture YouTube channel, she builds up an image from scratch on a fresh layer. But for photographers, it might be more interesting to apply painterly effects to just specific areas over your original photo as a way to emphasize parts or add a little pop.

We could see this being used to enhance the look of the bokeh in some images, pulling more focus to the subject of a portrait for example.

Here are some before-and-after images that Johnson sent our way so you can see some of the effects that these brushes allow you to create. It’s definitely better than the standard “painting” filters and AI tools we’ve seen, and seems a lot more customizable (and maybe fun?):

There are to categories of brushes, artistic and aligned, which either keep things closer to the original pixels or spread out the color more. Once you’ve chosen your specific patten brush, the other way you control the effect is brush size—the smaller the size, the more detailed the rendering. It’s like painting with a customizable pixel size.

The brushes were recently featured on Adobe Create, and while the whole pack will cost you $19 over on the Creators Couture website, you can download a free sampler at the Adobe website. All of the brushes should be fully compatible with Adobe CS5 and above, although the brush sampler is meant to be used with Adobe Creative Cloud.

To learn more about this interesting creation, watch some tutorials, or download the free sampler check out the feature on Adobe Create. And if you want to see more of Johnson’s work, head over to the Creators Couture website or give her a follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Image Credits: All photos by Jessica Johnson and used with permission.