At home or work, your space should be personalized. There are many ways to do this from putting tchotchkes like figurines or decorative cups on your desk and shelves, hanging dried flowers in your dining room, or displaying your china plates in a cabinet.
Nothing personalizes a space like art by you or someone close to you. Even if you don’t fancy yourself an artist, you’ll be surprised what some simple Photoshop tricks can accomplish. Let’s explore some great ways to create unique pieces of art to bring a personal touch to your spaces.
Photography has been a great hobby and profession for nearly two-hundred years. Now, it’s more accessible and affordable than ever. Even in the 1990s and early 2000s, people had to purchase cameras with film, then pay for the processing before they could see what their pictures looked like. Today, you can get a digital camera or simply use the camera built into your smartphone. And, every year, smartphone cameras get better. You can even get a zoom lens for your smartphone, allowing you to take great photos of distant objects and people.
This has turned many of us into decent amateur photographers. So, take some pictures of friends, family, natural settings, or buildings. Look for the odd but beautiful things around you, like the way a shadow falls strangely on the ground, or the odd pattern on a drying leaf. Head to YouTube and look for videos on taking artistic pictures, which can help with framing and more. A little knowledge can go a long way.
We’ll get to prints shortly, but getting those images is the first step.
Turning a Photograph Into Art
There are many ways to turn photographs into art, but my favorite is using the website Deepart.io, Photoshop, and the JixiPix plugin called Impresso. There are lots of other programs out there that do something like what I’m suggesting.
The goal here is to take a photograph that you took and love and make it look like a painting. What I’ll do is find such a photograph, perhaps a picture of a relative or friend, and I’ll import it to the Deepart.io website. Then, I choose a painting someone else uploaded, or I upload one. The site will then turn my photo into a picture matching that style. The results range from unexpectedly poor to fantastic, so you’ll want to experiment with it.
Next, I download the converted image, which already looks like a painting, and open it in Photoshop. I’ll increase the size to how large I want the print to be at 300 dpi. For a 3’x2’ print I have at home now, I would increase it to 36”x24” at 300 dpi, which is quite large, but that will ensure the print looks high quality. This will add a lot of pixelation, but we’re about to get rid of that.
I then export the image to my Impresso plugin. In the next window, I choose the style I like and make adjustments. This will add more of a painterly touch as well as adding resolution and removing that pesky pixelation.Next, I send it back to Photoshop and save it as a high-quality jpeg that looks like a painting of my photograph, ready to print.
Painting and Drawing
If you’re already an artist or painter, you may already have your paintings up and probably don’t need much advice. We’d like to add that we recommend framing them, especially drawings before you put them on the wall. This gives them a classy, professional look.
You may also want to try your hand at digital painting using an art tablet and Photoshop or another painting program. Many artists will scan in drawings, make adjustments in their program of choice, and do all their colorwork in the program. Like the photographs-turned-paintings, these can look like physical paintings, be done at high resolution, and make amazing prints.
There are so many types of prints you can get these days that it would pay to go to your local print shop to learn more. One type that looks great is the canvas print. This is a print done on a painting canvas. Get your scanned, physical painting, digital painting, or converted photograph printed on one of these and it will look a lot like a real painting at home. At the time of this writing, a 24”x36” canvas print at Costco costs $59.99, and you can pick it up in a store when ready, avoiding shipping costs.
You can also get photographic prints, which are really best for unaltered photos, in a variety of sizes, and get them framed. Many professional artists sell giclée prints, which come on sturdy, white paper that isn’t too glossy. This method makes for great reproductions and shows off colors well. In fact, if you’re already an artist, creating a series of such prints is worth looking into if you want to sell them, perhaps on Etsy or at a convention.
We hope this helps you make your personal space pop with beauty and give you something enjoyable to do, especially during the current quarantine period. Many people are looking for creative things to do with their time, and you may just come up with a great new hobby as well.