Work of Art?

As most of you know, I am a big fan of post-processing. For me, Photoshop is as important as my camera to the work that I create.

For the past two weeks, I have experimented with Snap Art 3 by Alien Skin Software, under their free 15-day trial offer. Snap Art works as a plug-in for Photoshop, Elements or Lightroom and retails for $199.

“Snap Art turns your photograph into a beautiful work of art that looks completely handmade. Improved realism in version 3 keeps your subject natural and recognizable. The result is a finished piece worthy of printing on canvas and hanging in a gallery.”

This software is incredibly easy to use. Once it is installed, it shows up as an option in your Filter menu. There is a wide-range of available media, including oil paint, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastels and crayon. Within those mediums, you can choose from styles like impasto, pointillism or modern art techniques like comics and stylize. Each medium has a number of presets or you can set all the options, which includes type of medium, stroke length, canvas type, lighting and more. You can control how photorealistic the results will be so the effect can be very subtle or widely abstract.

The changes are non-destructive – effects in Photoshop are rendered on a new layer, leaving your original image untouched. If you utilize Photoshop Smart Objects, the filter can be tweaked after it has been created.

Below are several examples of what the software can do with just a few clicks. I was extremely impressed with the ease of use and the realistic results. Rendered as an oil painting or watercolor, my photograph took on a whole new dimension and style.

But, I must admit, it felt a little bit like cheating. And this comes from someone who never hesitates to use post-processing in her creative workflow. Was it TOO easy? Perhaps.

I enjoyed experimenting  with Snap Art 3 – I barely scratched the surface of its capabilities and creative possibilities. I ended up with images that I would love to see printed out on canvas. I doubt that I will actually make the purchase – still trying to live within our retirement budget. But it was fun, playing – pretending to be a painter, creating something new with my images.

What do you think of the results?

Preset: Impasto-Landscape

Preset: Pencil Sketch-Default

Preset: Pastel Abstract More Coverage


Posted on December 20, 2011, in Photoshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. WOW..these are incredible!! Especially love the last one – it really does look like a painting. And – why make life hard for yourself..when you find something that makes it this easy?? Am definitely going to check these out (even iff – only for the free trial!). Thanks!

  2. Ooo, I love these too. The pencil sketch is my favourite. I know what you mean about feeling a bit like you’re cheating – I love photoshop too but if I use lots of presets I feel I’ve been less creative than playing around on my own. That said, I agree with Marcie above, why make life hard, specially if the results are this good! Great find, thank you for sharing.

  3. The results are great, the first one is my favorite.

  4. These are wonderful Brenda!
    Thank you so much for sharing the information.
    I wish you and your family a beautiful Holiday.


  5. Nice, I think I like the last one. Or maybe the 1st one.
    There’s so much you can do post processing, Isn’t there? I must explore one day!

  6. Beautiful — I’m especially drawn to the last image. What a treat.:)

  7. Love the results! The warmth in the last one makes it my favorite. Thanks for sharing the information.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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