Transform photos with painterly effects, using smart brushes that adjust themselves
Transform photos with painterly effects, using smart brushes that adjust themselves.
PaintCan sits somewhere between a photo filter app and a flexible art tool, and is bound to appeal if you’re creative in other mediums but still working on your confidence to oil paint from scratch. It enables you to create painterly representations of imported photos and images. That said, it’s not just a one-click effects app: there’s plenty here for the dab hand too, such as smart brushes and preset manipulation, and it should please anyone feeling the loss of the Oil Paint Filter in recent versions of Photoshop CC.
You open an image and paint over it on a separate canvas layer. The app boasts intelligent, intuitive controls, and its context-sensitive brush strokes are generated using an underlying image’s existing colours and composition, but when used with presets and zoom offers a high degree of freedom.
The Light, Heavy, Coarse and Outline presets consist of broad Background strokes for laying down your scene; combining them with Details presets – using Light strokes with the Organic preset for painting natural landscapes for example – can result in impressive (and impressionistic) effects. The Face preset handles fine features adroitly, resulting in nuanced portraiture, while Lines and Structured presets smartly hook on to angular, architectural elements in a scene. Manual settings, on the other hand, make it possible to take your own course entirely, which should prove a boon for experienced artists. Multiple undos are also a tap away, and the snapshot tool enables you to save a specific image state to return to it at a later time.
At first you’ll find yourself making fair use of this feature – experimentation is key to getting the hang of the app – but with time and a little patience the results can often be sublime, leaving you free to snap a photo (or even download one), open it up in PaintCan and begin working up your next oil paint masterpiece.
PaintCan has just the right learning curve
for aspiring artists, yet enough freedom
for the more discerning painter.