Photo realistic drawing

For this assignment we were asked to take a picture and make it look like a drawing.

This is a picture that I took on one of my night walks on campus. I took it with the intention of using it as a reference for a charcoal removal drawing that I never got around to doing, so it felt fitting to use it here.

I adore the lamp posts on campus and this is one of my favorites, there is nothing around it but the tree and the harsh way it lights up half of the trunk is very spooky and mysterious, especially with the way you can’t see the base of the lamp, so it looks like its floating like a ghost light. I love it when the mundane becomes an object of mystery and fantasy.

In order to make this I used the Free program ‘Fire alpaca’ because it is what I have access to.

First load your image that you’d like to use into firealpaca. Then under filter select hue. Take the slider that says saturation and pull it down to -100 to make the image black and white. I raised the brightness to +14 because my image was already very dark and it helped bring back some of the detail. Any adjustments to brightness should be made on an image by image basis as to what looks the best.

Next go under filter and select the sand filter on a new layer, this will create the ‘on paper’ look. After this take the sand layer and move it behind (below) the main image layer.

Then go under filter and select lens blur on your main image (if you do it while you have the sand layer selected it will blur that layer instead). I used radius 15 and brightness 4.00 to add a slight blur to the image to capture the blurry quality of charcoal. this can be adjusted slightly on an image by image basis, but it is a very finicky tool and it goes from not enough to too much very fast, so its best to move it in small increments.

Now you have to turn the opacity of the main image down to about 87% so you can see the sand layer behind it.

Now you have to go and ‘save as’ either a .png or .jpeg (which ever file type works best for you) if you don’t select either of these it will default to an .mpd which can only be opened with firealpaca software.

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