This is from the new “Painting for Photographers Volume 2.” It’s based on a photo by Scott Stulberg

Bob resists writing about programs that claim they can turn your photos into sketches or paintings, because he thinks the results are terrible. Joy, on the other hand, always wants to tell readers about them. (Fight, fight!) Now Bob is winning the argument.

We just found out that our favorite digital artist, Karen Sperling, does not use such software to turn a photo into a painting. She paints it by hand with the program Corel Painter, using a photo for reference. “You mean you clone the photo?” we asked. “No,“ she said. “It’s a misconception that you can copy the photo and software will make it into a painting. I paint from scratch, using the photo as a guide. I use Corel software for the digital brushstrokes and choose the colors myself, in a manner similar to painting with traditional materials.”


  1. I totally agree. I paint using Corel, Photoshop CS6, Artrage and other software and never ever using cloning anything. I create fresh painting using only guides from the photograph to make it into real art. I have used cloning at the beginning a couple of times until I learned what was bad about it and quickly switched to hand painting instead.

    The benefits of painting by computer but by conventional methods as on canvas or paper is that the process is about as “green” as possible. With traditional methods of oil or acrylic, or any other medium, one necessarily uses toxic substances that then can harm our environment. This does not happen with art applications using the computer.

    Computer art is not a short form for art. It is art in the fullest sense with no toxins to harm the environment.