Thom Yorke photoshop oil portrait with realistic texture

Yet another Photoshop Oil Portrait - Seriously, I'm Obsessed! In an update from my last post about Rembrandt this is all about a cracked paint texture.

My target is Thom Yorke. I think Thom makes a good military general. You can do it with anyone who is looking directly at the camera. You will need a good-quality image at a reasonably high resolution. It's also easier to cut out if they are on a white background.

The whole painting with the cracked paint effect

Oil painting in Photoshop Thom Yorke

A close-up of the painting

thom yorke oil painting by Simon Stratford

Where did you get the cracked effect from?

I searched the internet and found quite a few good cracked paint effects. The trouble was they were not big enough - I don't just want a big cracked effect. I want it scaled down - to make it more realistic.

I also didn't want it to look like the paint was cracking and peeling off like you get when you search in Google.

So I kind of stitched and tiled the good ones that I found. It's not perfect. I found it a grind, making a seamless tile, and the results were not that good (I could see where it tiles). However, with smoke and mirrors, I might just be able to use it.

You can download my cracked effect. I'm almost too embarrassed to share it with you, but what the hell? Use it as a pattern so it fills the image.

The basic Photoshop process

  1. Find a suitable old naval painting via Google image search (it has to be high res)
  2. Get a photograph to use over the naval painting
  3. Cut out your modern photograph, paste it over the top
  4. Colour match the two
  5. Use the smudge tool to blend the two pictures together.
  6. Paste a crackle / cracked paint layer above your artwork and set it to multiply
  7. Tweak the cracked layer to reveal only parts of it
  8. Apply a smart sharpen layer to bring up all the paint textures
  9. Tweak the colour until you are happy

The video - see how quickly I work!

I don't work that quick! It's about 2 hrs condensed into 4 minutes, which gives you a good feel for how the thing comes together.

Room for improvement

I'm going to try to push this technique a little further each time I try it. I want more realism. I want to improve the cracked paint effect, and that means creating my own - and then scanning it in.

Get me to do a Photoshop oil portrait for you

If you don't have time to do your own oil painting in Photoshop then you can hire me to do it for you. I now offer this as a service, but be warned, it's not cheap.

It can take well over 5 hours of work to create the oil painting effect. I've proved that it's not that difficult but it does take time. Cost depends on your picture, the more complex the more it costs.

If you are interested you'll need

  • A high-resolution photograph (nothing shot on your mobile phone)
  • A well-lit photograph
  • A head shoulder shot

Feel free to contact me to talk about your project.

That is all.