The "Oriental Brush Painting" Project.


Right-click and Save Link As... to download the following files for this project and place them in your ORIENTAL_PAINTING folder:

  1. White tiger photo.
  2. Watercolor Brushes II.
  3. Chinese Alphabet Brushes.
  4. Grasslands Brush.

Step 1 – Setting Up Background:

Create a document of size 750 by 550px.

Fill the background with #D7D7D7: Click your foreground color, then enter that number into the proper location. Then, Alt-Backspace to fill the document with this color.


Step 2 – Cropping the Tiger:

Next, open the White Tiger and roughly mask it with the MASK tool, then move it to the center of the gray canvas.


Step 3 – Apply Watercolor Effect:

Select the tiger layer, go to Filter > Artistic > Watercolor.

Set the Brush Detail to 14, Shadow Intensity to 2 and Texture to 1.


Step 4 – Adding Black Strokes:

Create a new layer under the white tiger (Ctrl-Shift-N).

Click on the BRUSH TOOL in Photoshop, then, follow the instructions in the graphic at the top of THIS PAGE to install your saved BRUSH files.

Open your BRUSH window and select Sampled Brush 13 from the Watercolor Brushes (it will be near the bottom of the list, mouse over brushes to see brush names!).

Set the foreground color to #000000 and brush size to 450px, paint the two patches as shown in the diagram.


Step 5 – Adding Red Strokes:

Create another new layer under the black strokes.

Select Sampled Brush 9 with size 250px and foreground color as #cc0000, paint a few patches of red under the black strokes.

When using Photoshop BRUSHES, click the [ and ] buttons on your keyboard to quickly increase and decrease the size of your brush!


Step 6 – Adding the Grasses:

Create another new layer under the tiger. From the Grasslands brushes, select Sampled Brush 12 and set your foreground color to #000000 and select Sampled Brush 12 to paint a few strokes of weeds and grasses.

Do the same with Sampled Brush 13 to add some variety.


Step 7 – Oriental Calligraphy:

This is the time for experimentation. You can add the Chinese Characters brushes in any way you think fits the look of the work so far. On a new layer, play with the Characters until you get your best look!


Step 8 – Changing Colors:

To adjust the colors for the final artwork, click on your TOP LAYER in the LAYER panel and then click LAYER>NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER>HUE and SATURATION, click OK in the Dialogue Box. We use ADJUSTMENT LAYERS so that we can change the look of images, but in a way that preserves the original image for later use.

Input the following into the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer values: set the Hue to 40, Saturation to -65 and Lightness to 0.

Now add a LEVELS ADJUSTMENT LAYER (same technique) and input the values 36, 1.03, 251 in the resulting histogram.



Step 9 - Apply what you have learned:

Now, using the techniques learned in this tutorial and your own images, create your own "Oriental Brush Artwork." Save this final canvas as "ORIENTAL_BRUSH_ARTWORK.jpg"

Inspirational canvases are seen to the left!