Photography Project 52: Week 41 – Creating an Etching from Photographs

1105_MFA_San Diego_174-Edit

I spent three days reading my first photography magazine on my new ipad (I think that was the first time he regretting giving me my own ipad).  The magazine a great capture and processing techniques, which I can imagine I will spend the next few weeks trying.  Have you saved photographs, where you know they have potential you just don’t know what to do with them?  This technique simulates an etching, with some painterly touches, and might be good to try with some of your “I don’t know what to do with this, but I’m not ready to throw it out” images.  The most challenging part of the project was not the technical aspects of setting things up in Photoshop, but the free-form aspects that involved picking colors, brush types, scattering, angles…..well you get the picture.  I have a much better appreciation of a painter’s skills.

I read about this technique in the February edition of Digital Photo.  It involves creating a layer mask with in imprint of a photo on it.  Then placing it over a texture, and painting color on a transparent layer connected to the mask.  It sounds more complicated than it is.

I actually found myself erasing and starting over several times because I didn’t like my brushes, the colors were muddled because I kept painting over them with different colors, my textures were too colorful and busy you couldn’t see the etchings, etc.  Ironically enough I chose this project because I had a limited amount of time this week – but it took hours.

So here are my results:

1301_MFA_New Mexico_144-Edit-Edit 0910_PSA_WashingtonDC_327-Edit 1112_PSA_untitled_126-Edit-Edit-Edit-2 1204_MFA_abstract_147-Edit

1105_MFA_San Diego_174-Edit


1203_MFA_San Deigo_266-Edit-Edit-Edit


  1. Loretta from Long Island, NY

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve been layering textures over photos and this extra step will enhance them even further. Good inspiration!

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