May 032014

Have you ever had a client who knew they wanted a piece painted but was just not sure of the colour?  Read on and find out how you can use a photo editor to help them….

For decades, I have dabbled in Photography. Back in the day, I even took a course on developing my own black and white film. Sadly at the time, I was in an apartment and did not really have room for a little lab. Other than that, most of what I know is self taught. You see, I am the kind of person who, when they take up an interest, gets every book I can get my hands on. This is true about PhotoShop Elements too.

As I have previously revealed, my daughter danced competitively from an early age. Competitive dance is darn pricey so when the studio photos came back looking crappy, and you had to pay in advance before you saw them, I decided it was time to do my own thing. Besides, I preferred the “live” shots we could get from the photographers at the dance competitions. Often, several moms would approach them and strike a deal, combining many entries for a lower price. With these digital photos, I would work my “magic” in Photoshop Elements. It was a labour of love because I not only loved the dancers, I loved playing and learning new techniques. As time went on, I learned more and more while Photoshop Elements improved with each version, making it easier.

I must admit my early work was a bit simple but the studio photographer was doing what I was doing and charging a small fortune. Fast forward a couple years and soon, my stuff was pretty nice and unique. Soon parents wanted me to work on their photos. And I did. But I knew I would not want to do it as a long term business, knowing we would leave the dance world in a few years. My daughter and I even dabbled in dance performance photography. She was very good because she can anticipate the moves. For example, she would know when a jump might be happening and catch it perfectly. However we both knew our love dance did not entail photographing dancers for hours on end.

Regardless, we and many of the other dance families now have amazing photos of our dancers. Here are a couple examples…

I did this one for a dance mom and daughter.  I took 4 live performance photos from a contemporary dance number (taken by the competition photographer) and created a collage with a new background.  The bottom photo lets the real floor show through, thereby not losing the lighting and shadows.

room with three frames

One of my favourites “creations” is when I  extracted my daughter from a ballet group.  Once extracted, the resolution was poor so I used a variety of techniques to make it look like a painting. I then had it printed on a  large canvas.  It is not only beautiful, it could become an heirloom (if such things still exist!)

The first photo is the live stage shot we purchased.  My daughter loved her perfect arabesque. (Note our studio was not strong in ballet so ignore the rest!)

ballet group

Group shot

 This is want I did with it.  It may not be evident but in reality, it looks like a painting.
Definitely my favourite Photoshop project!

ballet painting

Extracted and stylized as a painting

Okay, so brag time is over.  What does all this have to do with “ENVISIONING” and painting furniture??

Well, for me, it is a snap to help a client decide on a colour.  I simply upload a picture into Photoshop Elements and “colourize” the piece.

This was certainly true with a desk a client dropped off.  When I saw it, I fell in love with it.  It is very unique and I asked if she was sure she wanted to paint it.  (There will be paint haters out there who will be upset with us… but I DID ask!)  She just wants a brighter look in the room…

Here is the gorgeous piece before:

andrea before

Is this not the cutest desk?? Inside the doors are cubbies!

She had some colour ideas but could not decide.  So being a diplomatic person, I decided to help her. 

  1. I uploaded the file in Photoshop Elements
  2. Using the Quick Selection tool, I selected the desk and de-selected the windows in the doors and the desk top which will remain wood.
  3. I added a layer, reduced the opacity to 70% or so and then filled the selection with colour.

I sent her the following renditions based on her ideas:









As you can see it is very crude but it only took me 10 minutes!  She loved that she could visualize how it would look after. 

Which one do you like? 
There is a chair and its upholstery in the equation too.

Have you used a photo editor to help you or you client visualize? 

Leave me a comment and tell me about it.  I LOVE COMMENTS!!

Stay tuned and come back to see the result!


  11 Responses to “Envision Painted Furniture with Photoshop”

  1. I love it in gray and blue. This is such a great idea. I have a piece for my dining room that I can’t figure out which color to use. I am definitely going to use your idea to test out some colors! So glad I saw your post on LinkPartyPalooza

  2. I love this idea!!! I gravitate toward softer colors and on my computer the fuchsia looks gray – violet & that’s the one I like! xo
    Ohhhh and your photo of your daughter is stunning…what a graceful girl!
    Thanks for linking up with Twirl and Take a Bow! ox

  3. How fun, never thought of that. So many possibilities. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  4. I vote for White! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  5. Wow, Joan, you’ve got some serious Photoshop skills there, girl! I love the collages you’ve made. I vote for the gray version on the furniture, although red is my favorite color, so I vote for that too, ha ha. Thanks so much for sharing this at History & Home this week, take care – Dawn @ We Call It

  6. I’ve never used Photoshop, but that’s a cool use for it! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


  7. Joan your daughter is beautiful. I like the gray and the b lue.

  8. Hi Joan, I just found your blog from Not JUST A Housewife. We sound alike. I have been ‘fixing’ photos since 1999. & restoring furniture for over 30 yrs. that ic of your daughter form the group to just her is perfect. One has to look at a lot of pics to see one that well done. You must be so pleased. Def a heirloom. I was one of the protestors about painting over timber but mainly because the craftmanship was of such a high quality that it seemed to be destroying something almost effect already. It is growing on me in the last yr or so especially if the before was poor quality. I like the colour samples you did of this desk but wonder if a little bit more timber could be left. Maybe play some more with colouring…

  9. […] to go mad with this piece, I used Photoshop, to create some crude mock ups of various colours. Here is the post.  In the end, she chose grey but a paler shade.  Whew …  knowing the colour was […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :