Artsy Street Scene

The Kensington district in Calgary has many renovated old stylish houses from the early 1900’s. This stretch of houses on Memorial Drive near 10th Street is an easy photography subject. They face south, so the lighting conditions for photography are favourable. With the sun not too high in March, there are interesting shadows.

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Below is the original picture, taken at around noon on March 25, 2017

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Here is the same street scene, with the cars removed, and the distracting tree in the middle of the scene removed. If you look closely some of the cloned areas still show imperfections. This is acceptable as we are going to use filters to make it resemble art work. The only distracting element is the red brick surface between the two houses on the right.

By duplicating the layer and adjusting the the color, and then using a layer mask to reveal the unchanged layer below, I arrived at this adjusted photograph below.

Now it is time to apply the Oil Painting filter in Photoshop CS6

Below an “Accented Edges” filter with a bit of “Offset” and “Gamma” correction to bring out the vivid artificial ink colors. I also cropped the image a bit as the last house on the left did not add anything to the composition.

Below I have used Photoshop CS6 to change the blue sky to white by utilizing the “Image” – “Adjustments” – “Replace Color” utility. If the color differences are strong, it is an easy job. Some areas needed a bit of “Cloning” to remove imperfections.

This looks pretty good to me. However, I find the shrubs and tree in front of the houses distracting. Removing them from the digital photograph is not practical. I really like these old houses and decided to draw them without the distractions. One practical way to do this, if you have a projector, is to tape a piece of good quality drawing paper on a wall, project the photograph, and trace the outlines of the houses with a light pencil, just to get the proportions right. Then fill in all the detail with a softer lead pencil on a drawing table.

Next I used Steadler karat aquarell watercolor pencils to color the surfaces of the middle house. By using a water color brush lightly dipped in tap water, I dissolved the pigment into the paper. As a final touch I used a “Pigma Micron” archival ink pen with a 0.1 mm tip to finish off the edges.


1 Response to Artsy Street Scene

  1. Della says:

    very beautiful work. Henri

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