…and I am.
So before my little sojourn interrupted me, I was talking about the book cover, right? Right.
I had found the photo I wanted and received permission to use it. The original photo looked like this:
I absolutely loved this image, but I wanted a painting. Using the free program FotoSketcher, I could convert it to look like one. But there was another issue.
You see those signs and awnings? I didn’t want those. For one thing, there could be rights issues with those businesses. For another, I didn’t want to pinpoint Newtonberg. Since this photo is of a street scene in Sonoma County, California, and Newtonberg is in Texas, I didn’t want anything to identify it. So the first thing I had to do was to blur those out.
Using TwistedBrush Pro Studio, I blurred out the words and other identifying marks. This doesn’t look very good on a regular photo, but since I was going to convert it to a painting, that would obscure things.
(Side note: TwistedBrush Pro Studio is not normally free, but an older version was one of the GiveAway of The Day programs at the time I was working on this, so my version was. I can highly recommend GAOTD if you don’t already get their e-mails.)
Now I was ready to convert the image to a painting. FotoSketcher couldn’t be easier to use. I simply opened the program and chose the image. Once the photo was opened, it asked me for parameters.
As I looked at my options, I decided I actually liked the way the sketch looked better than I liked the painting options. So I chose “Oil Pastel Sketch (color)” from the drop-down menu and played with the settings until I liked what I saw in the preview box. I did not add a texture at this point, since I was going to run the finished picture through it again to add a final texture to everything.
Then I clicked the “Draw!” button and waited. Less than five minutes later, I had something like this:
Now I was ready to add the title and author.