Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn, acrylic on canvas

Hepburn, 2016.
Acrylic on canvas.

So, after I had suitably dulled her better judgement with booze, I find myself at a real life ladies house, and notice she has this canvas print on the wall:

Examining it, I decide this is a bit of a mess. It looks like an ex of mine when she decided that eyelashes were extraneous in her life. The decision to use only black and white takes away alot of the detail. So I find the original image, then using my 733t hacker paint.net skills I get this rough version:

Notice how by using a secondary level of grey you get more detail and realism from the eyes and eyebrows, whilst it still being an easy/lazy job to print/paint.

So I choose a different origin photo, and paint the top image. Then before I get the chance to give her the picture, she decides that trivialities like sleeping and looking after her son are more important than me. So I ditch her (i.e. she ditched me) and I keep the picture.

Here are my rough notes on how to “Obama” images in Paint.net:
Open original Picture in Paint.net
Resize upwards if needed, because doing it later will emphasise rough pixel boundaries.

To create the first black layer:
Edit -> Select All
Edit -> Copy
Edit -> Paste into New Image

(the new 2nd image is now currently selected in paint.net)
Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast
Brightness -> Whatever (e.g. -20)
Contrast -> 100
Click OK – you now have a new black and white image

Get rid of small clumps of pixels hanging around with the following:
Effects -> Artistic -> Oil Painting…
Brush Size -> 1, 2, 3 or 4 (I find 3 best)
Click OK – you now have a smoother black and white image

To create the secondary grey layer:
Select the original 1st image again
Edit -> Select All
Edit -> Copy
Select the new black and white image you just created
Edit -> Paste into New Layer

(the 2nd image is still currently selected in paint.net)
Layers -> Layer Properties
Opacity -> 128
Click OK – You now have an odd colour/black and white hybrid
Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast
Brightness -> Whatever, make it greater than the previous value (e.g. 10)
Contrast -> 100
Click OK – you now have a black, grey and white image!

Get rid of small clumps of pixels hanging around with the following:
Effects -> Artistic -> Oil Painting…
Brush Size -> 1, 2, 3 or 4 (I find 3 best)
Click OK – you now have your final smoother black, grey and white image

I was tempted to use 3 layers originally, but it was a little too faffy for something that is supposed to be simple and fun.
Paint entire canvas white first or touchups are a mess. Forget Gesso.

Or just give me £100 (+postage), and I’ll whip you one up.

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