Photo to Oil Painting Effect (Without Oil Filter) in Photoshop

Creating an oil painting effect from a photo in Photoshop involves using filters and adjustments to simulate the texture and brushstrokes characteristic of oil paintings. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Open Your Photo:

  1. Launch Photoshop and open the photo you want to transform into an oil painting.

2. Duplicate the Layer:

  1. Right-click on the background layer in the Layers panel and choose “Duplicate Layer.”

3. Convert to Smart Object:

  1. With the duplicated layer selected, go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. This allows you to apply filters as Smart Filters, which are editable.

4. Apply the Oil Paint Filter:

  1. With the duplicated and converted layer selected, go to Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint.
  2. In the Oil Paint dialog, adjust the sliders to achieve the desired effect. Key parameters include Stylization, Cleanliness, Scale, and Bristle Detail. Preview the changes in real-time.
  3. Click “OK” when you’re satisfied with the oil paint effect.

5. Adjust the Smart Filter Settings:

  1. In the Layers panel, you’ll see the Smart Filter applied. Double-click on the filter name to open the Oil Paint settings again and make further adjustments.

6. Add a Mask (Optional):

  1. If you want to selectively apply the oil painting effect to certain areas, add a mask to the Smart Filter.
  2. Click the “Add Mask” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  3. Use the Brush tool with black color to paint on the mask to reveal the original photo in specific areas.

7. Adjust Levels and Colors (Optional):

  1. Add adjustment layers (such as Levels or Hue/Saturation) to fine-tune the overall contrast and colors of your image.

8. Add Texture (Optional):

  1. Create a new layer on top of all layers.
  2. Fill the new layer with a neutral color (e.g., 50% gray) and set its blending mode to “Overlay.”
  3. Apply a texture to this layer (such as a canvas texture) to add a more realistic feel to the oil painting effect.

9. Final Adjustments:

  1. Make any final adjustments to achieve the desired balance between the oil painting effect and the original photo.

10. Save Your Image:

  1. Save your work in Photoshop format (File > Save or File > Save As).
  2. Export the image for sharing or printing (File > Export > Export As).


  • Experiment with Settings: The Oil Paint filter offers various sliders and settings. Experiment with different combinations to find the look you prefer.
  • Adjust Brush Size: When using the Brush tool for masking or other adjustments, adjust the brush size and hardness for precision.
  • Combine Filters and Adjustments: Combine the oil paint filter with other filters and adjustments for a more customized effect.

Remember that the success of the oil painting effect depends on the characteristics of the original photo and your creative preferences. Feel free to experiment and customize the settings to achieve the desired artistic result.

Photo to Oil Painting Effect (Without Oil Filter) in Photoshop
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