Pom Pom Dahlia from Lullingstone – Oil Paint Effect

Pom Pom Dahlia Oil Paint Effect

A photograph of a pom-pom dahlia taken at Lullingstone Castle in Kent.

To create the above photograph, I started out in Lightroom.  To the dahlia I cropped the image and then did a few minor edits to the image.  Over-processing the image at this point was one thing I didn’t want to do, as I knew I would be giving it an Oil Paint Effect in Photoshop.

As per my usual workflow, the real PSD file containing the Powder Paint Effect was exported to Photoshop by clicking the Edit in Photoshop in Lightroom and by selecting from the options Edit a copy.

Processing of Oil Paint Effect

In Photoshop

To work on the dahlia image layer, I first used the keyboard  command Control+T to free transform the image as the image I used was square.  By using the Rectangle Marquee Tool and selecting the edges of each side, making sure I did not include the petals of the dahlia, again using Control+T, I stretched these edges to fill the frame.  Which removed the stark edges of the image and created a feathered feel to the image.

My next processing step was to create a Gradient Overlay and a Pattern Overlay effect to this layer.  For the Gradient Overlay I selected a gradient that complimented the colours of the dahlia and I used a pattern and lowered the opacity of the pattern.

Once I was happy with my background my next task was to create the Oil Paint Effect.  By selecting the Dahlia Layer (Layer 1) I then used the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop and played around with the settings until I got the desired effect.  With a tweak of the Fade Oil Paint Option I lowered the effect to the Dahlia image.  I then added a Levels Clipping Mask to the Dahlia layer and played around with the sliders.

Having achieved what I wanted with the Oil Paint Effect, my next step was to add a Colour Overlay to the Box Outline.

With a new adjustment layer I added a new Gradient Map to the image.  My last two edits were to add a Vignette to the image and my Watermark. I did this by creating new layers for each step.

The image was finished in Photoshop. So my next task was to save the image.  I saved my image with a different filename and then imported this image back into Lightroom.

Back into Lightroom

Once I was back in Lightroom, my next task was to use a Preset I like which adds a Sunlight Effect to the image.  I then added some Radial Filters to dodge and burn areas of the petals.

A monochrome photograph of a pom-pom dahlia taken at Lullingstone Castle in Kent.

Playing around in Lightroom, with different Presets I used a black and white Preset to create a monochrome effect to the image.  Adding Filters, playing around with Levels and Adjustment Layers is a good way to learn Photoshop.  Learning Photoshop is a steep learning curve.   I have been grateful to the following for their videos, written tutorials and inspiration, in my mission to learn Photoshop.

Learning from Others

Here are some of the people I turn to for tutorial videos on Photoshop and Lightroom are :

Advanced Learning

Beginner Learning


Posted by Bren

I am an amateur photographer, blogger and digital artist as well as being the female half of RyanPhotography. We both have a keen interest in landscape and floral photography. And we live in Kent, also known as the Garden of England, in the United Kingdom. We both have a desire to travel and hopefully one day move to somewhere where it is picturesque and a photographer's delight.


Thank you so much, Bren, for all the information and guidance you share. It’s a lovely image.

You are welcome Helen… glad I can help in a little way. I don’t know if you use Lightroom but they now have a Lightroom Plugin so you can export your images straight from Lightroom to WordPress

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