How To Easily Create An Oil Painting Version Of An Image Using Paint.NET

There is something about oil paintings that makes me a big fan of them. Sometimes I come across an image, and I am instantly like, that should have been oil painted!

If you are like me, there’s some good news – you can create an oil painting out of any photo using the free Paint.NET! While Paint.NET is Windows-only, there is an identical app called Pinta for OS X and Linux users.

Once you have installed Paint.NET / Pinta, all you have to do is load the photo into it, and then go to Effects > Artistic > Oil Painting. In the new pop-up window, you can adjust two settings,

  • coarseness – make the photo look as jagged or as smooth as you like
  • brush size – bigger brush size gives less details and vice versa

butterfly oil paintingThe effects are applied to the image in real-time, so you can actually see the changes you are making. Once you’re satisfied with the settings, click OK and save the image via File > Save (use File > Save As if you want to retain the original image). Tada!

You will also notice that Paint.NET and Pinta support two other artistic effects, namely ink sketch and pencil sketch, so you can try them out if they are more of your thing.

The oil painting mode of Paint.NET / Pinta isn’t as feature rich as the ones in, say, Photoshop or GIMP, but it’s lighting fast and is a handy feature to have nonetheless.