Blow something up with Marilyn Sholin

Marilyn Sholin wrote this article about resizing her paintings. She’s a veteran at preparing art for prints. Her painting style combines photography, Photoshop and even mobile apps.


Working with technology has many challenges. For example, try to switch between the iPad and the computer on a single piece. It was tough for me to learn how to convert my work into printable files large enough for print sales and art exhibits. There were just too many confusing questions to ask before deciding to print.

Now I have a secret weapon, Blow Up from Alien Skin Software. Blow Up makes resizing a breeze.

Here is a small image of one of my paintings made with an iPad and Photoshop. When I do this, I focus on a few different things when resizing with Blow Up.

Final Painting Before Resizing

First I make sure the hard edges are tack-sharp. This helps features like eyes read clearer and at farther distances. The Sharpen Edges slider was made for this. Also, the paint should look crisp, not smoothed.

300% Enlargement

300% Enlargement

Next I’ll take a close look at the detail of the paper grain, for paintings it’s extremely important. Blow Up can simulate film grain with the Add Grain slider. This makes smooth areas look more detailed and natural.

300% Enlargement

The Blow Up presets do the majority of the work. I occasionally make tweaks, but rarely need to. Blow Up takes the hassle out of printing so I can concentrate on my painting.


I call this painting style PhotoSymphonies. It all starts with a photo, goes through iPad apps, and continues into Photoshop. Right now my PhotoSymphonies tutorials are on sale. Visit my Digital Paint Shop for more information and  freebies to download. If you want a “Boxer Babe” print it’s on Fine Art America. For more information, more lessons, and more fun find me on Facebook, on PIXIQ, and on my blog.

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About the Author:

Jimmy is the marketing nerd at Alien Skin. He makes workflow training tutorials, handles affiliates, writes for the blog, manages our contributing authors, governs our social media, and he is the king of swag orders. He also makes a mean cup of espresso, so if you stop by the office, remember to give him cash tips for his efforts.


  1. haeruddin October 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

    awesome team ! thanks alien skin product

  2. Evelyn Jeanne Shaw October 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do 🙂 …

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