Is a photo altered with a filter a watercolor painting?

With today's photo applications sometimes people think if they use a watercolor filter to transform a photo, it's now a watercolor, In my opinion that's not true. It's still a digital image of a photograph that has been altered and should not be submitted into shows or sold as a watercolor painting. A watercolor painting requires skill and the use of the medium, not just a push of a button.

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  1. Of course I understand, and stand, behind your comments, but it shocks me that others would think otherwise. Have you actually run into this yourself, Birgit??

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    1. Hi Helen, yes, what brought this to my attention was that in one of my FB groups, someone who joined wanted to post what they called their first "watercolor painting" it was a digitally filtered photo. When I asked what materials they used, there was no response. Since then I have heard how some people are trying to get these altered images into shows or are even trying to sell and pass them off as watercolor paintings, so just had to mention this and bring some light to it.

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  2. Shedding light is important. Hopefully it's a matter of education (or lack thereof), and not a matter of outright deceit. :( Today's judges have a whole world of new challenges before them.

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    1. I really didn't think too much about it until - I have heard a few people saying that they were doing watercolors and what they were really doing was just playing with filters.

      I first thought, no they can't really be serious, it's an app! But then again I thought if we just look at how many masters crafts people have lost their jobs due to progress, machines and technology, I thought, mmm, maybe people, (especially young people) might not really know that there IS a difference.

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    2. As far as judging, I'm sure a well seasoned professional judge will be able to tell the difference. It might be a little harder on a smaller scale show (but I'm pretty sure they will be able to tell too) What I have seen even in some international shows, is taking a photograph, altering it in an app or filter, then painting the digitized image. I have even seen that they can win awards, to me it's a little like paint by number. The spaces are broken down to such a small size, that all they need is to be filled in. - I not sure what to make of that, and where it really stands in the watercolor world.

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