Now that we have rid ourselves of the black background and added bright yellow to the background to set off the green leaves, we now want to address our third problem, that of too much literal detail in the image. To remove some of this detail, I used the Buzz simplifier filter to simplify the image. Buzz is a Photoshop plug-in that is also available under the name PhotoArtMaster as a stand-alone program. Buzz removes detail from the image while keeping the sharpness of lines. It has the effect of simplifying blocks of color to give the impression of a hand-colored image. Buzz allows you to retain a selective amount of small detail, so you don't end up with only big blocks of color. In this case, I wanted to remove most of the small debris on the surface of the water as well as the many small black imperfections in the leaves. But I wanted to retain the detail of the larger pine needles that litter the leaves and the water, because they add some color and interest to the image. This kind of simplification gives the image its hand-drawn and hand-colored look. After using Buzz I softened its effects by using Filter>Fade in Normal mode at 65% opacity. This has the effect of blending the Buzzed state with the unBuzzed state. Then to retain additional edge detail, I created a duplicate layer using Layer>Duplicate Layer, and applied Buzz to this layer using its Edges Mono filter, which creates a white image with just the outlines of the objects drawn in black. (Alternatively, for this layer you could use one of the built-in Photoshop filters, such as Filter>Sketch>Charcoal, to achieve a similar effect.) Then I used Image>Adjust>Curves and Image>Adjust>Threshold to heighten the contrast in this layer, thereby losing some of the lighter and less interesting parts of the outline, so that I was left with the outline of just the edges of the leaves. Finally, I changed the blending mode of this layer to Multiply. For any given pixel position, the Multiply blending mode keeps the darkest of the two pixels in the two layers. This has the effect of adding the black outlines in the upper layer to the simplified image in the lower layer. To soften this effect, I then reduced the opacity of the upper layer to 65%. Then I flattened the image. You can see the results of these steps in Figure 4.
If you don't have the Buzz filter set, what you can do instead (and what I did in the lilypads images in my Hawaii gallery on this website) is to use the Rubber Stamp (also called Clone) tool to remove the unwanted detail. This, however, takes a great deal of time, since each unwanted black speck must be removed individually. Alternatively, you could try using one of the built-in Photoshop filters, such as Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush, and experiment with its settings. To retain some detail you can then try using Filter>Fade at an opacity of between 50% and 75%. Many of the built-in Photoshop filters have the effect of simplifying the image, and then using Filter>Fade allows you to retain some of the original detail. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with these filters.