Corel Painter Oil Painting Test

I'm trying a test this morning with Corel Painter Essentials 4, a program that lets me take my photographs and turn me into the artist I never could be.

My initial tests with this program were disappointing. I was converting my photographs from their full-sized originals (normally 10 or 12 megapixels) and the paintings turned out too realistic. Then one day I used a photograph from my iPhone, and it turned out much more artistic, which is what I was hoping for.

The difference? The size of the original image is my guess.

Below is an example of what I mean.

This first image is the original jpeg image of a waterfall I shot in Virginia last week.


The second is that image converted to an oil painting from the original 16 megapixel image (higher resolution than the previous tests because I'm now using a new camera). 


The third is the imaged converted to an oil painting, but this time from a 1024 pixel export of the original.


Yes, you lose a lot of realism with the third image, but to me it looks much more like the kind of painting I'd like to "really" make if I had the talent.

Which do you prefer, the second image, taken from the full-sized photograph, or the third, taken from a smaller copy?
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