Methods, apparatus, and computer-readable storage media for simulating artistic effects in images rendered from plenoptic data. An impressionistic-style artistic effect may be generated in output images of a rendering process by an “impressionist” 4D filter applied to the microimages in a flat captured with focused plenoptic camera technology. Individual pixels are randomly selected from blocks of pixels in the microimages, and only the randomly selected pixels are used to render an output image. The randomly selected pixels are rendered to generate the artistic effect, such as an “impressionistic” effect, in the output image. A rendering technique is applied that samples pixel values from microimages using a thin sampling kernel, for example a thin Gaussian kernel, so that pixel values are sampled only from one or a few of the microimages.