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Creating a Pop Art Photographic Portrait Using Photoshop

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  By Julian
Creating a Pop Art Photographic Portrait Using Photoshop www.sleeklens.com

Hi guys today we’re going in a bit of a different but nicely creative direction with our Photoshop Tutorial just to give you something a little different to do and to have a different perspective as to what you are able to do.

So this will be the first part of our Pop Art Portrait Lesson.

In this first thing I’m going to be showing you how to cut the subject out from the back ground, for that we are going to be using the Polygonal Tool for this for simplicity sake.

If you know how to use the Pen Tool and it’s your preferred Tool for cropping then by all means use that, if you don’t know what the Pen Tool is then I suggest taking a look at some online tutorials on sites like YouTube as it takes a lot of explaining and not the type of explaining that words would really do justice as it is a pretty complicated Tool.

If you are familiar with Adobe Illustrator then the Pen Tool is basically the same and it would not take you long at all to get up to speed.

What I do with the Polygonal Tool to get the best results is to zoom right in and try to find the blur line.

Then follow along the lines in short bursts to best create the curves and to make them look natural, if you make a mistake just press delete and it will erase the last action, click it a few times it will erase like so, every last action.

Something to take into consideration when doing this is to not click too quickly as it will join the ends of the first and last selection point, so be careful with that, if you double click it will close the selection.

Unfortunately I still make this mistake, this is were the Pen Tool has an advantage over the Polygonal Tool, though both have both there advantages and disadvantages.

For this you can take liberties with the hair, but if you want to learn how to cut Hair out properly then we have tutorials on that.

Click here and check out my tutorial on How to Crop out Models with Curly Hair in Photoshop.

Once you have the whole image selected you then click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of your Layers Panel.

And you will have a Blank Background.

Then you can create a New Layer by clicking on third to the left from your Layer Mask Icon beside the Recycling Bin.

Get a Paint Brush and paint it in Black or White, it doesn’t matter at this stage.

Next we’re going to be looking up for Paint Splatter Brushes, there is loads of resources for these online that you can find and get free Paint Splatter Brushes, Paint Splatter Brushes will be your key word in the Google search end of things and you should find a good few preset brushes ready for you to use, all you have to do is download them and add them to you Photoshop.

To do that make sure you have your brush selected.

Then click where I have indicated to open up the brush option, and right at the bottom you will see an icon I have also highlighted, this will open a panel where you can click load, find the file then double click on it to add it to your brushes.

Double click on that and now you’re set.

Next you’ll want to randomize the Brush a little.

We do this by clicking on the brush option again if you still do not have them available.

Click on Shape Dynamics, then you want to increase your size jitter and angle jitter up to 100%, now when you paint with your brush it will look insane, with splatters all over the place, which is good! exactly how we want it to be.

It will randomize the brush up completely so no two will be the same, at least in the immediate area anyway.

Next click on Colour Dynamics, 4 down from Shape Dynamics and then increase the Hue Jitter up to 100%

Now it will also randomize the colours.

What I’m going show you now is just my specifications for this tutorial, so if you want to try some different colours, images and backgrounds then that is totally up to your own discretion to do so, you are in complete creative control here at this point so enjoy it 🙂

So first I’m going to create a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer, so instead of showing you on a picture I’m going to explain based on the first part of this tutorial as I think it would be better for your learning process and will sink in better, plus it’ll encourage you to study the first part so keep this in mind through the rest of these tutorials.

Remember where on the Layers Panel we clicked to create our New Layer? in Part One, and also where we clicked to create our Mask? well the next one to the right of our Mask Icon and the Second to the left you will see a circle that has been cut in half, click that and you will see the options appear.

Then look on the list for Hue/Saturation and click on it, you will then have opened up your Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

So what does this mean? well it means that it is a non destructive layer, you are working on a separate layer to your original image so all your work can be editable in the future.

One thing I forgot to mention is that you must be clicked onto your image before you do this, that way the layer will appear above it.

Then you right click on the adjustment layer and click on Create Clipping Mask, that means the adjustment layer will only affect the layer below that it is now attached to.

So now I’m going to reduce my Saturation down to Zero.

Now doing the exact same as what we just discussed you want to open up a Levels adjustment layer.
And move the White and Black points both inwards as shown below.

Once you have this all done create a new layer above that and right click again to Create a Clipping Mask and use our brush to paint over out figure like so.

You don’t have to use the one brush you can go through a multitude if you wish to do so and experiment a little, just remember to have Shape and Colour Dynamics Checked in the Brush options as shown in the first tutorial.

Next up we’re going to start playing with the effects, so what I want you to do is to double click on the layer that you painted on and a panel of options will open up.

That means double click on the Layer in the Layers panel to the right, in our image above you’ll see it labelled as layer 3.

At the bottom middle you will see a bar called underlying layer, if you start to pull the sliders at the ends inwards you will start to see the cool effect come to life.

You can also hold Alt (or option on the Mac) to split the sliders to get a far more refined effect.

From mine I can see that the effect isn’t living up to what I first wanted it to be so I’m going to start playing with my adjustment layers, so remember what I said about adjustment layers and how I could always go back to my non destructible layers in the future if I needed to, well this is one of those times so remember that you can do this and use it to your full advantage in the future if you can remember.

Then you can go back into your painted on layer again by double clicking and play around with that slider again.

Now, I’d like to start changing some of my colours up, this is very easy to do and to do it all you have to do is to change the colour of your brush.

Because we have the brush options set when we change the colour it will still keep the the options that we set but it will alternate the colours somewhat.

So I would say to take a half an hour with this and change up the colours back and forth and also change the size as you go along to try to get the best visual possible, you can work into the eyes and hair a good bit more and pick out individual features.

If there is any areas on your portrait that you’d like to pull out more what we can do is to go back in with the Polygonal Selection Tool while clicked onto the Painted layer, then what you do it you simply select around the areas that you wish to remove the paint from, it can be eyes, hands, feet what ever is in your image that you want to have the paint effect removed from.

You can also add a little feathering to the selection so the edge will not be so sharp and it will blend in a little better.

Then you can use your Eraser Tool to minus out those areas, you don’t have to use the selection you can go more freehand with the Eraser Tool if you want to but using the Selection Tool will allow you to focus in more on specific areas if that suits your needs.

So next I want to take this technique a little further and bring the subjects lips out further.

What I now want you to do is to click on your first layer, then hold Shift and then Click on the top layer, this will highlight all your layers, once you do this you can then click on Ctrl G.

This will group everything together.

Prior to doing this make a copy of the original layer and drag it to the bottom, that way you will have a spare original layer to use as a reference.

Now create a layer above the group and then turn the group off, once you do this you can then for example select out the lips as I can doing and then once you close the selection paint it red or which ever colour you like.

Once I do this I then want to select out the Highlights and the easiest way for me to do this is to go to Select – Select Colour Range making sure to first be clicked onto your original layer.

Then using the Eyedropper Tool that colour range provides you can click on the Teeth, and if you want to add more selections, right beside the Eye Dropper you will see an Eye Dropper with a plus sign attached, then you can use that to increase the selections.

Then click ok and you’re set to Erase out on the Painted lips layer the areas that have been selected.

Once I do this I can then drop the opacity of that layer and using the Eraser Tool also with it’s opacity dropped is to go around the edges and blend it in a little more, I would drop the Layer opacity down to around 60% and have my Eraser Tool to round about 15%.

Then my last few touches is to create a new layer above my original layer and below my Group and paint in a solid background first, then I can use our Brush Tool with our setting to make it a little bit more interesting and Pop Art like.

You can just leave the image with a solid colour just like a Warhol or you can go a little bit out there.

So hope you got a good bit out of this Tutorial and I will see you next time for more Photoshop Magic.

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Graduated from college in 2002 with a degree in Art & Design, I started exploring my way in Graphic Design and Professional Post Production. Full-time freelancer since 2011.

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