Pop Art Tutorial in Photoshop

Here's a quick and easy way to create a fantastic pop art from a photo.This is an
alternative to the more complicated method of using the pen tool, image adjustment,
clipping masks, and others.

The process we're going through make you realize it's not really that hard to make
a pop art afterall, which were popularized by Warhohl and Lichtenstein.

Open photo in Photoshop. Duplicate this twice, thus creating 3 layers, namely,
Background, Background Copy, and Background Copy 2. Crop photo if needed. In this
tutorial the image is reduced to 684x745 pixels from its original size.
There are 3 main applications used here : Filters,Blending Option, and Color 

First, we have to turn off the uppermost layer (Background copy 2), then
proceed by activating the middle layer (Background copy) which we are going
to work with.

Next, we are going to posterize the photo and, to do this, go to Filter>
Filter Gallery>Artistic>Poster Edges... Apply default values in the
dialog box that appears.

Here's the the result of the application above:
Now that we're through posterizing the photo, we'll make a border of the 
photo. To do this, click the fx icon located below your layers palette and 
select Blending Options.. 

In the dialog box that appears, click Stroke and provide the values and 
settings as shown below.

Note that the color selected is white for the above photo. Just
click the square box provided to go to the Color Picker (below).


A border was created as a result as shown below.

Done with the border, we'll create a glow of it by selecting Inner Glow (still
with Blending Options).



Below photo has now a white border with gray inner glow.

Below shows the application of Color Balance and its result. Just click that
small circle divided with black and white in your layers palette to prompt
you to the color balance properties (RGB color adjustment).



Applying Halftone Color and the right blending mode creates our final image
result we're expecting - a pop art work!

First, activate Background copy 2. Now, go to Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone,
then set the radius to 5.


Our photo will look like this...a halftone photo effect.


Finally, set the mode to Soft Light..


And the expected result!


Continue reading

Halftone Effect

Converting a normal (RGB or Grayscale) photo into a Bitmap (halftone) image is very interesting and gives a unique and dramatic effect. Unknown to many, halftone is a popular form of digital art which can be seen in comic books, magazines, newspapers, and other media. It is characterized by dotted figures basically in black and white and gray. This tutorial is largely inspired by the works of Roy Lichtenstein, a famous pop artist.

The following guides you through a 3-step instruction to achieve the expected result which can be done so easily, even a newbie find it a ‘no sweat’ stuff.

Photo used here is Scarlett Johansson.

Open the photo you wish to edit. By default, this become your ‘Background’ layer as displayed in your layers palette.


Most probably you’re in RGB mode and we can’t effect a halftone right away. To be able to do such effect, first, we must convert our image into grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale…).

Next, convert grayscale into bitmap (Image>Mode>Bitmap…).Under Bitmap, you may select the default values and press Ok.

Bitmap and Halftone Screen

Bitmap and Halftone Screen

Enter a lower value if you want the effect bigger and higher if smaller (dot distribution). Voila, you have your halftone effect!

Bitmap Result

Bitmap Result

Note: Before you can proceed to the next step, convert back the image into grayscale, then to RGB.

If you wish to colorize, go on and apply Hue/Saturation. Play on the sliders to select the color you want, or, you may just check Colorize for an instant color.

This is the result:

Final Image

Final Image

Guava Face Photo Effect

Final Result Preview

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make someone’s face into a fruit, like a guava, in this case. Having this done, it’s fun to create your own version using your own or friends photos to amuse them. You can even make a fruit cartoon characters out of your friends if you’d like to. Cool, isn’t it? Let’s get started then…

What you will need:
1. Guava

2. Face Photo

Step 1 Open both the guava and face photos in Photoshop. After this, make a selection using the Lasso or Pen Tool out of the face, leaving the ears, hairs, and body behind because we don’t them (unless you opt to include it).

Step 2 Copy and paste the selected image into the guava, and then use the Free Transform Tool to resize and reposition it to fit well.

Your layers palette looks like this one upon pasting the face:

Step 3 Set the appropriate color balance adjustments depending on the image you use. What we’re trying to do here is to make the face color nearest to that of the guava’s.

Step 4 Grab your Eraser tool (soft brush, size:60 px, opacity:30), then erase out the edges until the cut fades and no remnants of the edges are seen. After this, remove the noise to eliminate the grainy effect of the image so as to make it softer.

Now, that’s looking pretty good eh!

Step 5 Click the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon below your layers palette and choose Hue/Saturation… Apply the following settings:

Step 6 Back to Layer 1. Grab your Burn Tool (range:midtones, opacity:30, soft brush:30 px) and then brush over the eyebrows, eyebugs, nostrils, below the nose, and below the lips. This will give more accent to the shades and enhancing the overall look.

Step 7 Finally, pick your Blur Tool and brush out a little bit more of that grainy effect to have a smoother and cleaner look of the image. Don’t overdo it to preserve the natural look. That’s it!

* This post can also be viewed at PSD Rules.

Colorful Image Typography


In this tutorial, we’re going to make a typographic poster from a simple photo using Photoshop techniques. I haven’t done something like this before despite the fact that I started doing typography both in GIMP and Photoshop. Filling out an image with different fonts appears so cool to me and it inspires me to do one.

The described effects look nice on portraits or any other images with good contrast and light background, but you can easily adjust the contrast and make the background lighter using the different tools and filters in Photoshop.

Step 1 : Choose your photo

In Adobe Photoshop, open your chosen image and adjust the contrast (Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast…). The image used can be downloaded HERE.

Step 2 : Create various text brushes

Create a new document (File>New) in a size that’s smaller than your photo: the specifics don’t really matter. Press D to set the Foreground color to black. Use the Type tool (T) to type several different words in various fonts and sizes (in this case we used a person’s name). One at a time, draw a selection around each word with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), and from the Edit menu, choose Define Brush Preset. Name each brush in the Brush Name dialog and click OK.

Step 3 : Selecting the shadows

Switch back to the photograph (Background layer). From the Select menu, choose Color Range. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Shadows and click OK. (In our example, nothing in the background was selected. If parts of the background are selected in your photo, see the next step for removing those selected areas.)

Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer. Click back on the Background layer in the Layers panel to activate it.

Step 4 : Selecting the Midtones

Go back to the Select menu and choose Color Range again. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Midtones and click OK. If (as in this example) some of the background is selected, use the Lasso tool (L) with the Option key (PC: Alt key) held down to circle the areas you don’t want selected. Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer.

Step 5 : Fill the layers with black and gray

Click the Eye icon next to the Background layer in the Layers panel to hide that layer from view. Click on the midtones layer (Layer 2) and from the Edit menu choose Fill. Use 50% Gray, check the Preserve Transparency box, and click OK. Then, activate the shadow layer (Layer 1) and use the Fill command again, except this time use Black with Preserve Transparency checked. You should have a very basic portrait made from black and 50% gray.

Step 6 : Fine-tune the results and merge down layers

If necessary, show the original Background (click where the Eye icon used to be) and use the Brush tool (B) to paint with black on the shadow layer, gray on the midtones layer, or use the Eraser tool (E) to completely remove areas. (Note: For gray, click on the Foreground color swatch, enter R:128, G:128, and B:128 in the Color Picker, and click OK.) In this example, we added a little more definition to the ears by painting with gray on the midtones layer. Once you’re satisfied, click on the top layer (the shadow layer) and press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E) to merge it with the midtones layer.

Step 7 : Adjust brush settings and apply some texts

Click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press D to set your default colors. Press Command-Delete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill the new layer with white. Choose one of your custom brushes from the Brush Picker in the Options Bar, and in the Brushes panel (Window>Brushes), click on the words “Brush Tip Shape.” Adjust the Spacing so there’s space between each word. Under Shape Dynamics, vary the size and rotation of the brush. As you paint on the white layer, experiment with the Shape Dynamics. Repeat with your other custom brushes. For now, just get some “text paint” on the layer—we’ll continue painting in a moment.

Step 8 : Copy the image

Create a new layer and drag it above the black-and-gray portrait layer. Press Command-Delete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill it with white. This will provide a white background behind our image. Hide all the layers except the black-and-gray portrait layer, and then click on that layer to make it active. Press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to Select All and then Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to Copy.

Step 9 : Paste image into the layer mask

Show all layers and activate the layer with the painted words. Click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a layer mask. Hold down Option (PC: Alt) and click on the layer mask thumbnail (this will hide the painted text and show just the mask). Press Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V) to paste the copied pixels onto the mask. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to Deselect. Press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to Invert the mask (your mask should look like a negative of the black-and-gray pixel image that you pasted).

Step 10 : Add more texts with varying brushes

Activate the painted text layer (not the mask) by clicking on the layer thumbnail, and continue painting using the different custom brushes you created. You can also continue to experiment with the brush settings for Size, Spacing, and Shape Dynamics. (Although you don’t need a pressure sensitive pen for this technique, it sure helps!)

Step 11 : Add a new layer with random texts

The painted text will only appear inside the white and gray areas of the mask. To add a bit more randomness to the portrait, add a new layer above the painted text layer. Then use the same text brushes to add a few words here and there outside the boundaries of the mask.

Step 12 : Apply Gradient

With the image with layer mask active, click the New fill icon below the layers palette then select Gradient…Choose the yellow, red, blue gradient in the selection box, click Ok. Set blend mode to Overlay.

And here’s the final result:

Cattle Egret Watercolor Effect


Step 1
Create a new document 600×600 pixels and fill the background with a black color, then a radial gradient (white to orange). Rename this layer as “Background”.

Step 2
Make a selection out of the cattle egret below, copy and paste it into the newly-created layer, resize and reposition it using the Free Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform). Rename this layer as “Egret”.

Step 3
Download macbadshoes’ watercolor brushes. Select one of the brushes of the set and paint a red (or any color of your choice) into the duplicated background layer (Background copy), then set blend mode to Overlay, Opacity and Fill to 100.

Step 4
Create a new layer group and name it “Watercolor”. Switch back to Background copy layer.Use any shaped brush to paint a large watercolor orange or light red to this layer, then paint it and change its Blend Mode to Linear Light, Opacity and Fill to 80.

Step 5
Under the group layer “Watercolor”, create a new layer (by default, this is Layer 1). Select a big dry brush or the one we’ve just used. Try different shapes and opacity. Paint randomly over the bird with different colors. When done, click Watercolor layer then set blend mode to Linear Light, Opacity 80.

This is how it looks now:

Step 6
Merge Watercolor group layer (with the Watercolor group layer highlighted, right-click, then select Merge Group…). After this, go to Filters > Filter Gallery > Artistic > Dry Brush, set the values shown below and see how it looks.

Step 7
For some finishing touches, grab a big soft brush and paint the edges of the image to make a reddish orange vignette.

Step 8
Add your desired text, I’m using Parchment and Eras Light ITC here.

Step 9
Finally, merge all visible layers, then apply Hue/Saturation using the Create New Fill. Set Blend Mode to Overlay.

Here’s the expected final result:

Turn Photo Into A Jigsaw Puzzle


Jigsaw puzzle is fun. Even more so when the pieces you’re about to assemble is your photo itself. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make an easy and cool jigsaw puzzle effect of a photo. Easy indeed that you can remember and do it at once for yourself. There are variations actually in creating such effect. I’ll explain that along the way. Let’s get started then…

Step 1. Open your photo in Photoshop. You can see in the layers palette that a Background is created. Make a copy of this by right-clicking the Background layer, then select Duplicate layer, or via the shortcut Ctrl+J.

Step 2. Create a new layer by clicking the icon below the layers palette, just beside the trash bin. Put this layer (which is now layer 2) between the Background and Layer 1, then fill it with white color (Edit>Fill…). This will serve as our backdrop as we make the pieces in the process. You can have any color, gradient, texture, or pattern you want. Not much of importance, not unless you prefer not to fill all the canvas with rectangles, so that parts of the background is visible.

Step 3. Time to make the first rectangle. So, click Layer 1 to activate it, then select the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw a rectangle anywhere on your photo.

Step 4. Create a layer mask on the above layer (e.g. Layer 1). The selected area via the Rectangular Marquee Tool will now come into view. Going pretty good. One piece down. So make another one…

Note : Include this in Step 4. I almost forgot about the border of the rectangle. I used the Outer Glow here (click fx below the layers palette then choose Outer Glow, size 3-5, depending on the size of your photo, color white). Another way is the Stroke style which you can choose Color, Gradient, or Pattern for your border. The latter offers you more options. You can also transform the rectangles in any size and position you want thru Transform Selection (Select>Transform Selection…).

Step 5. Duplicate Layer 1 (which is already masked), but before doing, click first the chain between the image and mask icons to unlink it. In so doing, you’re making a copy of the layer without the same selected mask. Otherwise, you’re just copying the same image.

Step 6. Done with duplicating Layer 1, click the mask thumbnail first, then drag the image (actually transparent rectangular layer on top of the first image) to a desired area. You can freely place anywhere you want in the canvas.

Step 7. The rest is easy. Do the same process as above to make more rectangles until it fills out all your photo, or, to your desired output. That’s just it!

Here is another variation using the Stroke instead of the Outer Glow:


The Making of Square Melon

Fruit Gift


Grunge Texture

In this tutorial, we will be making an ordinary melon (rounded, of course) into a squared (cubic actually) one. Do it for yourself how easy and how powerful Liquify Filter is in manipulating objects like the one shown here. Although easy, it can also be tricky as it will turn your work into a messy one rather than succeeding to the outcome you intended to do. The rest of the tutorial can be easily followed.

Step 1. Make a new document (700×600) and fill it with black color. After this, create 3 group layers namely, BG (for Background), melon, and gradient. We’re doing this so that our work will be organized and can be easily tracked when we need something to edit. It should look like this now:

Step 2. Now, we’ll deal in creating the background. So, go back to the first layer that we’ve created, i.e., Layer 1, then drag it under BG group layer so that it will become part of all the layers that we will create under it.

Step 3. With Layer 1 still active, pick your Brush Tool and select Dried Blood brush and set it to around 600 pixels in size. Click onto the canvas aligned horizontally, in RBG order, from right to left. With that done, apply Gaussian Blur.

Step 4. Open the grunge texture, select, then paste onto the background (Layer 1). Set blend mode to Overlay, Opacity:50. A new layer (Layer 2) is created as a result.

Step 5. Switch now to melon group and create a new layer. Layer 3 is created by default. After this, open the melon image, select it via the Quick Selection Tool. Apply Refine Edge to ensure a clean edge of the melon. Copy this and paste it onto the newly-created layer (e.g., Layer 3).

Step 6. The fun part of the tutorial. Select Liquify (Filter>Liquify…) then set the following values in the dialog box that appears. Other settings are set to their default values.

In applying the Liquify filter, slowly drag the mouse pointer outward and inward to transform the melon into a square shape. Don’t stretch too much in the same area, otherwise the unevenness of the texture will be clearly noticed. Stretch a bit too inside when making a stretch outward on the edges. Here is the result after applying the filter.

Step 7. Switch back to the BG group layer. We need to make the melon stand out so we need some highlighting. Pick Brush Tool (soft), big size. Click at the center of the canvass, then set appropriate opacity. Here is the result:

Step 8. Time to make some colored gradient strips across the image. So, switch now to gradient group layer and create a new layer. Layer 4 is created, by default because the last layer created is Layer 3.

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a long rectangle across the image. Then click your Gradient Too (linear) and make a gradient, red, green, then blue. Below it are 3 white-transparent gradients. Use Free Transform Tool to resize and reposition diagonally.

Step 9. Putting the grapes. Open this image and paste it below the melon. Make a layer mask, then erase the branch and other parts. Then grab a large soft brush (black), opacity to 25, then paint below the images. You can use linear gradient in place of the brush if you prefer to.

Step 10. Put the ribbon by selecting, copying and pasting it onto the melon, resembling a real fruit gift. You can download the ribbon here.

Step 11. For the finishing touches, duplicate the melon layer, then flip vertically. Drag the copy at the bottom of the melon to have a reflection of it. Apply a linear gradient, black-transparent, low opacity. Set blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light, Opacity to 50.


Added notes : In the original making of the above finished image, I applied several fill or adjustment layers in enhancing the image like Hue/saturation, Levels, Curves, and Color Balance. Feel free to experiment using them to have better results.