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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey, gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week begins a look at the work of Andy Warhol. Specifically, we'll be creating these Warhol-like silkscreen/serigraph variations, and we'll be doing so in Photoshop. Now there are all kinds of websites and apps out there that allow you to automatically convert images into Warhol effects...they're no good. Even though Warhol fervently believed in automation-- his studio was called the factory after all--and apparently in his last couple of years he used a Commodore Amiga, which for you youngsters was a precursor to the Mac.
He was still a human being and so we're going to use our human skills to convert this portrait photo from Olly of the Fotolia image library into this Warhol treatment right here, complete with canvas texture in the midtones. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here is the basic Warhol effect that we're going for. It's extremely high contrast with all kinds of clipped shadows and highlights. Notice also that we've got this kind of irregular canvas texture going on inside of the midtones.
It's called Portrait shot #1b.psd because in the final variations image here, she is 1a, she is 1b, and she is 1c for what it's worth. Anyway, I am going to switch over to the base image, which is a portrait shot from the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. Let's go ahead and then convert this to a high contrast black and white image by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and then you want to click on this black and white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Black and White command.
And go ahead and name the layer B&W or something like that and turn on this checkbox, use previous layer to create a clipping mask so that you're affecting the photograph independently of the rest the image, then click OK. The whole idea behind the Warhol factory was we're producing automated artwork. So let's just work with a preset here and the preset that works best for this image is High Contrast Red Filter and we end up with this effect here. Next, press the Alt or Option key again, click the black/white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Levels command which will allow us to increase the contrast of the image.
Go ahead and call this layer contrast, and once again turn on the checkbox and then click OK. This time around you want to increase the black point value underneath the histogram to 40. Tab your way over to the white point value-- which is the third one--and change it to 160 and then press Shift+Tab to go back to the midtones value and change it to 2 to dramatically expand the midtones inside the image. So we're clipping the heck out of the highlights, clipping the shadows as well, and then breathing some life into the remaining midtones. Now go ahead and hide the Properties panel.
The next step is to add some texture to those midtones, and I've already included a texture layer inside this image, once again from the Fotolia image library. You can go ahead and turn it on, back out from the image a little bit because we're going to want to transform this texture. And the idea is right now it's too linear. If you zoom in on it you can see that we've got a bunch of perpendicular lines. That's not what you're going to see in a real stretched canvas. It's going to kind of wave around. Again, I am going to zoom out, and just so I can change my mind later on if I want to, I am going to convert this guy to a Smart Object by bringing up the fly-out menu and choosing the Convert to Smart Object Command.
Then go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform, or you can press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. And we'll start things off by switching over to the Warp Mode, which you can get by clicking on this little Warp up here in the Control panel and then change the Warp setting to Arch. And we end up with this effect here. I really want it to go at a different angle. So what I did was I switched out of the Warp Mode for a moment and then I dragged inside the image window in order to rotate the image like so, so I am dragging outside the bounding box.
And I'm ultimately looking for an angle of about 94 degrees, so something along these lines is going to work out just fine. That ends up with a layer that's a little too high, so I'll go ahead and drag it down so that it covers at least most of the image, and then I'll switch back to the Warp Mode by clicking in the Warp icon once again, and now notice this handle that allows you to change the bend of the warp. I'm going to drag it over to the left until my Bend value is close to -27% up here in the Control panel, and I've got -26.7. That's going to work out just fine.
Then you want to switch back out of the Warp Mode again because we need to move this layer around a little bit. So, click on the Warp icon and then just drag inside of the bounding box to move the layer to a better location so that it covers up all of the image, and then press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to apply that transformation and warp. Now we want to go ahead and clip this texture layer inside the photograph. So press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on the horizontal line between the texture layer and the contrast layer, and you'll end up with this slight clipping here and then you want to change the Blend Mode from Normal here in the top left corner of Layers panel to Overlay in order to produce this effect.
And now if I go ahead and zoom in, you can see that we have this wonderful canvas texturing going on inside the midtones of her face. And now you want to paint a bunch of vivid colors on independent layers. And in the name of expediency I've done that in advance. So I'll go ahead and twirl open this color fills group right there, and you can see at the top of the stack I have this layer called eyes, and I just went ahead and painted it directly on top of the layer. That is it's on an independent layer, as you can see, but I'm painting over of the contents of the layers below just so I can keep track of what's going on.
And the eyes are actually bigger than her eyes, so it's not only permissible to go outside the outlines, it's preferable. That's what you want for a classic Warhol effect. Next I'll turn on the eyelids layer, and you can see that we've got these vivid green eyelids here. I've got these pink lips as well on the lips layer. And if I zoom out a little bit so that we can see the shirt, I've got this shirt layer right there, that's painting it a dark purple. I'll go ahead and scroll down the list to this face layer and turn it on, and I want you to see something about the face.
This is a color that I just went ahead and lifted from her face for this specific effect, by the way. But I'll go ahead and zoom in here and you can see that I've got all these lumps around my brushstrokes, and this is all brushwork that I applied using the Brush Tool. But if I were to press the B key to switch to the Brush Tool and then right-click inside the image, I want you to notice that the Hardness value has cranked up to 100%. I am using one of the standard circular brushes here. I'll go ahead and press the Escape key to hide that panel. The reason we're getting the lumps is because of the Spacing value.
And you get to the Spacing value by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Brush command, and it's this guy right here. By default it's cranked up to 25%, which gives you these lumps all over the place. If you don't want the lumps, which you don't, then you reduce the Spacing value to about 10% works out nicely. And what's happening here is Photoshop is laying down a bunch of blobs of paint. The lower you go with the Spacing value, the more processor-intensive the operation is, so the brushstrokes might start slowing down, but not at 10.
They are going to work just fine. So go ahead and close that panel. Now I'm not terribly concerned by the lumps because I've got another layer here. And I painted this one using a pressure sensitive tablet. I'll go ahead and turn it on, it's the hair layer, and so I just went ahead and painted in some very thick snake-like hair patterns using a pressure sensitive tablet once again, a Wacom Intuos as it just so happens. And in order to smooth things out in the face, I dragged the hair layer on top of the face layer in order to produce this effect here.
Now let's go ahead and mix these colors along with the original image, and you do that by--in this case--twirling closed this color fills group so that we can better see the layers below. And you want to initially paint these layers in front of the image. That's the easiest way to work, but when all is said and done, these layers need to go to the back of the stack. And the easiest way to move the group to the back of the stack is to press a keyboard shortcut, which is Ctrl+Shift+Left Bracket, that's Command+Shift+Left Bracket on the Mac. You could also drag the group down the stack, but my layer thumbnails are so large that that's difficult to do.
Anyway, notice that moves the entire group just above the background and below the layer with the photograph. I'll now click on the layer with the photograph in order to select it and I'll change the Blend Mode for that layer to Multiply, which will go ahead and drop out the whites and merge the blacks and the midtones and so forth into the colors below. I want the Background to have a color as well, so I'll go ahead and click on that Background to make it active. And then I'll go to the Color panel-- notice I'm working with my HSB values. To get to them, you go to the fly- out menu and choose HSB Sliders.
And I wanted a kind of vivid magenta, so the values I came up with were 300 for the Hue value, a Saturation of 50, and a Brightness value of 65. And then I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac in order to fill the background with that color. Now at this point it struck me that the hair shouldn't be blonde. I want it to be blue like her eyes. And it's a very easy matter once you've established your base color layers to change your colors anytime you like. So I'll go ahead and twirl open this color fills group once again, and because I want to lift the color from the eyes layer, I'll go ahead and click on it to make it active and then I'll press the eye key to switch to the Eye Dropper Tool.
You can also get to it from the Toolbox. Now by default, you're going to lift the merged version of a color, which means you may not get the pure color of the eyes depending on where you click. So go up to the Control panel and change the Sample option to Current Layer and then you can click anywhere inside the eye, even in the pupil in order to lift that shade of blue. Then go ahead and scroll down a list of the hair layer, click on it to make it active, and press the keyboard shortcut Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Backspace on a Mac in order to fill the hair with that blue.
And by virtue of the fact you have the Alt or the Option key down, you're filling with the foreground color. By virtue of the fact that you have the Shift key down, you're respecting the layer's transparency, so you're only filling in the brushstrokes and nothing more. Now at this point you can stop if you want to, this is the base effect. However, in researching Warhol paintings, I found that most of them include some borders around the sides, which are borders left over from the screen printing process. They are essentially happy accidents. If you scroll up the list, go ahead and twirl closed the color fills group and go all the way at the top of the stack, you'll see this layer called frame, which is another image from the Fotolia image library.
I am going to go ahead and click on that frame layer to make it active and change its Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply. And notice I also have this layer mask that I've created in advance. And what that does is it just gets rids of some of the garbage on the interior. But before I apply it, I want to clip the base photograph, that is the model herself, so that she fits exclusively inside the frame. So I'll go ahead and click on the woman layer to make it active. I'll switch to the Lasso Tool, which you can get by pressing the L key. And you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and keep that key down so that you can create a polygonal selection outline and click in the bottom right corner and then click in the top right corner like so, click over here in the top left corner.
You don't have to be all that careful up here at the top of the image, but you do have to be pretty careful down here at the bottom. So click in the bottom left corner and then go ahead and click right about over here someplace and release the Alt or Option key in order to complete the selection outline. Then with the woman layer selected, drop down to the Add Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it. And that will clip her inside of that frame. Now let's go back to that frame layer and turn the layer mask on by Shift-clicking on the layer mask thumbnail.
And you can see I've done a fair amount of work in terms of masking away the interior of this layer, but it's not tough work. If you Alt-click or Option-click on the layer mask to view it by itself, you can see that it's just a bunch of sloppy brushwork that I applied here. So I'll Alt-click or Option-click again in order to restore that layer mask. Now the fill layer should not exceed outside the frame either, that is the purple color of her shirt. So I'll go ahead and zoom in on this bottom right corner.
And I'll zoom pretty far in and then I'll scroll down the list, twirl back open that color fills layer, scroll all the way down to the shirt layer to make it active. You could apply a layer mask if you want to, to mask this area away, but it's not really tough stuff, so why not just go ahead and erase it using the Eraser Tool? I'll right-click inside the Image window so you can see once again the Hardness is cranked up to 100%, the size is 45 pixels in my case--you can go your own way, of course. And if I bring back the Brushes panel, I've reduced the Spacing value to 10%, which is definitely going to help us out.
Now I'll go ahead and hide that panel and I'll click right about there and then I'll Shift-click lower down and I'll Shift-click again. And by virtue of the fact that I'm Shift-clicking, I am connecting my click points with straight segments. All right, now I'll click there and Shift- click right about there, and I am going to have to do a fair amount of Shift-clicking to make my way all the way over, because after all, I'm zoomed way in. Something you want to note here is notice that I'm not clicking around here because that would make a big mess of things. I'm positioning my circular brush cursor right next to the frame outline.
Now I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac in order to zoom out for my image and I'll press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode and zoom on in and you can see this high saturation, high contrast Warhol effect, more automated than ever, thanks to the multi-layer power of Photoshop. All right, so it's all very well and good to come up with one treatment. But Warhol himself would have never stopped there. He would have created two or perhaps three different treatments, or more likely than not he would have also created treatments four, five and six.
And that's exactly what we'll be doing next week, I'll show you how to create all six of these treatments inside of Photoshop. Deke's Techniques, each and every week, keep watching.
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