Learn it fast with expert-taught software and skills training at lynda.com. Start your free trial

By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Deke's Techniques: Creating a Ninja Turtle tattoo in Photoshop

At first glance, it seems like this week’s free technique is just about chasing down a recent Internet meme, the Ninja Turtle nose. For a while, way back at the end of 2011, this fun little trick of turning celebrity noses into ninja turtle characters was quite the rage. So Deke decided, rather than risk offending any of his friends, he’d set out to apply this technique to his own proboscis in Photoshop. (Turns out Deke’s nose is perfect for this effect. Destiny!)

Example of Photoshop

But, as mentioned, this technique isn’t just about learning how to create a specific effect that’s undoubtedly soon to be replaced by something that has something to do with cats. Deke’s technique for making this effect will take you way beyond the next great Internet amusement. By picking a color from his portrait to colorize the turtle outline, using some layer effects to “bleed” the outline into his skin, and then applying the appropriate adjustments and blend modes to the color fill, Deke actually reveals some key concepts that could be used for any digital tattoo effect. He also walks you through the simple but vitally useful step of adding to your polygonal lasso selections on the fly. And, of course, you get to learn all of this while listening to Deke—with all gravity, expertise, and sincerity—draw a cartoon turtle on his own nose. A lovely combination of the useful and the ridiculous.

And for meme-loving members of lynda.com, Deke’s got a couple of exclusive videos, one called Putting a tongue on a duck, and another called Mapping a dog face onto a duck that plays with an effect you’ll never be able to un-see once someone has pointed it out to you—the fact that ducks wear dog masks:

Mapping a dog face onto a duck with Photoshop

So meme your creative memes this week, and Deke will be back next week with another free technique.

Interested in more? • The entire Deke’s Techniques collection on lynda.com • Courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com • All Photoshop courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next: • Photoshop for Designers: Layer EffectsPhotoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery• Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Advanced BlendingInfographics: Area Bubbles

Start your free 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start your free trial

Share this article:


Get the latest news

  •   New course releases
  •   Pro tips and tricks
  •   News and updates
New releases submit clicked

You can change your email preferences at any time. We will never sell your email. More info

Featured articles

A lynda.com membership includes:

Unlimited access to thousands of courses in our library
Certificates of completion
New courses added every week (almost every day!)
Course history to track your progress
Downloadable practice files
Playlists and bookmarks to organize your learning
Start your free trial

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.