Creating Lichtenstein Inspired Portraits From Your Child's Photograph - Digital Photography School

Creating Lichtenstein Inspired Portraits From Your Child’s Photograph

This is a guest post on Creating Lichtenstein Inspired Portraits is by Shalet Abraham from My Baby Photos

firstphoto.jpg

Roy Lichtenstein is an artist famous for his pop art Ben-Day dots. This tutorial will teach you to replicate Lichtenstein’s style incorporating Ben-Day dots, line drawings and digital coloring techniques. It may sound complicated but it’s really just a simple step-by-step process. When finished you’ll have a personal pop art portrait worthy of display.

Photoshop Tool Bar

  1. Open photoshop and open the photograph you wish to work with.
  2. Make a duplicate copy of the the photograph (Layer –> Duplicate Layer). Title it “initial portrait”
  3. Create a new layer (Layer –> New). Drag this layer between the two photographic layers on the layers palette. Use the paint bucket tool to fill this layer with the background color of your choice. Don’t worry – the color can always be changed later if it is not to your liking.
  4. With the initial portrait layer highlighted use the pen tool to cut out your subject and remove the background (see this pen tool tutorial for details).
  5. After your background is removed make a duplicate layer of the initial portrait layer (Layer –> Duplicate Layer) only this time open it as a new file.
  6. How to open a duplicate layer as a new file

    How to open a duplicate layer as a new file


    Your picture will look like this:

    New duplicate image removed from background

    New duplicate image removed from background


  7. Convert the image to grayscale (Image–>Mode–>Grayscale)
  8. Convert to greyscale

    Convert to grayscale

    The prompt will ask “Discard color information?”; respond Yes.

    Your picture will look like this:

    Picture after converted to grayscale

    Picture after converted to grayscale

  9. Apply the halftone pattern filter (Filter –> Sketch–>Halftone Pattern)
  10. Halftone Pattern Filter

    Halftone Pattern Filter

    Your picture will look like this:

    Halftone pattern filter

    Halftone pattern filter

    Click the fit on screen button in the lower left hand corner to see your whole picture then adjust the size and contrast sliders to get the effect you want. Be sure the pattern type is dots. Hit OK when finished.

    Fit to screen button

    Fit on screen button

    Halftone Pattern Sliders

    Halftone Pattern Sliders

  11. Re-convert image to RGB color (Image–>Mode–>RGB Color).
  12. Make a duplicate layer of the image but place back in original document (note my original document was titled “other”). You may now close the separate dot file (you won’t need to use it anymore).

    Placing new duplicate copy in original file

    Placing new duplicate copy in original file

  13. Make another duplicate layer of the dot layer and title it “white” (open it within the same document). Go to Image–>Adjustments–>Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the brightness to 100% and contrast to -100%. On this layer your subject should be white. Drag the white layer just above the “colored background” layer.

    Now you need to create a clipping path between the “white” and “colored background” layers. Hold down the alt key and run the cursor between the paths on the layers palette until you get two bubbles. When the two bubbles appear click to create a clipping path (indicated by a downward arrow).

    Clipping path between layers

    Clipping path between layers

  14. Hide the initial portrait layer by clicking on the eye in the layers palette.
  15. Highlight the dot layer and change to “multiply”
  16. Now you’re ready to color!

  17. Click on the “New Fill Layer” button on the bottom middle of the layers palette and click on solid color.
  18. This will open a new layer. Choose the color you want to start drawing with – usually the lips or eyes (don’t worry — this color is also easily changed). Drag this new layer just above the white layer. Create a clipping path between these two layers.

  19. Click on foreground color and switch the color to black. Use the paint bucket tool to fill with black (the background color should appear around the photo).
  20. Switch the foreground color to white. Click the paintbrush tool. Use the paintbrush to color your image.
  21. Repeat steps 14-16 until your picture is completely colored in.
  22. Your picture will look something like this:

    Colored Photo

    Colored Photo

    You’re almost finished!

  23. Highlight the Dots layer and adjust the opacity to achieve a pleasing effect
  24. You can stop here or you can take this one step further and add line art over the top. If you wish to add line art, click on the “initial portrait” layer and make a duplicate copy opening it in a new file. Then follow this tutorial to create a cartoon drawing from your photograph. When finished make another duplicate copy and place as the top layer over your Lichtenstein-inspired portrait. Your final result will look like this:

    And there you have it! Lichtenstein-inspired pop art from your own photographs. Print on canvas and proudly display your art for friends and family!

Read more from our Post Production category.

Shalet Abraham is a guest blogger from My Baby Photos, a Mom and Dad's guide to child photography and scrapbooking.

  • http://www.jetshred.com Jon

    I think you forgot to create a link to the pen tutorial. I would be interested in seeing that.

  • moldychum

    Will this tutorial work in Elements?

  • http://mybabyphotos.net David

    Hey guys, the pen tool tutorial is at this link
    http://mybabyphotos.net/baby-kid-photos-pen-tool/

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    Elements does not have the pen tool. Therefore this tutorial won’t work as written. However you could use the lasso tool to cut your image out of the background. Then, depending upon the version of Elements you have, you may be able to follow the remainder of the tutorial. The latest version of Elements I have is 2.0 which doesn’t have a hue/saturation adjustment bar. However I understand later versions carry this component. You’ll have to play around and see what works for you. Enjoy!

  • http://blog.beauharbin.com Beau Harbin

    Great article. I had to play around with this myself and see what I could do. Here is my blog entry from today inspired by your article: Lichtenstein-esque Rainy Sunday. Thank you very much for posting.

  • http://none darren

    your step 15 says to keep doing steps 14-16 to color it in….where exactly do you switch colors and paint? you lost me there. :(

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    Sorry – that should read repeat steps 12-14! Pick a new color each time you create a new fill layer.

  • Andy

    Looks like a great technique but i can’t figure out this pen tool nor did i see the link for the tutorial. When i start to draw around the face it highlights and erases part of it, not the background. I’m VERY noob when it comes to PS.

  • Andy

    Oops…i just saw the link for the pen tutorial…sorry.

  • amel

    I am lost from step 12 to the end, I klik the white forground color and start to pain on the childs picture but nothing happended, no colour appeared like shown
    please help me

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    @ amel – try deleting your clipping path between the white layer and background layer and see if this makes a difference.

  • Heidi

    ok so… I can’t seem to get step 9 to work. Any suggestions?

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    Another option is to drag your dots layer to your original document. Grab the dots layer from the layer bar and drop it over the original document.

  • http://www.saibposervices.com/Clipping-path_services.aspx SBL image clipping services

    Reliable tutorial….

  • Danboy

    I love this effect and I have the perfect picture of my daughter to do this with. BUt when i finished step 5 the new image still has the background showing. Did I miss something ?

  • Danboy

    I have reread step 5 and I have cut out the background, but I am not sure on how to remove it has it is mentioned in step 5.

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    Make sure you are working with the correct layer. Check out the pen tutorial for additional assistance.

  • http://mybabyphotos.net Shalet

    Also when you go to Layer–> Duplicate Layer make sure you change the document destination to new.

  • apple

    this is cool…it got confusing in steps 12-15 though. but i managed after trial & error. thanks for the tutorial :)

  • http://www.sblgraphics.com/clipping-path_service.aspx photoshop image clipping path services

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks.

  • mark

    Thanks for posting this but I got stuck at 12…

    Step 9 is easier to right click the layer and select “create clipping path”.

    Steps 13 and 14 (the key steps) made no sense to me. Which layer is selected?

    “Use the paint bucket tool to fill with black” – which layer?

    In point 12 when you say “Choose the color you want to start drawing with” do you you mean ” ..that you will be drawing with in step 13″?

  • Kimmie

    this picture look like cartoon. it’s interesting and cool. i m confusing how u do alot.. wow…u have do steps lots.

  • Leigh

    I can’t see the pictures in this tutorial using Firefox or Safari on a mac or a PC. Are they gone? I just get a server error (on two different servers). I’d really like to see them! Help!

  • http://jitteryjim.com James E.

    Sadly, the photos are gone for me as well. Would be helpful to see them!

  • tref vdp

    yea, can’t see any except for the one right on top..

  • laura

    Argh I’ve coloured the skin in and now I can’t figure out how to change to another colour, you commented that you need to create another duplicate layer? From which? Your photo’s arnt displaying either.

  • ktg

    Like the last few posters, just want to report that the sample photo illustrations are all missing. Guessing the author had the photos hosted on some outside server which no longer exists. How can we see the images?

  • http://www.gtvone.com Sime

    Looking into this now – thanks for pointing it out.

    Sime

  • Renae

    I am having trouble with step 9. “Make another duplicate layer of the dot layer and title it “white” (open it within the same document). Go to Image–>Adjustments–>Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the brightness to 100% and contrast to -100%. On this layer your subject should be white.”

    I can adjust the brightness to 100% but on Photoshop CS5 the maximum negative interger that can be added for the contrast is -50%, it will not allow me to enter -100%.

    I am not sure what to do as Im a complete newbie at PS :P

    Thankyou.

Some older comments

  • Renae

    December 27, 2011 04:38 pm

    I am having trouble with step 9. "Make another duplicate layer of the dot layer and title it “white” (open it within the same document). Go to Image–>Adjustments–>Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the brightness to 100% and contrast to -100%. On this layer your subject should be white."

    I can adjust the brightness to 100% but on Photoshop CS5 the maximum negative interger that can be added for the contrast is -50%, it will not allow me to enter -100%.

    I am not sure what to do as Im a complete newbie at PS :P

    Thankyou.

  • Sime

    January 24, 2010 07:39 pm

    Looking into this now - thanks for pointing it out.

    Sime

  • ktg

    January 24, 2010 04:55 pm

    Like the last few posters, just want to report that the sample photo illustrations are all missing. Guessing the author had the photos hosted on some outside server which no longer exists. How can we see the images?

  • laura

    January 22, 2010 07:00 am

    Argh I've coloured the skin in and now I can't figure out how to change to another colour, you commented that you need to create another duplicate layer? From which? Your photo's arnt displaying either.

  • tref vdp

    May 12, 2009 06:36 am

    yea, can't see any except for the one right on top..

  • James E.

    April 24, 2009 02:34 am

    Sadly, the photos are gone for me as well. Would be helpful to see them!

  • Leigh

    April 20, 2009 10:07 am

    I can't see the pictures in this tutorial using Firefox or Safari on a mac or a PC. Are they gone? I just get a server error (on two different servers). I'd really like to see them! Help!

  • Kimmie

    March 31, 2009 08:29 am

    this picture look like cartoon. it's interesting and cool. i m confusing how u do alot.. wow...u have do steps lots.

  • mark

    March 19, 2009 07:26 am

    Thanks for posting this but I got stuck at 12...

    Step 9 is easier to right click the layer and select "create clipping path".

    Steps 13 and 14 (the key steps) made no sense to me. Which layer is selected?

    "Use the paint bucket tool to fill with black" - which layer?

    In point 12 when you say "Choose the color you want to start drawing with" do you you mean " ..that you will be drawing with in step 13"?

  • photoshop image clipping path services

    March 7, 2009 07:55 pm

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks.

  • apple

    February 27, 2009 03:21 pm

    this is cool...it got confusing in steps 12-15 though. but i managed after trial & error. thanks for the tutorial :)

  • Shalet

    February 10, 2009 01:06 pm

    Also when you go to Layer--> Duplicate Layer make sure you change the document destination to new.

  • Shalet

    February 10, 2009 01:02 pm

    Make sure you are working with the correct layer. Check out the pen tutorial for additional assistance.

  • Danboy

    February 10, 2009 09:57 am

    I have reread step 5 and I have cut out the background, but I am not sure on how to remove it has it is mentioned in step 5.

  • Danboy

    February 10, 2009 09:51 am

    I love this effect and I have the perfect picture of my daughter to do this with. BUt when i finished step 5 the new image still has the background showing. Did I miss something ?

  • SBL image clipping services

    February 7, 2009 07:35 pm

    Reliable tutorial....

  • Shalet

    February 7, 2009 10:27 am

    Another option is to drag your dots layer to your original document. Grab the dots layer from the layer bar and drop it over the original document.

  • Heidi

    February 7, 2009 10:20 am

    ok so... I can't seem to get step 9 to work. Any suggestions?

  • Shalet

    February 6, 2009 04:27 pm

    @ amel - try deleting your clipping path between the white layer and background layer and see if this makes a difference.

  • amel

    February 6, 2009 01:39 pm

    I am lost from step 12 to the end, I klik the white forground color and start to pain on the childs picture but nothing happended, no colour appeared like shown
    please help me

  • Andy

    February 5, 2009 08:49 pm

    Oops...i just saw the link for the pen tutorial...sorry.

  • Andy

    February 5, 2009 08:45 pm

    Looks like a great technique but i can't figure out this pen tool nor did i see the link for the tutorial. When i start to draw around the face it highlights and erases part of it, not the background. I'm VERY noob when it comes to PS.

  • Shalet

    February 5, 2009 04:17 pm

    Sorry - that should read repeat steps 12-14! Pick a new color each time you create a new fill layer.

  • darren

    February 5, 2009 06:20 am

    your step 15 says to keep doing steps 14-16 to color it in....where exactly do you switch colors and paint? you lost me there. :(

  • Beau Harbin

    February 5, 2009 01:32 am

    Great article. I had to play around with this myself and see what I could do. Here is my blog entry from today inspired by your article: Lichtenstein-esque Rainy Sunday. Thank you very much for posting.

  • Shalet

    February 4, 2009 04:11 pm

    Elements does not have the pen tool. Therefore this tutorial won't work as written. However you could use the lasso tool to cut your image out of the background. Then, depending upon the version of Elements you have, you may be able to follow the remainder of the tutorial. The latest version of Elements I have is 2.0 which doesn't have a hue/saturation adjustment bar. However I understand later versions carry this component. You'll have to play around and see what works for you. Enjoy!

  • David

    February 4, 2009 02:44 pm

    Hey guys, the pen tool tutorial is at this link
    http://mybabyphotos.net/baby-kid-photos-pen-tool/

  • moldychum

    February 4, 2009 02:38 pm

    Will this tutorial work in Elements?

  • Jon

    February 4, 2009 09:26 am

    I think you forgot to create a link to the pen tutorial. I would be interested in seeing that.

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