photoshop creative
Aug
19

Create illustrations with filters

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
August 19, 2016

Create a vibrant cartoon in Photoshop or Elements!

final

1. Choose your photos

step1

Start off by choosing a photo of a subject, then a background that you want to place them onto. Make sure you pick two photos of similar angles and two pictures that look as if they belong together. Feel free to download ours from the FileSilo.

2. Mask the subject

step2

Select your subject with the Quick Selection tool and, using the Refine Selection brush, stroke the edges of your subject to touch up your selection. Be sure to pay close attention to the hair and hit Mask when you’re happy.

3. Apply the layer mask

step3

Next, we’re going to apply the layer mask by Ctrl/right-clicking and choosing Apply Layer Mask. Before that, duplicate your original layer and hide it, in case you need to use it again or go back a few steps. This is great for non-destructive editing.

4. Blend with the background

step4

Apply a gradient of Yellow/Orange/Brown (#ffff00/#ff6e02/ #6a2d17) to your picture and set as a Clipping Mask (Ctrl/right-click>Create Clipping Mask) so that it only affects your subject. Set to Soft Light, 20% Opacity, then Merge Down. This blends your subject and background, so that you’ll use more realistic colours later.

5. Add the filter

step5

Duplicate your subject layer. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Photocopy and choose Detail: 24, Darkness: 10. This will convert your subject into a line drawing ready for you to paint between the lines. Hit OK and choose Multiply to keep the black strokes and hide the white in the picture.

6. Add a second filter

step6

Duplicate your subject layer again. This is going to be the layer on which you base all of your colouring, so go to Filter>Filter Gallery again and this time choose Poster Edges with Thickness, Intensity and Posterization set to 0 for each. Hit OK.

7. Choose a brush

step7

Now as you can see, we have a cartoonised version of the subject. We’re going to take that further though with block colours; grab the Brush tool, go to Calligraphic brushes in the drop-down menu and choose a thick brush to start painting with.

8. Begin painting

step8

Create a new layer. Option/Alt-click to pick a colour within your subject’s hair – make it a rich, bright shade – and start sketching. Don’t worry too much about going over the lines, as this just adds to the messy effect of illustration.

9. Apply a second coat

step9

Do the same thing again on a new layer with the hair, hiding the first layer briefly to pick a second colour. Then make gentle brush strokes for simple highlights or low lights, which will help to bring the colour out of the first shade.

10. Build up the strokes

step10

Paint in your subject’s eyes, teeth and clothes, making bigger strokes on new layers and mixing up colours. We’ve chosen to make more messy strokes on the right of the model so that we can hide some of the line drawing to blend the effects.

11. Colour the skin

step11

Now you need to start colouring the skin by Option/Alt-clicking to pick a colour again, and then on a layer between the hair layers, brush in the shade. Don’t be afraid to overlap the hair, but try to keep the colour of the lips pink.

12. Add the irises

step12

The key to paintings, illustrations and sketches is often in the eyes. If the eyes look real, the picture will look more realistic; as we’re trying to tone down the realism in favour of a cartoon style, draw a cartoony iris around the pupils of your subject.

13. Mask the reality

step13

It’s time to blur it with the original photo to highlight the difference between the two. Duplicate your original picture, move to the top of the layer stack and mask out most of the picture. Mask the corner of the line drawing too.

14. Add the hand

step14

Next, you need to cut out the pen-holding hand from its stock photo, provided on the FileSilo, then paste it into the picture. It’s a nice touch here to grab a brush and recolour the nib of the pen to match what it’s actually drawing on to.

15. Tweak the colours

step15

Next, you need to cut out the pen-holding hand from its stock photo, provided on the FileSilo, then paste it into the picture. It’s a nice touch here to grab a brush and recolour the nib of the pen to match what it’s actually drawing on to.

  • Tomas

    Very extraordinary photo manipulations, cool style! I wanted to retouch in this genre, but image manipulations are not my strong points. I send my works to online photo retouching services like fixthephoto.com if I need

  • Holy

    I like your photo manipulations, I tried to make also but my experience was failed, for me retouching it’s very difficult, I send my photos to online photo retouching services like FixThePhoto