photoshop creative

Create pop art prints from your photos! (Part 1)

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 6, 2014

If you’re a pop art fan and the instantly recognisable work of Andy Warhol, you’ll love this tutorial!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to selectively increase the contrast to key areas of the image using filters, masks and adjustment levels. You will also learn how to easily add and manipulate colour colour variations to your images, add texture and arrange your photos into a grid!

Crop the image

Open your picture and crop it. It’s good to have just head and shoulders for a portrait, usually.

Extract the image

Duplicate the layer. Using the Pen tool, trace the subject’s outline. In the Paths palette, name the path so you recognise it – we’re going to call it ‘women’. Rick-click on the path, select Make Selection. Hide the mask button to hide the background. Make a new layer and fill it with white beneath the mask layer.


Select the masked layer. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+U to bring up Hue/Saturation. Slide the Saturation slider all the way to the left and hit OK. Name the layer ‘Face’ and the white layer behind it ‘White’.

Adjust hair contrast

Working on the Face layer, go to Levels, via the Adjustments tab. Input values of 30 for Shadows, 1.09 for Midtones, and 81 for Highlights. This heightens the contrast in hair – don’t worry about the washed-out pixels in the face just yet. Hit OK.

Adjust face contrast

Make a copy of the Background layer and place it below the Face layer. Desaturate as before and mask out the background using the saved path. Bring up Levels again and input 28 for Shadows, 3.68 for Midtones and 180 for Highlights.

Blend contrast levels

Place the layer adjusted for hair contrast at the top of the layer stack. Select a 350px, fuzzy, round, black brush with 100% Opacity. Click on the layer mask for the hair layer and mask out the face, fingers, arm edges and anything else.

Merge hair and face

Use your saved path again to make a selection of the woman. Go to Edit>Copy Merged and then Edit>Paste. This will give an image of the subject with all contrasted adjustments together on one level, without the background.

Check out part two!