photoshop creative
Mar
13

How to create type portraits in Photoshop, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
March 13, 2014

A picture is worth a thousand words, but this might be worth a few more… learn how to make this artistic type effect that’s bursting with colour

Download all the files you need for this tutorial here

STEP 01

Let’s start with our original image. Judging by the composition of this one, it will be good to separate the background from the subject, so it makes working with it much easier.

STEP 02

We’re using the Quick Mask mode and Brush tool to paint the background. In order to activate the Quick Mask tool, click on the icon at the bottom of the toolbar (or type the letter Q). Use whatever method you find easiest to separate the background from the foreground.

STEP 03

Now that we have selected the background, click to exit the Quick mask tool and type in Ctrl/Cmd+J. This will separate the selection into its very own layer, click on the eye icon to hide it and delete the original selection so you have a white background.

STEP 04

Add contrast and maybe adjust the brightness of the image. This is to ensure that the image remains as legible and clean as possible. Sometimes, the quality of light makes the picture look a little flat, so this adds depth to the skin tones.

STEP 05

Now we need to select the shadows of the image. To do this we go to the Select drop-down menu, in the Color Range dialog choose Shadows and click OK.

STEP 06

Separate the selection onto a new layer by typing in Ctrl/Cmd+J. This is a great time-saving shortcut to use.

STEP 07

Selecting your main layer again, we need to isolate the midtones. To do this we go to the Select drop-down menu and in the Color Range dialog choose Midtones now and click OK.

STEP 08

We need to separate the midtone selection onto its very own layer. Again do this using the magic shortcut by typing Ctrl/Cmd+J.

STEP 09

Ensure that the shadow layer is selected. Go to Edit>Fill or hit Shift+Backspace. A dialog box appears, so use the black colour and have the Preserve Transparency selected. Click OK.

STEP 10

We needed to go back to our shadow layer selection and fill this with a block colour so that it will be easier to work with when we start filling things out.

STEP 11

It’s time to do the same thing again but this time with the midtone layer. Make sure the correct layer is selected before going to Edit>Fill. Use 50% Gray and Preserve Transparency, then click OK.

STEP 12

Now that we’ve created our layers and blocked them in two colours, we need to merge the two together. Select both the shadow and midtone layers, Ctrl/right-click and select Merge. (You can also click on Layer>Merge Layers).

STEP 13

Click File>New to create a new document. It should have a white background and a black foreground. Click on the Type tool (T) and type in a special word in your chosen font.