photoshop creative

How to create a mixed-media portrait effect, part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 9, 2013

Continued… Use Photoshop as a mixed-media engine, uniting disparate elements into a vibrant portrait effect

Download all the files for this tutorial here

Follow part 1 of this tutorial


Now let’s add some overall sketchiness. Create a new layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E. Name the layer Stamp – Glowing Edges and go to Filter> Stylize> Glowing Edges and set Edge Width to 13, Edge Brightness to 14 and Smoothness to 5.


Media Militia is a great resource for free imagery. Download this image pack from Media Militia . Add image 20 and enlarge so that it covers most of the model. Name the layer Splatter, then set the blend mode to Hard Light. Add a layer mask and paint away the centre.


Open another copy of ‘Envelope.jpg’ in a separate window. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, make a selection in the shape of a sharp triangle and copy and paste this into the composition. Create three different triangles in the same way and name them Shard 1,2 and 3. Double-click them in the Layers palette and select Drop Shadow layer styles for subtle shading. On one of the shards, press Cmd/Ctrl+U and alter the Hue slider.


Place ‘Script.jpg’ and move it to the right side of the composition. Set the blend mode to Color Dodge, then apply a layer mask and paint out the areas around the writing. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate it once and move it to the bottom right.


Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Photo Filter. Use a Cooling Filter at 50% Density and paint out the centre using the layer mask. Set your Foreground colour to blue, then go to Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color. Set the blend mode to Hue and paint out the right side on the layer mask.


Let’s add a final bit of overall contrast to boost the piece. Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Levels and click OK. Like in Step 6, drag the outer dark and light sliders inwards, then fine-tune with the Midtones slider.


Use File> Place to add one last copy of ‘Envelope.jpg’. Set the blend mode to Multiply and drop the Opacity to 50%. Apply a layer mask and paint out the left and central areas.


Create a new layer below Splatter and name it Scribbles. Use a Hard brush at 10px size and 80% Opacity. When you hold down Opt/Alt with the Brush tool active, you can click on the image to sample colours. Using several different hues from the piece, add scribbles throughout as finishing touches.