photoshop creative

How to create a mixed-media portrait effect, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 8, 2013

Use Photoshop as a mixed-media engine, uniting disparate elements into a vibrant portrait effect. Part 2 goes up on Sunday

Download all the files for this tutorial here


Go to File> New and set Width to 235mm and Height to 300mm. Set Resolution to 300 pixels per inch and Background Contents to White. Go to File> Place and choose ‘woman.jpg’. Make her fit your canvas via Edit> Transform> Scale, and use the Move tool (V) to situate her at the bottom of the document.

STEP 02 

Let’s cheer up our model. Go to Filter> Liquify and use the Forward Warp tool to carefully upturn her lips (if you mess up, hold Opt/Alt and the Cancel button will turn into Reset). When you’re happy, click OK.


Go to Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All. Set the Foreground colour to black by clicking the swatch in the Toolbar, then use the Brush tool (B) with the Soft Round preset tip at 100% Opacity to paint out the lower part of the model. Change the Opacity to 50% to paint out a little of the hair to allow textures to show through later on.


Use File> Place to add the image ‘Liquid.jpg’. Set the blend mode to Difference and lower the Opacity to 80%. Apply a layer mask as in step 3, then paint out the areas covering the face and part of her hands with a Soft Round brush at 90% Opacity.

 STEP 05

Use File> Place again to add ‘DJ.jpg’, setting the blend mode to Exclusion. Add a layer mask and paint out the areas around the face and lower left using the same brush as before. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the layer, then set the duplicate’s blend mode to Screen.


Now improve the overall contrast with Levels. Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Levels and drag the outer dark and light sliders inwards to make the image pop. Fine-tune everything with the Midtones slider. On the attached layer mask, paint out the top and bottom portions of the image using your trusty Soft Round brush.


Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue/Saturation. Tick Colorize, then set Hue to 42 and Saturation to 75. Since we don’t want the whole image colourised, paint out most of the top and left using the layer mask technique.

STEP 08 

Now we’ll use an old envelope scan to give a nice overall feel to the piece. Use File> Place to add ‘Envelope.jpg’, set the blend mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 50%.


Use File> Place to add ‘Hand.jpg’. Set the blend mode to Overlay and drop the Opacity to 80%. Apply a layer mask and paint out some of the distracting areas on the right side.