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Pop art with Photoshop

One of the nice things about this technique is that you don’t have to have a really high-resolution image to start with. Since most of the detail is purposely lost, you can start with something less than ideal for a print. You can play around with color too: although Nate’s eyes look blue in the original photo, they are really turquoise green-blue, so I picked a closer color match and changed his shirt to play up that color.

1. Duplicate the image, desaturate, and duplicate again.

2. Invert the duplicated black and white image, and apply the Color Dodge blending mode.

3. Add a small Gaussian blur, and touch up the background or any other part of the image that needs it.

4. Add a new layer for each new color and use the Multiply blending mode.

5. Select the face in the first color layer to add red. As you progress through the next steps, do not lose this selection in the history path!

6. Choose red as your foreground and white as the background, and paint the face selection.

7. Adjust the Threshold by dragging the slider to the right just until the red part turns all white.

8. Choose the Halftone filter in a dot pattern and adjust the size until it suits the image. Erase dots from features or any other areas that don’t need them.

9. Select the inverse selection, and paint the hair and clothes and eyes on a separate layer for each color. Use the Multiply blending mode.

10. Adjust the dots if needed by selecting them and filling their borders with white. Vary the opacity until you get the look you want.

Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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