Photoshop is a wonderful tool: you can create really cool, artsy images quite easily, or just play with it and be creative. But you don’t have to be an artist or an illustrator or even a very advanced Photoshop user to come up with something like this:

photomanipulation elements 10

(see the original blog post here)

I used Photoshop Elements 10, and this is what I did:

STEP 1: the source image (yes, that’s me, a picture I took myself, posing in front of the mirror…). This is your first layer in the layers panel. Duplicate it, and switch off the original. You will be working on the copy you just made.

STEP 2: first, you can prepare the ‘base’, just add some glow and smoothen the picture a bit (you can just go to Guided Mode- Perfect Portrait, just follow the steps. You can also skip a step if it is not necessary) 

Now we must play with contrast a bit: Enhance – Adjust Lighting – Levels. To put it simply, make the darker areas of the image darker (but not too dark) and the lighter ones lighter. You may need to repeat this a few times to get the base you need for the next step. 

Now, duplicate the layer, you will be working on the copy you just made next. You will also need your ORIGINAL STEP 2 layer later on.

photomanipulation elements 10

STEP 3: now you will be making some drastic alterations, so make sure you are working on the copy of the layer you just made (and the ORIGINAL STEP 2 layer remains unaltered, you will need it later).

Go to Filter – Adjustments – Threshold, adjust the levels until you are happy with the result.

Now, duplicate the layer (you won’t need your ORIGINAL STEP 3 layer anymore, but it is always good to have the original, in case you want to go back to it and try something else)

STEP 4: now you are working on the layer you just created (or a copy of it), your STEP 3 layer. 

Go to Filter – Pixelate – Color Halftone

STEP 5: this is the final stage, and you need 3 layers stacked, starting from the bottom, like this:

LAYER 1: the bottom layer is the one you created in STEP 2, blending mode Normal, Opacity 100%

LAYER 2: a Color Fill layer (I used colour cc66cc), blending mode Luminosity, Opacity 86%.

LAYER 3: the layer you created in STEP 4, blending mode Overlay, Opacity 44%

And there you have it, photomanipulation made easy.

Happy photoshopping, 


Dilettante Artist

Leave a Reply