Saturday, January 14, 2012

Portrait Work

This is the first post from Two Girls that is a computer tutorial.  As much as I love using my hands to this digital age, you need to be computer savvy too. This fun project can be done with really any program on your computer that lets you create a new layer. I used Photoshop and it only took me a total of 20 minutes to do, and I can't wait to do more!

Uploaded photo
Photoshop (or a similar program)

Start by choosing a photo of someone that is deserving of this awesome portrait.

I decided to chose our friend Liz because she has pretty blue eyes that I wanted to draw.

Crop your photo if you need to, and import it into your photo editing software. Immediately select "New Layer". (In photoshop, the path is "Layer -->New-->Layer")

Once the new layer is created, select your paintbrush tool and begin to outline the key points of the photo. (Eyes, nose, mouth, hair, shoulders, ect...) It is helpful to zoom in to the photo to really be accurate. (To zoom using photoshop, on the bottom left of your photo it should say 100%, change that to 500% or however close you need it. To zoom out, change back to 100%)

Keep tracing everything you want in your photo.  Remember to enclose all lines to prepare for when you dump your paint bucket into the selected area that it doesn't leak out into other parts of your photo.

Now hide your first layer that has your photo on it. (To do this in photoshop, all of your layers are lined up on the right side of the screen, click the little eyeball next to your layer and make it disappear. 

Select your paint bucket tool and start filling in the areas of the photo.  I went for a Pop Art kind of feel and chose bright, saturated, colors to fill my photo. Remember: If a line is not fully closed, your color will leak out onto your photo. To fix this, just zoom in and close your line, you must have left a tiny area open.

You can always make the photo layer reappear by selecting the little eye next to your layer again and making it visible. When you are all done with your photo, completely delete the photo layer (In photoshop, just highlight the layer on the left and click the delete key), and export your portrait!

This would be a fun idea to have hanging up at someone's birthday party, or to make your own "save the date" cards like this with you and your fiance, or for your band's flyer for your next show, you could make these into DIY playing cards, DIY coasters, iron on transfers....pretty much my mind is exploding with ideas to make more of these. 
Portraits have definitely come a long way!

--Emily Jo

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