Andy-Warhol-Up Your Photographs

By Melissa Evans

Pop Art Recommended for Beginner to Intermediate Level Photoshop Users

Step 1: Abstracting the Photo

If you are a fan of pop art and the work of Andy Warhol, then this is the Adobe Photoshop tutorial for you.

The first step is to find an image/photo. Warhol created his silkscreen prints from a variety of sources and subjects. There really is no limitation on subject matter at all when you consider that Warhol’s work ranged from Coca-Cola bottles to Marilyn Monroe.

I have chosen to use one of my own photos. The picture shown above is a scaled down version of the end result I achieved.

At the end of this tutorial save the file to disc, take it down to your local print shop and get a large high-quality print. It will make a fantastic piece of Andy Warhol inspired art for your wall or a great gift! Let’s get started…

a) Preparing the Photo

Open up your photograph/soon-to-be-masterpiece in Photoshop and duplicate the background layer. Just click the layer called “Background” and drag it to this icon Photoshop Create New Layer at the bottom of the layer window to duplicate the layer.

Rename this new layer “Photo” or something similar.

Create a new layer (Photoshop Create New Layer). Make this new layer white. Drag it below the “Photo” layer and rename it “background”. You can delete the original layer called “Background”. Your layers window should look like the one in the picture below.

Now working on the “Photo” layer we need to clear out all the unwanted parts of the photograph. In this case I want to isolate the kissing couple and delete the rest i.e the background walls and sofa.

To cut out the couple I use the Pen Tool. Now to some-up how to use Photoshop’s pen tool in a few sentences isn’t easy…if you have never used the pen tool before, do the PEN TOOL TUTORIAL first.

Remember to make sure the pen tool is set to create a Work Path. See below.

Create a Path in Photoshop

*NOTE: You could use the eraser tool but the results won’t be as professional. Make Andy Warhol proud!

Take the pen tool create a path around the couple and then make it into selection. Invert the selection (CTRL + Shft + i) and hit delete.

Desaturate the photo (Ctrl + Shft + U) and Crop so that the photo has an interesting composition.

Adjust the Brightness/Contrast…

Image >> Adjustments >> Brightness/Contrast

Obviously the settings will be different for your photograph. Just adjust the sliders until your photo becomes quite dramatic. Now comes the fun part…

b) The Cutout Filter

Apply the Cutout Filter to the “photo” layer with the settings approximately as shown below.

Filter >> Artistic >> Cutout…

Adjust the Levels (Ctrl + L). You want to adjust the sliders until your photo is black, roughly 3 shades of grey, and white.

Now apply the cutout filter again. This time increasing the edge simplicity. The idea behind this is really to abstract and simplify the photo. Of course don’t just use the numbers shown below, trying experimenting!

Adjust the levels again if you feel the urge. I like the look of 3 tone (white, black and grey). Below is my image.

Don’t forget to Save

Now let’s organise the canvas and create an Andy Warhol inspired layout.

You are now ready for Step 2: The Repetition Layout >>