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Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook
"Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Effect"

(Pages 160 and 161 from the Painters section of Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook - courtesy of O'Reilly Media.)

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop EffectAlmost synonymous with Pop Art, Andy Warhol was a painter, photographer, filmmaker, and publisher. In the mid-20th century he produced iconic silkscreen paintings of subjects as mundane as soup cans and as glamorous as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. These remain hugely popular, and have sparked countless imitations. Creating your own Pop Art-inspired images with Photoshop is easy, and great fun, too.

The silkscreen technique forces paint onto canvas through a high-contrast negative stencil attached to the fabric. The resulting image features strong blacks from the photograph, which can be simulated using Photoshop’s Threshold adjustment. In Warhol’s hands, crude blocks of garish, striking color were added to selected areas, and images were often duplicated with alternative color schemes.

Any portrait can be used for a silkscreen-style image, but those with strong edges work well. Look, too, for an image in which the subject is staring directly at the lens, preferably with a slightly distant expression.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Open your portrait image, hold down the Alt/Opt key, drag the original image layer to the “Create a new layer” icon, call the new layer “Cut Away,” and click OK. Use selection tools such as the Magic Wand and Color Range to roughly select and delete the background pixels from the new layer.

Silkscreen images are very high-contrast, and later steps will remove much fine detail, so you don’t need to be very precise. It can make it easier to work if you add a new, color-filled layer directly below the working layer—making it a garish color can help you see the final result.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

To make the high-contrast image, ensure the Cut Away layer is active and select Image > Adjustment > Threshold. Move the slider so that the image contains only enough shadow to show the picture’s essential shapes.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Roughly select each image area that you want to paint with a single color, and use Alt/Opt + Ctrl/Cmd + J to copy the selection into its own layer. Name each new layer, set the blending mode to Multiply, and click OK.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Activate each item’s layer in the Layers palette in turn. For each one, Ctrl/Cmd + click the thumbnail so that only its non-transparent pixels are selected, and choose Edit > Fill. Even if the Fill dialog’s Use drop-down shows Color, select it again. This triggers the Color Picker. Select a strong color and click OK twice.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

In the Layer Style dialog box, change the Color Overlay’s blending mode to Color. Pick a strong color and click OK.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Once you have repeated steps 4 and 5 for each colored item, you have a completed silkscreen-style image. Save the file and make copies in which you use permutations of the same colors. Each colored area is in its own layer, so it is easy to select and recolor it with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Finally, combine all the versions in one large image.

Andy Warhol Pop Art Silkscreen Photoshop Effect

Combining multiple versions of the same image lends the final version a distinctive 1960s Pop Art feel.

Copyright © 2005 The llex Press Limited - All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, either electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook
Photoshop Fine Art Effects CookbookHow would you like to create your own impressionist landscape, a van Gogh still life, or a surrealist Salvador Dali dream world? Or perhaps a classic Ansel Adams photograph of Yosemite or an authentic-looking 19th century Daguerrotype? You can do all of that and more with Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook.

The Photoshop Fine Art Effects Cookbook book tells you all you need to know to turn your original digital photographs into images that mimic the styles of great photographers and painters. From advice on how to develop an eye for appropriate subject matter to 62 detailed recipes that demonstrate exactly how to create an "original" van Gogh, Vermeer, Edward Weston, or Andy Warhol (among others), this book is an authentic guide to understanding and simulating the work of great artists-and a whole lot of fun.

  • Analyzing the styles of great artists: format, composition, angles of view, color palettes, and image textures
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  • Creating Daguerrotypes, cyanotypes, stop-motion photographs, cross-processed images, Polaroid transfers, and infrared effects
  • Mimicking photographic styles from the pre-Raphaelites and the Naturalists to Jerry Uelsmann and David Hockney
  • Exploring painting and printmaking techniques from Rembrandt to Warhol: Dutch portraits, 18th century landscape painting, Japanese woodblocks, Impressionism, Pointillism,
  • Fauvism, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Pop Art

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