Photoshop: Create a Stunning, 1980s-style, Retro, Pop Art Portrait
Photoshop: Create a Stunning, 1980s-style, Retro, Pop Art Portrait

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create stunning,
1980s-style, retro, pop art portrait posters that you can make from regular color photos of anyone. Open a sharp, color photo of someone that
you’d like to use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step is to check your photo’s size
and resolution to ensure that your results will look similar to mine. To do this, go to Image and Image Size. Make it approximately this size. The dimensions aren’t as important as the
resolution, which should be 72 pixels per inch. Next, we’ll convert the photo into a Smart
Object, so we can modify it non-destructively. To do this, click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel and click, “Convert to Smart Object”. We’ll automatically adjust its color values
by going to Image and “Auto Tone”. What Auto Tone basically does is sets the
darkest pixel to black and the lightest pixel to white the red, green and blue channels
and then redistributes all the other values in between the darkest and lightest pixels. Next, we’ll separate our subject from its
background by making a selection around our subject. Since we want our subject to have sharp, smooth
edges, I suggest using the Pen Tool to draw paths around the edges of our subject. I did an in-depth tutorial on the Pen Tool,
so if you’d like to watch it, I provided its link in my video’s description below. If you’re working on Photoshop CC, I recommend
using the “Curvature Pen Tool”, which I’ll be creating a tutorial for shortly. Using either tool, keep your paths a bit inside
the edges of your subject. Once the path is completed, right-click or
secondary-click directly on the path and click, “Make Selection”. Make the “Feather Radius”: 0 pixels. Then, click the Layer Mask icon to make a
layer mask of the selection next to your subject. Make the subject active and go to Filter,
Stylize and Oil Paint. In earlier versions of Photoshop, the Oil
paint filter is under “Filter”. The Stylization and Cleanliness are 10, the
Scale is 0.1 and the Bristle Detail is 0. Uncheck Lighting. Go to Filter, Sharpen and “Unsharp Mask”. I’ll make the Amount: 500%, the Radius:
50 pixels and the Threshold: 0 levels, however, since every photo has its own characteristics,
feel free to adjust the Radius and Threshold. Next, we’ll make a gradient background. Create a new layer below our subject by Ctrl-clicking
or Cmd-clicking the New Layer icon. Open your Gradient Tool and make sure the
Linear gradient icon is active. Click the gradient bar and click the “Black,
White” gradient box. Click the lower, left Stop and the black box. Pick a color for the top of your gradient. Since I already know the color I want, I’ll
type it into the hexadecimal field: 2B0B58. Click OK or press Enter or Return. Click the lower, right Stop and the white box. Pick a color for the bottom of your gradient. I’ll type in: FF7C00. After you’ve picked your colors, press Enter
or Return twice to close both windows. Go to the top of your document and press and hold Shift as you drag the tool to the bottom and release. Holding Shift kept the line perfectly vertical. Make your subject layer active and double-click an empty area of the layer to open the Layer Style window. Click “Outer Glow” and make sure the color box is white. If it isn’t, click it and when the Color Picker
opens, pick white. The Blend Mode is “Color Dodge” and the Opacity is 40%. The Spread is 0 and the Size is 250 pixels. At this point, if you’re happy with it,
we can complete it by adding back the pupils that we lost when we applied the oil paint
filter, however, we can add another step if there are areas of the shadows and mid-tones
that you’d like to adjust. First let’s collapse the effects to make more
room in our Layers panel. Make a copy of the layer by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Open the effects of the copy and hide “Outer Glow”. Double-click “Unsharp Mask” to open it. For this particular portrait, I’ll make
the Radius: 1000 pixels and the Threshold: 50 levels. Again, feel free to adjust these amounts. Let’s collapse the effects of the copy to
see all the layers in the Layers panel. We’ll hide or mask out the layer copy by filling
its layer mask with black. Make the layer mask active and check your
foreground and background colors. If they’re not black and white respectively,
press “D” on your keyboard. Since black is our foreground color, press
Alt or Option + Delete. Since the layer mask is black, it’s masking
out the entire layer next to it. Next, we’ll restore back areas of the copy,
by brushing white in its layer mask. To do this, open your Brush Tool and invert
the foreground and background colors by pressing “x” on your keyboard. White should be your foreground color. Open the Brush Picker and choose a soft, round brush. We’ll adjust the size in moment. Its Hardness is 0% and the Opacity and Flow
are both 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To adjust your brush’s size, make sure your
CapLock key is off and press the left or right bracket key on your keyboard. Brush over your subject to reveal the layer
copy through its layer mask. Lastly, we’ll add back the reflections on
the pupils of the eyes. that were lost when we applied the Oil Paint filter. Make a new layer. Notice as soon as we did, our foreground and
background colors inverted because in the last step,the Layer Mask was active. Invert it back, so white is our foreground color. Zoom into the eyes by pressing “z” on your
keyboard to open your Zoom Tool and dragging it across both eyes. Open your “Elliptical Marquee Tool” and place
your cursor over a pupil. Click and hold and press Alt or Option + Shift as you drag out a circular selection approximately this size. Fill it with white and deselect it by pressing
Ctrl or Cmd + D. Make a copy of the white reflection by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J and
press “v” to open your Move Tool. Drag the copy to the other pupil and position it so it matches the location relative to the other reflection. To fit it back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd +0. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

33 thoughts on “Photoshop: Create a Stunning, 1980s-style, Retro, Pop Art Portrait”

  1. R Garlin says:

    Great effect, very creative!

  2. GaouaGaming /ڤاوة باشا says:

    yOU bEST mAN

  3. Qais Omarzada says:


  4. MJA6995 says:

    Another awesome one, Marty. Merry Christmas!!

  5. Sumit prasai says:

    God bless Marty always the best teacher in the entire universe.

  6. Paul Tomlin says:

    Is anyone else unable to mirror an image in photoshop cc 2019? Thanks to all!

  7. Arrow of Monalisa says:

    Superb , , , very cool

  8. Belum Lima Menit says:

    luar biasa…. anda memang guru ku… yang terbaik…

  9. John Foster says:


  10. hussain mohammed. mahf says:


  11. I T SITE ON says:

    Great work I watch you are all videos I am your big fan thanks for sharing

  12. I T SITE ON says:

    Hundred Thumbs up from me

  13. Doume Patrice says:

    Merci Marty

  14. R. Ran says:

    always Great:Thanks

  15. Xiomara Moreno says:

    Hola Marty, siempre sigo tus tutoriales, y por supuesto mi like, eres exelente explicando y he aprendido mucho con tus tutoriales, por la forma de explicar tan metodicamente, es mas los bajo para verlos bien porque aqui en Venezuela de repente se pone muy lento el Internet, eres uno de mis favoriros woow, exelente.. Feliz Navidad en union de tu familia, .y esperando que el nuevo 2019 tengamos muchisimos mas tutoriales con muchos mas apredizaje 😍..❤️

  16. Xiomara Moreno says:

    Hello Marty, I always follow your tutorials, and of course my like, you are excellent explaining and I have learned a lot with your tutorials, for the way to explain so methodically, you are one of my favorites woow, excellent .. Merry Christmas in union with your family , and waiting for the new 2019 we have many more tutorials with many more learning,

  17. Raj Kumar says:

    i love it channel

  18. Siraj Uddin Middya says:

    Its cool.

  19. sunil bhatt says:


  20. Celeste Celestial says:

    Simply beautiful! Thank you for all your helpful tutorials. I’m a graphic design student and I’ve learned a lot from your channel. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  21. Sterling Williams says:

    Awesomeness 100! #YOUROCK #LOVETHE80s 🙌🏻⚡️❤️💥😎🌴🙌🏻

  22. Glenn Perdicaro says:

    Amazing! kool!

  23. Paul B says:

    Great tutorial Marty , I have latest subscribed version of photoshop cc but it crashes when i open up oil paint filter…help

  24. UppstArt says:


  25. emma lissette alvarado vasquez says:


  26. Android Bani says:

    very helpfull

  27. Mario A. Diallo says:

    Merry Christmas Marty and a Happy New year…Keep up the good work

  28. DaBabyBoy says:

    do u need a graphic card to do this

  29. Redha Nessah says:

    Thanks bro for your job

  30. Jules Ferlatte says:

    Again a great tutorial, I have a question, why 72psi if you want to print to say a canvas you'l need 300psi, can you just then switch without making the quality lessen ?

  31. nixon lavoile says:

    Waw t'es un veritable createur Graphics,je suis en haiti,j'ai regarde toute vos videos et j'aime tous merci ,bonne annee 2018 et heureuse annee 2019.Dieu vous benisse.

  32. Jose Diaz H says:

    Muchas gracias!

  33. ImperturbableLight says:

    Such great service you do to all people! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *