Can you help me give a pin-up piece a vintage feel?
Carlos the Jackal, Venezuela
Answer Waldemar replies
I’m approaching this question having created the majority of the painting, so this is more about the texture that I’m going to apply. Sometimes an ‘aged’ painting is in the detail that you may not even notice straightaway. I’m not talking about taking a cup of tea or cigarette lighter to the edges of a white piece of paper!
I scan in some naturally aged paper from a book, then clone it to the size of my image. In pre-digital days, pin-up paintings were oil on canvas that were then photographed and retouched in the printing colour correction process. I’m going to emulate this process in Photoshop.
I apply the texture of paper, then pretend I’ve photographed it by boosting the contrast a bit, making the edges slightly blurred. Then, after taking away some detail, I add clarity in shades. First I duplicate the picture layer, and then use Photoshop’s Curves or Selective Color to give the shadows and dark areas a cool tone, and the light areas and mid-tones a warm tone. Then I lower the contrast of the entire layer, change the layer blend mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity. Next I create another layer and import the texture of the old paper. I set the layer to either Multiply Blend mode or Overlay and drop the contrast. After these digital manipulations I introduce a hint of warm sunlight throughout the image.
Instead of using aged paper as the background
texture you could try cardboard or old canvas. Use Photoshop’s layer options to adjust the aged-look of the digital canvas.