Lend a hand

Tom Welsh ex­plains how to com­bine a por­trait with a hand to pro­duce a ‘mixed media’ photo

NPhoto - - Contents -

Use Pho­to­shop to make a reg­u­lar por­trait look like a sketch!

Paint­ing and sketch­ing might be be­yond most of us, but with Pho­to­shop we can repli­cate the look. You can even make it look as though you were do­ing the draw­ing!

You’ll need a por­trait, and a pho­to­graph of a hand hold­ing a pen­cil or brush – or you can use our hand photo (it’s pro­vided on this is­sue’s disc, or you can down­load it from bit.ly/start-48). If you want to use your own photo, try to use one with a plain back­ground, as this will make it eas­ier to comp in. To shoot a hand, place your hand on a white back­ground, such as a piece of pa­per, and shoot it us­ing flash. If pos­si­ble, take the photo from higher up, with the hand on the pa­per, to in­crease depth of field and help re­tain fo­cus. Al­low for a slight shadow as this will help the end im­age look more re­al­is­tic.

This tech­nique re­quires the use of Pho­to­shop’s lay­ers, fil­ters and the brush tool. First you need to cre­ate the ‘painted’ look for the por­trait, then a ‘sketched’ ver­sion which you can brush into the painted-ef­fect one to look like an in­com­plete piece of art. You can then in­sert your hand photo to give the whole thing depth.

While this pro­ject may sound dif­fi­cult, by fol­low­ing our step-by-step guide you too can be sketch­ing por­traits in no time!

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