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