Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to make a POP ART portrait from a Photo!

August 6, 2019

Hi, this is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Over a year ago, I did a tutorial showing how to make this pop art portrait of Lady Gaga based on the iconic, silkscreens of celebrities and other famous people by Andy Warhol. Due to its popularity, I’ll show you how to make another one using techniques that are quicker and simpler.
Choose a photo of someone you’d like to make into a portrait. If it’s in color, desaturate it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + U on a PC or Comd + Shift + U on a Mac. Make sure it’s cropped, so it
just shows the subject’s head and the top on the shoulders. We need to
make sure that its size and resolution will be the most effective for the
filters we’ll be using. So, go to “Image”…and “Image Size”. Click on the chainlink to lock its aspect ratio. This will keep its proportions intact.
Type in… 500 pixels for the Width and 72 pixels
per inch. Then, click OK. To fit it back onto your
screen, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. To make its darkest areas black and lightest areas white, invoke Auto-Tone by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + L. We need to make a selection around the subject to separate it from its background. There are many ways to do this and I covered them in many of my tutorials. For this example, I’ll use the pencil tool. Make the Size, 10 pixels and the Hardness, 100%. If your foreground and background colors aren’t black and white, respectively, press “D” on your keyboard. Click the Quickmask button, so we can draw a quickmask. Draw loosely around the head and shoulders and make sure there are no openings in your quickmask. Open your Paint Bucket tool… and click down anywhere inside the quickmask. Press “Q” to change the quickmask into a selection and press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete to fill it with white, which is your background color. To delete the selection, Ctrl or Cmd + D. Make a copy of your image by pressing
Ctrl… or Cmd + J. Go to “Filter”… and “Filter Gallery”. Open the “Sketch” folder and click “Halftone Pattern”. Make the Size, 1… the Contrast, 40 and the Pattern Type, Dot. Depending on the characteristics of YOUR photo, you may want to adjust the Contrast amount. There should be a good balance of
shadow and highlight with just enough midtones as halftone
dots. Click OK to accept it. Go to “Filter”… “Sharpen”..and “Smart Sharpen”. Make the Amount, 500%… the Radius, 1 pixel…keep the Reduce Noise to 0%…and remove Gaussian Blur. Then, click OK. We now have a crisp,
black-and-white halftone-dot, portrait. Change the blend
mode to “Multiply”. Go to the New Layer icon and Ctrl-click it on a PC or Cmd-click it on a Mac to make a new layer below the active layer. We’ll fill the empty layer with a color by clicking on your foreground color to open the Color Picker. Pick a color you like for your background. I’ll pick a dark turquoise. Then, press Enter
or Return. Press Alt or Opt + Delete to fill it the color. We’ll do the skin next. Click on the
foreground color box. For this example, I’ll type in F 7 C E B 7.

Open your Pencil tool by pressing “B” on your keyboard. To increase its size, press the Right bracket key. Now paint in areas of the skin on your
subject. Don’t be concerned right now with the colors of other areas of the face and neck like the eyes, lips, clothing or jewelry. We’ll paint them in over the skin. If you want to paint back in a color, press “i” on your keyboard to open the Eyedropper tool. Click on the color, press “B” again to open your Pencil tool and paint over those areas. To paint in white for the eyes and jewelry, I’ll invert the foreground and
background colors by pressing “X” on my keyboard. Now, I have white as my foreground color. To decrease the size of your pencil, press the Left bracket key. I’ll paint over the eyes, earrings and necklace and then, pick different colors for the lips and eye shadow. Have fun transforming photos of someone you know into pop art portraits. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Eric Cowger March 4, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Love it!

  • Reply ezthejedi March 8, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I'm having a problem with my tools in sketch…Each tool turns the picture the color of the inverse version…In fact it looks exactly like the Diffusion choice in adjustments box. Can you help me out??

  • Reply JayMusic March 11, 2015 at 1:13 am

    I have an issue it wont apply the filter to my photo any suggestions 

  • Reply SocietyPuppet March 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Just awesome, thank you. 

  • Reply Arian Leo May 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    filtering is the hardest part. good luck to yall.

  • Reply Arnold Tan May 4, 2015 at 11:32 am

    any design or tutorial regarding with dave hill effect?

  • Reply Kelley Bourguignon May 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    When I am selecting halftone pattern, my background is showing the dots as well. Why is my subject not the only part with dots?

  • Reply Nicola Sodano June 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Lol my experiment succeded 😛 thanks a lot.

  • Reply Adina Olteanu July 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    when i get to the colorizing of the background part when making a new layer and feeling it with a colour , every color i choose is transformed in a shade of grey. why is this happening and how can i solve this problem?

  • Reply Jessie Zass July 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

    which photoshop is this?

  • Reply Eduardo Prato Jaén July 18, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Great tutorial.   Great teaching technique!  Thanks a lot.

  • Reply Stella Davila July 31, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    why is my subject turning white but not the background. i am having problems with quick mask. any suggestions? it did work correctly. I don't know what happened 🙁

  • Reply - ̗̀ malum edits ̖́- August 3, 2015 at 1:31 am

    thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you SO MUCH

  • Reply Ricoshred August 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    For a second there I thought you where Microsoft Michael

  • Reply Tethis Nomf August 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

    i don't know why my Filter gallery is not active ! would you please tell me why !

  • Reply Sam George August 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Your Photoshop[ tutorials are very useful for me Thank you Blue Lightning TV 
    I Love Your Youtube channel 

    Can you please give us a tutorial about "How to color hair" 
    Hope a replay from you

  • Reply Danielle Molenaar August 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Marty, your PhotoShop tutorials are the best I've found on the Internet so far. Thank you so much for your time and effort, creating these wonderful tutorials.

  • Reply Nicole LeBlanc September 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    When I apply the half tone filter the white background also has dots…help!

  • Reply Tethis Nomf October 3, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Do you have also video how to make Double Exposure ? have seen some ,but they don't explain very good !

  • Reply Extremely pessimistic October 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Ditto brought me here

  • Reply Junwen Yao October 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

    your voice just sound like back to 60s! i love it!

  • Reply Garnet Universe October 10, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    really really awesome
    wish my version of photoshop was simpler

  • Reply uncomentario October 13, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I make mine with this tutorial. Thanks!

  • Reply GGLEllıot G October 15, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    i cant background :S

  • Reply Androula P November 4, 2015 at 5:07 am

    My filter gallery is not working! My mode thingy is RGB Colour & 8bits/channel… Every time I click the okay when I've applied the filter it just blends the image with the background turning it white… Help😭

  • Reply gadge roberts November 14, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Hi there. I'm struggling using this technique for darker skin. Any tips?

  • Reply maharaja November 26, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    What the photoshop version you are using in the video?
    And why i does't have some of the tools you are using on my toolbar?

  • Reply azrie tahir December 17, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    thank you for the tutorial!

  • Reply Tupsi Trinidad January 4, 2016 at 7:26 pm


  • Reply Jake Stockton February 27, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Your videos are the best on the web, but I still spent 3 hours on this today! Granted, I made one for my Indian girlfriend. Her darker skin tone makes it extremely difficult. Every time I would apply the smart sharpening tool, it gave this checkered pattern. I got it to work eventually. I didn't use that tool. Instead, I adjusted the halftone filter by increasing the dot size.

  • Reply cacatboy March 20, 2016 at 6:31 am

    This is an excellent tutorial. Easy, fast, straight to the point. Thank you!

  • Reply Cynthia Ayala March 21, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    For some reason it doesn't let me open the filter gallery

  • Reply Aravind Gaming April 1, 2016 at 8:18 am

    if i press alt +delete i can't see my face it's been covered with the paint can u fix it????

  • Reply Katherine Lawrence April 1, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Great tutorial – thanks for sharing. Love how easy & quick it is 🙂

  • Reply sandeep patil April 7, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    excellent, boss. i liked the way you explained it…

  • Reply HarryGProductions June 7, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Honestly, thanks for adding the subtitles for a deaf graphic designer like me! I created my legit pop art successfully under a hour. You rock.

  • Reply Ava August 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Great videos! you definitely deserve more likes and subscribers!!

  • Reply Starnas September 23, 2016 at 7:29 am

    The halftone pattern doesn't work properly… it makes the white stuff black and the black stuff white

  • Reply Yup September 27, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • Reply Karen Pfeiffer October 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Thank you Marty for the tutorial on Pop Art.

  • Reply Missy Queenie October 14, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Wait, what program are we using?

  • Reply Lopasang tashi Gurung November 29, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Marty I have a question , I want to create a logo where it involves Japanese script , and I am not Japanese .does photo shop have Japanese scripts ? If not what's the best alternative
    Kind regards

  • Reply Aaron Shapiro December 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

    This was a fantastic guide, thank you. Really appreciate it!

  • Reply Martin Heider January 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    You're my hero!!!! Thank you so much!

  • Reply eyefreesia January 30, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    thanks a lot!! this is super pro

  • Reply Midnightroar February 12, 2017 at 12:11 am

    When i did my 1st picture i was able to access Filter Gallery but ever since I'm working on my 2nd
    picture i can't access Filter Gallery. I went to look up on how to fix this and still i can't access filter gallery. I changed my picture to 8 Bits/Channel but it still wouldn't work. I changed Plug-Ins to Show all Filter and Gallery groups and names and it still doesn't work. Can you please tell me why this is happening and how do i activate this Filter Gallery? Also ever since doing this my Photoshop has become slow. Why? Please answer my questions i need help.

  • Reply Pat Schwab February 13, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    What program are you using?

  • Reply DeeSims February 15, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Is there a way to save these effects so you can use them on other pictures…. I understand coloring would be different but could you save this as a preset

  • Reply Fortune Attie February 16, 2017 at 6:23 am

    You are the THE BEST!!!!! I'm not in pro in this…. but you explaining is perfect !!!! Just did my first Pop art of me …. LIKE A PRO !!!!!! THANKS

  • Reply Connor McLeod March 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Amazing tutorial, thank you! 😀

  • Reply Johnny Webb March 31, 2017 at 2:38 am

    just dont get it… still no luck.. tried so may times…

  • Reply lesliefanloverxoxo April 20, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    what site are you using? I have a very bad memory but I have used it before

  • Reply Abdurrehman Khan April 26, 2017 at 1:50 am

    After I selected the filter, my picture turned green

  • Reply heb ma May 17, 2017 at 9:19 am

    excellent tutorial, got the process!

  • Reply R Makouei May 26, 2017 at 9:09 am

    This was a fantastic Tutorial, appreciate it!

  • Reply RGkong May 30, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Your voice is so awesome it sounds better than Morgan Freeman's voice!!!

  • Reply FAB 4 June 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the lovely tutorial . Can this be done on any app on iphone?

  • Reply CJ Arriola July 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Your instructions are so easy to understand and follow….good job…thx

  • Reply TheCloudMaker /Gamer September 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    What is the page called that your using to make those edits ? The website or what ever it is . This may sound nob like but is it something like power point . I just want to know the name . Thanks

  • Reply Dian Fitri October 9, 2017 at 7:56 am


  • Reply Rebeca Marques November 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you very much, great video!

  • Reply Keigan MacPherson November 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm


  • Reply Liam Smith January 8, 2018 at 4:21 pm


  • Reply Nelson Avellán January 24, 2018 at 4:00 am

    I love your tutorials! I'm sorry, but you're fucking awesome! You know how to explain in detail without increasing the length of your videos. Keep up the great job, man.

  • Reply Mehran Khan January 30, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Sir plzz edit some real photos.
    We search alot but we does'nt find a teacher like you. Sir plzz made some videos on real photo editing

  • Reply Capitaine Jaguare February 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you XD

  • Reply ******* February 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm


  • Reply I want Gerards children March 12, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!! This was honestly so easy to understand and I know that my picture will turn out great, thanks again!!!

  • Reply fred_ games March 12, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    why do you have to run so fast?

  • Reply Sarah Schneider March 15, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Awesome Tutorial Marty!!!! Well narrated, well paced, easy to grasp. Bravo!

  • Reply Christian Hermanto March 28, 2018 at 6:21 am

    thanks for sharing

  • Reply Sebastian Flores April 5, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Can you do a Roy Liechtenstein style video?

  • Reply Dahman Abi Roba April 10, 2018 at 2:08 pm


  • Reply Luis Rafael Gonzalez Pontiles April 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you very much for this tutorial it helped me a lot.

  • Reply Edwin Asare April 22, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I need help pls. I can not open the filter gallery although my settings r on rgb and 8bit. Who has got an idea what the problem could be ?

  • Reply DaVidimo April 26, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Now, pop art is my biggest hobby.

  • Reply twinkee pascual June 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

    This is awsome. Thanks

  • Reply clayton tansley June 21, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Your tutorials are the best, thanks!

  • Reply Ahmed Zakaria July 23, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    you rock !!

  • Reply ang August 26, 2018 at 1:01 am


  • Reply Rosy August 29, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you so much

  • Reply Struuth September 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks dude now I’m making a fortune on fiverr

  • Reply CaptainMyCaptain September 30, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Your videos are awesome as always!! Thank you.
    Could you do one that is just a simple silk screen dotted image? Or even like an old computer from the 80s that does the dotted images?

  • Reply Yancy Designs October 8, 2018 at 9:27 am

    great video

  • Reply Nasreen Shaikh October 12, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Amazingly done

  • Reply Ardensity October 31, 2018 at 5:00 am

    1:05 Why did you decrease the pixels for the image? is it better to work with low pixels for the pop art effect?

  • Reply arley lopera November 13, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Excellent. Thanks a million

  • Reply Javier Garcia Alvarez December 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I love your tutorials 👍🏻

  • Reply BLEK_SIDE December 6, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Has the filter changed or am i doing it wrong? in the video there are no dots where the pure highlights are, just how i want it, but when i use the filter the dots are also in the highlights 🙁

  • Reply Sonu Nimje December 26, 2018 at 4:53 am


  • Reply Faizal Ali December 27, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    sony wants to patent this wtf

  • Reply Peter Walker January 7, 2019 at 8:25 am

    grrr…the halftone pattern covers the whole image and there are no shadows and highlights…what am I doing wrong?

  • Reply Q. Estrad January 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    after making copy pf my picture I cant do the filter gallery, I don't know what is wrong with mine?!

  • Reply potato January 28, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    When I do the half tone pattern, why does it make the light colors black for me and the dark colors white?? Please help

  • Reply Ulises Rafael Molluso January 29, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    i can´t have a crispy image like the tutorial, it came very dark the face 🙁 , any tips¡?

  • Reply Malik Amir February 17, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Super thnks buddy 😍😘

  • Reply Youtube Video Ranker March 12, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Not far to go. You are #9 in the top 10 results for the keyword 'pop art'.You are almost there.

  • Reply Cat April 12, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Why the Halftone Pattern effects don't work in my photoshop?! please answer.

  • Reply Parit Sharma April 24, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    doesn't work!

  • Reply Ella Sardu June 21, 2019 at 8:55 am

    It's not working on my mac when I want to press cmd and delete on the mac. Nothing happens…?

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