Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Make a Warhol-style, Pop Art Portrait from a Photo!

September 3, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create an Andy Warhol-style, pop art image from a photo! It can be black and white or color. This is an update of a tutorial I did quite awhile ago on an earlier version of Photoshop. The techniques in this tutorial are quicker and more flexible. Open a photo you’d like to use for this project. I downloaded this one from
The first step is to convert it into a Smart Object, so we can modify it non-destructively
and even replace it without having to redo all the effects that we ‘ll be adding to it.
To do this, click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel and click “Convert to Smart Object”. If you want to crop your image, open your Rectangular Marquee Tool and drag it over the area of your image you want to keep. Go to Image and “Crop”. Deselect it by pressing Ctrl + D on Windows or Cmd + D on a Mac. Next, we’ll resize the image to
give us the best results from the filters we’ll be using. Go to Image and Image Size.
If the resolution isn’t 72 pixels per inch, highlight it and type it in. The Width
and Height will automatically change to different amounts in order to retain its shape. For
the Height, type in 870 and click OK. To fit it back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd
+ 0 or to see it at 100%, press Ctrl or Cmd + 1. Next, we’ll make a selection around your
subject to separate it from its background. There are many ways to make selections and
your choice should depend on the characteristics of your image. For this example, I’ll use
the “Quick Selection Tool”. If you’re using this tool as well, make its size approximately
10 pixels. Drag the tool over your subject. To refine the edge of your selection, click
the “Refine Edge” button or go to “Select” and “Refine Edge”. I did an in-depth tutorial
on Refine Edge, so if you’d like to watch it, I provided its link in my video’s description
or project files. Drag the Radius to the right and check “Smart Radius”. Drag your tool over
the edge of the hair and output it as a “Layer Mask”. Then. click OK. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the active layer. We’ll fill the empty
layer with white, but first, make sure your foreground and background colors are black
and white, respectively. If they aren’t, press “D” on your keyboard. Since white is your
background color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. If your subject is in color, desaturate it
by clicking on its thumbnail to make it active and click the Adjustment layer icon. Click,
“Black White”. We’ll convert your image into a Smart Object, so we can add filters to it.
To do this, Shift-click on the bottom layer to highlight all the layers and, as before,
click the icon at the upper-right and click “Convert to Smart Object”. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. Open the “Sketch” folder and click, “Halftone Pattern”. For the Pattern Type, choose “Dot”. Make the Size: 2 and the Contrast: 0. Then, click OK. Go back to Filter, Sharpen and “Smart Sharpen”. Make the Amount: 500%, the Radius: 64 pixels and the Noise: 0%. Keep in mind, since your applying the filter to a Smart Object, you can adjust the
filter’s settings later at any time. Click OK or press Enter or Return. Click the Adjustment Layer icon and click “Levels”. Make the Input white level: 100 to brighten your image. Make your subject active and change its Blend Mode to “Linear Burn”. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click
on the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the active layer. In this empty layer,
we’ll add colors to our subject. Click the foreground color to open the Color Picker.
Pick a color for your background and click OK. To fill the empty layer with that color,
press Alt or Option + Delete. Presently the Levels adjustment layer is brightening your
entire image including the blue background we just added. To restrict the adjustment
layer to effect just your subject and not the background under it. Scroll to the top
of the Layers panel and make the Levels adjustment layer active. Click this icon to clip it to
the one layer beneath it. Another way to clip it is to press Ctrl + Alt + G on Windows or Option + Cmd + G on a Mac. Scroll to the bottom and make the color background active. Click the foreground color again and this time, pick a color for your subject’s skin. Then,
click OK. Open your Pencil Tool and Pencil Picker. We’ll take care of the size in a moment.
Make sure the Hardness and Opacity are both 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To make
your pencil bigger or smaller, press the right or left Bracket key on your keyboard. Now,
draw over the skin. Don’t be concerned if it’s not perfect. Click your foreground color and pick a color for the hair. Brush over the hair and feel free to use the color
for other areas of your subject. Continue to draw different colors over areas of your subject and to brush in soft, feathered colors, use your Brush Tool with a Hardness of 0. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply Blue Lightning TV Photoshop August 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm

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  • Reply TopBinsLima August 24, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Amazing tutorial as always Marty!!! Best tutorials around! keep'em coming!!!

  • Reply Alberto Lopez August 24, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Thank you so much for the video. The explanation is excellent.

  • Reply Lopesawey August 24, 2015 at 1:48 am

    in brazil, dont have tutorial like this.. nice.

  • Reply ส้ม หวาน August 24, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Thank you so much

  • Reply This Guy August 24, 2015 at 2:39 am

    Brilliant lesson, thank you very much for all your work Marty!

  • Reply Peter J August 24, 2015 at 2:56 am

    Hi Marty, thanks for the updated tutorial.   You said in the tut you were changing the resolution so the filters would work.  Would you please explain a little more  about this and how resolution effects the filters?  Thank you in advance.

  • Reply Good Vibes August 24, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Good day,

    Can I request can you create a tutorial to insert a modern picture to old picture and make it reality. like this link

    thank you and godbless

  • Reply Surprise Learn Colors August 24, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Автор? а вы в каком городе живете если не секрет?

  • Reply Bierbauchberserker August 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Thank you for your work Marty. I've watched so many Photoshop Tutorials on YouTube that have left me even more confused than i started, but yours are so clear and helpful and have taught me so much. Thanks for that! That was simply incredible. Very well rehearsed, I might add.

  • Reply Mark Cunningham August 24, 2015 at 11:28 am

    would it be possible to get a GTA5 art style tutorial, i love that kind of look,
    another great, simple, easy to follow tutorial again as always

  • Reply Vinay Sl August 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    super marty u r the best and great person who gives us great photoshop tutorials

  • Reply Adam Stevenson August 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Another Great tutorial. For some reason all you tutorials the audio clips the first syllable of each sentence, or is it just me?

  • Reply This Guy August 24, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    By the way, Marty. I saw few times how people asking you in comments to start  the AE video lessons maybe, and you said you're not gonna do this in near future. It's ok, but I hope one day you change your mind though. But animations is always cool, don't you wanna make some PS lessons about animated gifs, and web things like buttons, banners etc? There is a lot of hidden possibilities and features and that would be so awesome if you cover this.

  • Reply Steven LaMar August 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    could yo u do a episode on how to create a steam punk logo

  • Reply Lloyd Daley August 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I am a beginner at Photoshop and I would like to know how to get the application please.

  • Reply Ammar ALprince August 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you for your efforts continued O creator

  • Reply ProudJuventina August 25, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Thank you

  • Reply Theo Roosevelt August 25, 2015 at 9:42 am

    nr 1 PS tutorials one youtube!

  • Reply Meira Vich August 25, 2015 at 10:21 pm


  • Reply Vinay Sl August 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    hey marti can show tutorials of after effects also pla

  • Reply Niño Jesús August 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Marti!
    Since I discovered your website and your Youtube channel I've become a faithful follower of your tutorials. You really do an excellent job. I followed especially your tutorials to convert photos into Andy Warhol style. You can see my Gallery on Flickr:

    Thank you for all your attention.
    Best regards.

  • Reply Reuben Dunn August 29, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    What does reducing the resolution to 72 do to the picture?

  • Reply Paul SZ August 30, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Hello, Marty. Can you make something like the ultimate guide to photo manipulation?

  • Reply TheDGUITAR August 30, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Could you do a turtorial on how to do art like the cover of Currents by Tame Impala?

  • Reply Dank951 September 8, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Thank you, Marty! I was laid off from my job about six months ago and I spent at least 3 of those months watching your videos…which were the starting point of my learning to graphic design. I've been working as a freelance for two months now, making more each month than at my old job and could not be happier! 🙂

  • Reply Jim Yalong September 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    thanks for the tutorial! 🙂

  • Reply TylerTheGamingKid905 October 12, 2015 at 5:31 pm


  • Reply moni scan December 23, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks 🙂

  • Reply JWU Resource Room February 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Great Video! Thank You!

  • Reply Navya Sharma February 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    what photoshop are you using?

  • Reply Marcelo Andreguetti March 21, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    your voice sounds like Ron Howard's

  • Reply Abdullah April 4, 2016 at 5:59 pm


  • Reply Zane Weickum April 26, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Hey, so I've been following the instructions to the tutorial but when I get to the halftone pattern my image inverts it's colors. Any suggestions on what I should try?

  • Reply Sammi Sparke April 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    For some reason after I click filter, halftone Pattern and dot my image looks very different from yours which I don't understand becuase I've followed the instructions completely. I can't describe it without showing you. Like a negative filter – when you used to look at an old negative? Please can you advise what might be wrong. Thanks

  • Reply Reynard Baillou April 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Is the resolution you set enough to print?

  • Reply Ron B. May 1, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Every time I try to save it, it turns dark and loses all the fine details. HELP!

  • Reply Saving Aidan May 7, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Hey there,

    (Sorry for such a long comment & bugging you w/all these questions.

    I haven't used PS in forever & remember basically nothing & everything else is new so my questions may be stupid. But…..
    I'd appreciate any help your willing to offer after being so generous with your tutorials.

    It seems like most tutorials on YouTube give directions for the image to stay digital, but I want to print mine so do I change anything in this process for print quality images? Like higher resolutions or pixel sizes, darker colors?

    Do you know what printers are best to print these types of pictures? inkjet or laser printing? I'll have to print @a print store & I know they will try to get me on higher $ printer so to know if a cheaper printer will work just as well will help.

    Since I'll be doing the work at a library does windows still come with Photoshop or is this now software you have to purchase?

    Also if the computer I use has the older version you speak of do you still have your tutorials for the older versions, can I find them in the file folder you talk about as well?

    Since I have to do the project elsewhere & save it to a thumb drive. (Can I even do that?) if so how do I save the finished photo?

    Is it like other windows products where you file- save or save as?
    Will all PC's recognize Photoshop pics as just any other pic, or does the PC have to have the Photoshop software to recognize the picture(s) as a saved image w/all the details & changes?

    Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to do this project for my sons 25th Birthday which is only 3 days away & w/such limited time I want to make sure I have all the instructions & info right before I start.

    I live on a tiny limited income & can't afford to get him….well anything really so the cost of a couple of prints @ the print store is all I can afford so, if I don't get the info right I have no backup plan.

    Which again makes me even more appreciative of your time, in both making the tutorials & any time you might take to answer my questions, thank you, seriously…… thank you, so so much for your generosity of spirit.

    Id actually like to talk to you about a few other things if you have the time???

    I don't know if you do this for a living, just a hobby, or side job but If you would be generous enough to contact me I'd like to discuss a few things with you. If your willing too my email is my YouTube name no space's with [email protected]

    [email protected]

    Thank you so very much for making me a happy Mom.

    Have Great Day!

  • Reply Parham Marandi June 11, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Very useful, i did one of my final projects with this tutorial

  • Reply Binty McFrazzles July 24, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Great tutorial. Although I think it's better to use a different blank layer for each colour, so you can change the colours if you want, more easily.

  • Reply Mike van Wieringen July 25, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Very great and creative tutorial.

  • Reply Jonny Rice July 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

    What are the other ways of making the selection?

  • Reply jacksparrowguy August 12, 2016 at 2:33 am

    What's the icon at 6:22? My updated version doesn't have it

  • Reply Miguel Angel Soules Perrucchione September 28, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Hi! Great channel, Thanks for the classes… I have a problem, in my filters options don't have the Sharpen Options in my CS6? What should i do to have it?

  • Reply AJ Ventura October 5, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Another excellent tutorial! I am so puzzled to see that ANYONE has thumbs downed this video. Must not be good at following instructions and blamed the video for their terrible results.

  • Reply pokeball October 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    if using the technique to create a printable item can you start with a 300 dpi instead of 72 ?

  • Reply Mario S December 22, 2016 at 3:19 am

    What happens if you get to the last few steps and your colors are all grayscale?

  • Reply Miachelle DePiano January 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    When I create the smart object from the three layers at 4:06, and I go to Filter > Filter Gallery, Filter Gallery is not an active selection. What am I doing incorrect?

  • Reply Out of the Box Ministries January 28, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I have CS5 are all the tools the same? having trouble.

  • Reply Achil Pretés February 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    thank you 😀

  • Reply Kimberly Paris March 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you! I am excited to try this. I am having trouble on the last step adding the colors. The last step I was successful on was adding the linear burn. Any suggestions? I am on a MAC using CS6. Thanks!

  • Reply Dexter Quinn March 16, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I've learned more from your tutorials than I did in college. Cheers, mate.

  • Reply Eden Cain May 25, 2017 at 12:59 pm


  • Reply Aizat Selamat June 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    this is helpful! thank you! i love your pop art tutorials.

  • Reply Cyrus Winston August 5, 2017 at 3:31 am

    It's that gray haired woman from the Cloud Village, pretending to be Kloss. Kloss right now is hiding out in a Sanctuary in New York.

  • Reply Docentino August 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I subbed just 2 minutes into the first video I watched. Very well done tutorials! Thanks Marty 🙂

  • Reply Max lystor August 23, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    If you're having trouble with speed when doing this, skip the image size step at the start I did it without and got work I was really happy with

  • Reply Danielle Vaughan August 31, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Marty -youre a star!!!

  • Reply Matt Zelaya September 27, 2017 at 1:52 am

    I can't find refine edge anywhere in my photoshop can anyone help?

  • Reply Mia Breckon October 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Great video, really easy and really enjoyed thanks xx

  • Reply yashwanth vijay October 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Marty ! I have a doubt . I have created my own poster as per your above tutorial for neon effect and as i had to print them I converted them to CMYK format and adjusted few settings to arrive at a suitable state. I try to save the same pic for web as I have to upload the pic for Web purpose . When i try doing that I get a dull version of the pic with low brightness.I have attached the link for your reference. Would be immensely glad to have your reply
    Link 1. Final Screenshot picture of the working cmyk file :
    2. Picture after image exported as Jpeg and Png:

  • Reply chloe lem December 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    well when i apply the halftone pattern, my entire image goes completely white…

  • Reply Eric January 19, 2018 at 12:55 am

    REQUEST: How to Make a , Pop Art Portrait photoshop action

  • Reply The Vapefather January 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Super super super!

  • Reply Jimi Irfan March 17, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    thank you sir

  • Reply Michael Marinelli April 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    it was awesome

  • Reply Nath Mod April 9, 2018 at 4:36 am

    it does not look right, with photoshop it looks fake in a way, you cant feel the energy from the portrait

  • Reply Michael Marinelli April 18, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    your the best marty

  • Reply Lynda Bond May 5, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks so much for this ! I’ve known about a lot of it, but have had an issue with blue lighting. Thanks so much. 🎨

  • Reply Rizqy Gandha May 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    thanks for tutorial

  • Reply Braùlio Adão May 26, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    God's Plan

  • Reply Liz Bradbury May 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Very good tutorial, very helpful…a bit more Roy Lichtenstein than Andy Warhol, but great for that comic strip look! The steps are very well explained

  • Reply elias pimentel benavente September 10, 2018 at 4:13 am


  • Reply Pew Umři Koláč November 12, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    omg thanks🖤

  • Reply Glitter Fallout November 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I can't thank you enough for breaking this down SO thoroughly! I'm not a Photoshop whiz by any stretch of the imagination, and you made this easy, understandable, and perfect to follow. Thank you!

  • Reply Javier Garcia Alvarez December 1, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Amazing tutorials

  • Reply First Last January 6, 2019 at 11:53 am

    i cant find fefine edge in ps2019…sad my poster will not be looking guud

  • Reply Cat April 12, 2019 at 7:05 am

    When I add the Halftone Pattern filter, I got a totally different result. it turns the woman in a black and white negative, white areas are too shiny and nothing is visible. what should I do?

  • Reply Shafia Tahir April 14, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    very helpful..thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply sam armstrong May 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Great tutorial but have a question – I have done two and they worked great but on another one once I go to add the background colour after going through the halftone filter gallery etc. it doesn't work I rebuilt it twice and still get this issue. Very confusing. Thanks

  • Reply Armando Media May 20, 2019 at 4:11 am

    i must make something like this, thanks

  • Reply MrAndyCretin June 17, 2019 at 10:30 am

    what is the purpose of changing the height to 870 at the beginning?

  • Reply Stefano Gandolfo July 27, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    How do body parts get colored so precisely?

  • Reply Stefano Gandolfo July 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I'm trying to apply this to a shape, how do I precisely color it after? I'm doing osmething wrong 🙁 my shape borders (black) are turned white, in your image blacks remains blacks.

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