Naughty or Nice? Creating an Illustration with Personality in Photoshop

Dateline: December 21, 2005
Version: Photoshop CS

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Starting with a studio shot of a model, London-based illustrator Matt Herring opened the image in Photoshop and changed the mode to Grayscale to make preparations for the angel side of the image. He duplicated the image six times, and saved each copy as a separate document. Herring then made Levels adjustments to each duplicate. By adjusting the midtones in Levels, he revealed more detail by making lighter duplicates or creating darker silhouettes. On some duplicates, he chose Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone and set the Max. Radius to 5 and the Channel Screen Angles to 45 degrees for a small halftone pattern.
Herring next changed the mode of each duplicate to Duotone, selected yellows and creams for the darkest Grayscale duplicates’ ink colors, and chose oranges and reds for the lighter, more detailed duplicates’ ink colors. Each duotone image was then pasted into a new CMYK document with the silhouetted copies at the bottom of the layer stack, the more detailed duplicates in the middle, and the halftone patterned images at the top. Herring then changed each layer’s blending mode to Multiply and added a new blank layer to paint blue into the model’s eyes. Finally, he merged all the layers and selected Image > Adjustments > Posterize set to 9.
For the devil side of the image, Herring repeated much of the same process of creating separate documents for the duotone duplicates, but used magentas and reds as the ink colors instead. He then added black-and-white duplicate layers to which he made Levels and Brightness/Contrast adjustments to bring out more shadow and highlight detail, and to make the overall devil side more contrasty than the angel side.
Herring added details such as the red eyes, eye shadow, beauty mark, blush, eyebrow pencil, and eyeliner to the model by using the Lasso tool to make heavily feathered selections and choosing Edit > Fill to add color. For lipstick, he went back to the original photo to cut out the model’s lips, pasted it as a new layer, and added a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer to increase the red. To turn the model’s hair red, he used one of the silhouette layers to outline her hair with the Lasso tool and make it a selection, then filled it with a solid red. He then brought out the detail by layering a black-and-white duplicate set to Multiply over it.
To bring the two images together, Herring flattened each document and brought them together into a new document on separate layers. For drop shadows of the model, he made two duplicates from the devil image, filled each with black, adjusted the Opacity of each of these layers to 10% and 20%, applied a 6-pixel Gaussian Blur, and placed them below the angel and devil images. He then added layer masks to each layer and concealed the other half of the image using the Rectangular Marquee tool and Edit > Fill to create clean lines through the middle and separate the sides of the model.
The final image is shown at left (click to enlarge).

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