Dec 05, 2014

How to Create a Stylized Portrait Made From Newspapers

How to Create a Stylized Portrait Made From Newspapers

In today’s episode we combine vintage newspapers with a portrait to create a piece of art. Learn how to apply filters to your subject to make them appear like an illustration, then add texture to that illustration in a few easy steps.

Filter Gallery

The Filter Gallery is filled with tons of great ways to add style to your images. If you are looking for a little creativity, the Filter Gallery is a great place to start.

In this episode we start out by applying the “Cutout” filter which will make an image look like an illustration. In the following steps we turn that illustration into a series of selections.

  • Use the Magic Wand tool to select different areas based on lightness. Be sure the “Contiguous” option is not checked.
  • After each selection is made, load that selection as a layer mask on a new group.
  • Place your textures in each group, restricting their visibility to the layer mask selection.
  • Use Levels to adjust the brightness of your texture (newspaper) layers.

Helpful hints:

  • Unlink your layer with it’s layer mask. This will allow you to move each independently.
  • Use Levels to adjust each texture layer, making it appear similar to the original values.
  • Use any texture of your choice. In this episode we choose to use newspaper, but you are free to use any images!


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    Excellent video and very cool technique! Phlearn is a site I visit every morning to start off my day at work. Quick question though… where did you find those newspapers (especially that movie section?) That could make a really great desktop wallpaper!

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    charles sweigart

    used toilet paper in creating a portrait will likely create a really crappy image but I bet it will wind up being very ph artfully done.

  • user image

    Probably the best tutorials when come to PS! Aaron is really good, excellent teacher indeed

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    Ken Hurst-Earl

    Yet another excellent and fun tutorial. Easy to follow and entertaining with the irrepressible Aaron Nace at the helm.

    • user image

      Hi Touheedkhan! Sorry! You can find tons of stock newspaper images online though 🙂

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    Jan Pieter

    Hi Aaron,
    My compliments for, as always, another excellent episode. A great way of working with five gray levels. Is it an idea to create a displacement map of the blurred original picture an use it as a distortion filter to give the face a little more of a 3D look?

    • user image

      We’ve never tried it but not a bad idea! Try it out and let us know how it worked for you! 🙂

  • user image

    Thanks for another fun idea and instructive tutorial. I’m going to try this with sheet music and a photo of my musician daughter.

  • user image

    That is cool – I did this one for my desktop a few months ago…but the levels thing is a great technique, so I’ll be going back to this…

  • Yves

    Thanks Aaron! Great episode – could you do more episodes like this one using the Filter Gallery?

  • user image

    Great tutorial ! Thanks !
    I have one question, where do you found the ressources ? I mean the newspapers pages. Do you buy them ? do you shoot them ?

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    camila rojas

    Thank you so much for teaching us in such an easy and fun way! Love your videos.
    Ps: Ill be in Chicago last week of January and i was wondering if you do seminars or talks to the public. Would love to meet you.
    Thank you and looking forward to you new videos.

  • user image

    Nice one for the tutorial. I’m new to the site but I will use it a lot I think! I have done a psychedelic version using some images of my own as textures, hope you like.. 🙂

  • user image

    Great tutorial and very well explain it… almost baby steps. I’m falling in love with this website and the free tutorial… Aaron you are The Man!!! Hahahahahaha! This is my version of the newspapers portrait.

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    Johannes Vollmer

    This is a sooo nice tutorial! This website is so awesome! :3

    One Question: Why don’t you just edit the Layerstyles of the groups, instead of making a magic-wand-selection every time?
    It’s less destructive to simply move the sliders at the bottom of the Layerstyle mixing options
    (roughly translated from german photoshop) which says ‘layers underneath’… isn’t it?

    very awesome nice idea though!!!! *_*

  • user image

    As a professor of Mathematics Education at Bowling Green State University, I see a synergy between mathematics and art. As a consequence, I love photography and am continually honing my craft. I’ve only recently moved up to a DSLR and am trying various types of photographic techniques. I saw this episode a while back and started to work on a series of mathematicians using their published works and writings instead of newspaper. This series is still being added to and hopefully, I’ll have the top 25 influential mathematicians finished in a year or two. I love all the things that Phlearn teaches because it gives me new ideas and techniques to try out!

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    mrinal rajput

    thanku arrik for teaching us this fantastic photoshop activities .

    I want your help in making a face of men into a zombie