1 CHOOSE YOUR PHOTO
Pick a portrait that offers good contrast—a photo that’s very dramatic and dark probably won’t workas well. I’ve had the best success with straight-on head and shoulder shots, but again, feel free to experiment with all types of photos. For the best results, choose a photo that has a light background (or select the background around the person and make it lighter).
2 CREATE VARIOUS TEXT BRUSHES
Create a new document (File>New) in a size that’s smaller than your photo: the specificsdon’t really matter. Press D to set the Foreground color to black. Use the Type tool (T) to type several different words in various fonts and sizes (in this case we used a person’s name). One at a time, draw a selection around each word with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), and from the Edit menu, choose Define Brush Preset. Name each brush in the Brush Name dialog and click OK.
3 SELECT THESHADOWS AND MAKE A LAYER
Switch back to the photograph. From the Select menu, choose Color Range. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Shadows and click OK. (In our example, nothing in the background was selected. If parts of the background are selected in your photo, see the next step for removing those selected areas.)
Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy theselected pixels onto a new layer. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer. Click back on the Background layer in the Layers panel.
4 SELECT THE MIDTONES AND MAKE A LAYER
Go back to the Select menu and choose Color Range again. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Midtones and click OK. If (as in this example) some of the background isselected, use the Lasso tool (L) with the Option key (PC: Alt key) held down to circle the areas you don’t want selected. Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer.
5 FILL THE LAYERS WITH BLACK AND GRAY
Click the Eye icon next to the Background layer in the Layers panel to hide that layer from view. Click on the midtones layer and from the Edit menu chooseFill. Use 50% Gray, check the Preserve Transparency box, and click OK. Then, activate the shadow layer and use the Fill command again, except this time use Black with Preserve Transparency checked. You should have a very basic portrait made from black and 50% gray.
6 FINE-TUNE THE RESULTS AND MERGE DOWN If necessary, show the original Background (click where the Eye icon used to be) and usethe Brush tool (B) to paint with black on the shadow layer, gray on the midtones layer, or use the Eraser tool (E) to completely remove areas. (Note: For gray, click on the Foreground color swatch, enter R:128, G:128, and B:128 in the Color Picker, and click OK.) In this example, we added a little more definition to the ears by painting with gray on the midtones layer. Once you’re satisfied, clickon the top layer (the shadow layer) and press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E) to merge it with the midtones layer.
7 ADJUST BRUSH SETTINGS AND PAINT SOME TEXT
Click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press D to set your default colors. Press Command-Delete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill the new layer with white. Choose one of your custom brushes from the Brush Picker in theOptions Bar, and in the Brushes panel (Window>Brushes), click on the words “Brush Tip Shape.” Adjust the Spacing so there’s space between each word. Under Shape Dynamics, vary the size and rotation of the brush. As you paint on the white layer, experiment with the Shape Dynamics. Repeat with your other custom brushes. For now, just get some “text paint” on the layer—we’ll continue painting in...