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[Tutorial] Photo Manipulate Yourself into a Drawing!

Have you ever tried photo manipulation? Basically it is an artform where ordinary photos are transformed into something unexpected and totally out of the box.  In this tutorial, we’re reversing this process! You’ll learn how to create the cool effect of drawing yourself by using the Brush tool to sketch a twin version of yourself. Since a graphics tablet works best for this, I’ll be using a Wacom Intous 3 for the complete drawing section. Let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended

Difficulty: Intermediate

Completion Time: 1 hour

Images Used For This Tutorial


Isolated business man write something: 36330016 © fuzzbones


Isolated business man looking camera: 36096495 © fuzzbones


White brick wall background, texture: 19337147 ©rangizzz


Step 1

Open both references of your subjects in Photoshop. Change the canvas size of one of the references to 10×11.5 inches. Copy and paste the second reference onto the same document.

Step 2

Use the Magic Wand (W) to select the white area for one reference. Hit delete to remove the white background. Do the same to the second reference so that you have both references without a background. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to resize the references and place them so that the drawing hand overlaps the twin’s face.

Create Background

Step 3

Create a new white background behind both men. Add a new layer and select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Create a rectangle at the base of their feet for the floor. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill in the selection with a light gray to transparent gradient. Erase the edges with the Eraser Tool (E).

Step 4

Copy and paste your brick wall reference behind the men as well. Control-T to Free Transform the image, resizing it to fill the rest of the space up.

Draw the Sketch

Step 5

Select the layer of the reference you want to turn into a drawing. It should be the opposite reference from the person with a pen. Bring down the layer to 50% Opacity. Use the Brush Tool (B) with the Shape Dynamics set to Pen Pressure and draw over the reference to create the sketch.

Keep drawing but only sketch a portion of the reference so that the whole picture isn’t drawn.

Step 6

Now let’s create background shadows for our characters. Hide the sketch layer and bring the opacity of your reference back to 100%. Select the reference layer and use the Magic Wand (W) to select the empty background. Right-click and go to Select Inverse to have only the shape of the body selected. Add a new layer and fill in the selection with black. Repeat this step for the second man.

Step 7

For each shadow, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and add a radius of 3 pixels. Lower the shadow layers to 15% Opacity. Place the shadow layers behind each man, so that they fall onto the wall.


Finish Up

Step 8

Unhide the sketch layer. Select the reference again and use the Eraser Tool (E) at 0% Hardness to erase away the upper body.

Continue to use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase away parts of each shadow, especially the lower feet area that overlap onto the floor.

Step 9

Almost done! Use the Brush Tool (B) to paint a large blue (#52d0ff) spot onto the back wall, and place it behind the men and shadows. Set the layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and bring down the Opacity to 70%.

Now fill a new layer at the top with a bright pink color (#e019d4). Set the layer to Difference and bring down the Opacity to 12% to color our photo manipulation.

Step 10

When you’re finished, merge all the layers together.

And that’s it! I really hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. With these steps, you can transform yourself or your friends into a photo manipulation with Photoshop. Good luck and feel free to share your own manipulations with us! Watch out for the next tutorial soon=)

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