Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid to late 1950s. Some of the most known pop art artists are Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Roy Lichtenstein made stylized reproductions of comic strips using dots and flat color tones. Andy Warhol used the screen printing technique for his famous artworks like the portrait of Marilyn Monroe.
If you want to add some comic elements like speech bubbles or comic sound effects you can download these free cartoon effects in PNG format.
Let's take a quick look at the pop art portrait effect that we'll create in this new tutorial.
Open your image in a new PSD file. Call this layer Photo.
Posterize Effect in Photoshop
Press Control-J to duplicate this layer and name it Poster Effect. Go to Filter > Artistic menu and choose Poster Edgesto create the posterize effect.
Duplicate the Photo layer and call it Sketch Effect. Move the layer above the Poster Effect layer.
Set the Foreground Color to black and the Background Color to white.
Sketch Effect in Photoshop
Go to Filter > Sketch > Photocopy. Apply this filter to layer Sketch Effect.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels.
Set the blend mode of the Sketch Effect layer to Multiply.
Duplicate the Photo layer and call it Black and White Effect. Move the layer above the Sketch Effect layer.
Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer. Right click and choose Create Clipping Mask.
Change the colors of the Gradient Map to create this black and white vector effect. Depending on your image you have to change the settings. The important thing is to keep close almost identical the location of the black and white color.
Set the blend mode of the Black and White Effect layer to Multiply.
Colorize in Photoshop
To create the pop art Lichtenstein effect, we have to colorize the image. Add a new layer above the Poster Effect layer and call it Colorize.
Use the Brush Tool and a hard round brush to colorize the picture. I used these colors: #61cb89 (green background), #e7c31c (yellow hair), #59bfe9 (blue makeup), #db1a00 (red lips), #ffffff (white for teeth and eyes), etc. You can also colorize the skin.
Add Halftone Texture
Add this Halftone Texture in a new layer above the other layers.
Add a Layer Mask to the Halftone Texture layer.
Hide the layer. Make sure you are in the layer mask and go to Image > Apply Image.
Press Control-I to invert the mask. Unhide the Halftone Texture layer.
Set the blend mode of this layer to Multiply.
If you want you can add a Levels adjustment just for the Halftone Texture layer.
Pop Art Photoshop Portrait Effect
So here is the final result fot the pop art Photoshop portrait effect. I hope you like it!
Another interesting time period in terms of art and graphic design style, was the 1980s. If you want to learn more about the 80s, the Synthwave art, check out my article about 80s font used in movie posters, video gammes, music album covers and so on.
Free Posterize Photoshop Action
Another cool photo effect is the posterize photo effect that you can make in Photoshop using this free action.