How To: Turn a Photo into a Portrait with Photoshop

How To: Turn a Photo into a Portrait with Photoshop

Carrie McBride
Apr 2, 2008

Remember Monday's adorable birthday boy, Joshua? For his birthday his mom, Kate, sent us a present! She sent along these clear instructions for turning a photograph into a portrait using Photoshop. Read on to learn how to do it.

I wanted a picture of Josh to hang in our home that had a portrait quality to it, but alas I do not draw. So, I took a picture that I had of him and in Photoshop created a portrait. I then printed the 8x10 portrait on a sheet of photo paper and hung it in a frame from Target that has a really big mat (the mat really makes it pop).

These are the steps I took in Photoshop:

1. Select the area of the photograph you want to turn into a portrait with the Rectangular Marquee Tool.

2. Copy and Paste the selected area into a new window. When you create a new window make sure the "Background Contents" option is set to transparent.

3. Using the Magic Wand select and delete the background of the photo. You will probably need to do this repeatedly to get all of the background. You can also use the Quick Selection Tool.

4. In the Filter menu select the first option under Artistic, which is Colored Pencil.

5. Then play with the levels for Pencil Width, Stroke Pressure, and Paper Brightness until the desired effect is achieved.

6. Lastly, use the Eyedropper Tool to select the grey in the background of the "sketch" and fill in the rest of the canvas with the Paint Bucket Tool.

The result is surprisingly professional when it's printed and hung!

Thanks so much, Kate - we can't wait to give this a try!

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