Deke's Techniques 195: Creating a Series of Warhol-Style Variations in Photoshop

This week's Deke's Techniques plays with variations on the Andy Warhol-esque effect you first saw in last week's episode. In this movie, you'll see how to make serigraph-style riffs that are true to Warhol's original artwork, and then transform them into Photoshop-inspired imagery that Andy never got a chance to dream of. By keeping your elements on separate Photoshop layers, you can creatively recolor and offset each of the image elements to your liking. 

As Deke points out, the key to choosing the colors for your variations is to keep your color palette "garish, high-contrast, and small." You can watch the movie to see how Deke swaps out the colors and effects to make a collection of related but different variations, suitable for posthumous auction. 

But back to that color selection thing. When Deke was explaining this to me, he showed me a trick that the movie doesn't cover. And I feel dekeOmaniacs far and wide will find this tip immensely helpful. Let's say you wanted to set up colors that are derived directly from the original Warhol work. You can actually let Photoshop help you grab those colors. Read on to see how. 

The trick is to select the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop, click and hold inside an image window, and then drag the Eyedropper out into the wide webby world and release on the color you want, as illustrated below. It's that simple. Although you won't see the Heads Up Display (HUD) color picker (as in my cleverly instructional, but deceptively Photoshopped illustration), you will have a "magic eyedropper" that can lift a color from outside Photoshop and bring it back into your Photoshop environment. 

Note how once I click in Marilyn's hair in Chrome, the foreground color in Photoshop (at the bottom of the toolbox) actually changes to the yellow that I'm looking for. Then I can apply it to the hair layer at my leisure. Immensely cool. Yes, you're welcome.

If you're a member of the lynda.com Online Training Library, Deke has two follow-up movies in which he shows you how to create more advanced variations. Click the screewn-cap below to see a high-resolution version of the image.

Advanced Andy Warhol silkscreen variations

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