Deke's Techniques 194: Creating an Andy Warhol-Style Silkscreen Effect in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques 194: Creating a Warhol-Style Silkscreen Effect in Photoshop

I've long had a fascination with simulating Andy Warhol-style serigraphs in Photoshop. Regular readers of this blog may recall dekePod episode 18: "The Andy Warhol Silkscreen Effect" from nearly four years ago.

Frankly, tho, looking back on that effect, it sucks. And at the risk of sounding like a self-righteous, born-again prig, so do everyone else's effects, including those that you can render automatically using Warhol-style device and computer apps. Because here's the thing: even though Warhol was an unapologetic capitalist who believed in exploiting art for money's sake, he wasn't an app or a rote set of instructions. He was an eccentric, oddball, affected, doll-hair-wearing, exceedingly commercial artist. In other words, in the broadest possible sense, Warhol was a human being. You know, like in the way Pluto is a planet.

Which is why for this and the next two weeks, I'm going to focus on that most classic of Warhol techniques, the mass-reproducible, celebrity-obsessed silkscreen/serigraph effect. Today, for example, I'll show you how to convert the portrait shot on the left (not an actual celebrity, but perhaps she deserves to be, also very nicely captured by photographer olly at Fotolia) to the work of highly theoretically high art on the right.

The Andy Warhol silkscreen effect, in Photoshop, before and after

A musician friend of mine once told me, dismissively, that Johann Pachelbel wrote his famous Pachelbel's Canon in five minutes while taking a dump. (This isn't an actual fact. It was just my buddy busting Pachelbel's chops.) Difference is, Andy Dub whipped out his creations in a matter of hours, charged thousands of $$$ for them, and later, after he kicked it, Warhol's stuff dredged up millions in postmortem auctions. (Poor toilet-bound Pachelbel: like all musicians, he could not say the same.)

So I guess my point is this: wanna be an artist and get ahead in life and still have people think you're a legitimate talent? Without wearing doll hair? Well, gosh, dunno if that's possible, but here's a start. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 094, In Which We Hypocritically Mock Some of Adobe's Odd Feature Names

What's in a name? Does a feature that goes by any other name still function as well? This week we're enjoying making fun of the names of Adobe features that don't really make any sense. And who are we to complain? "Martini Hour" is never really an hour and this week we're drinking Manhattans. So join us on this vaguely hypocritical but otherwise entertaining discussion of goofy names for otherwise highly useful (for the most part) set of features in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Like Martini Hour, you shouldn't be scared off by the names. 

Martini Hour 094: Adobe's strangely named features

Here is a list of cryptically, oxymoronically, or just ridiculously named features that we enjoy making fun of this week: Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #27: The Crop Tool

Feature #27: The Crop Tool

Okay, so the crop tool isn't necessarily Photoshop's most exciting feature. But what in the hell would we do without it? This one tool lets you clip away the edges of a photograph so you can hone in on just those details that you want to keep. You can straighten an image that you inadvertently shot cock-eyed. And best of all, you can temporarily hide portions of an image (as opposed to forever clip them) so that you can restore the cropped areas and recompose the image five ways to Sunday.

Which is a lot of "featuricity" for one tool. As usual, I show you more than how the crop tool works. (Cropping couldn't be much more obvious.) Rather, I show you how to exploit the crop tool six ways to Tuesday. Which is the promise of Photoshop Top 40, after all. Read more » 

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Employing a Seamlessly Repeating Pattern

In my last article, I explained how to create a tessellating tile pattern--that is to say, a pattern that repeats seamlessly, with no flaws and with guaranteed results. Here's the spoiler: It all hinges on the Offset filter. Really, that's all there is to it. Choose Filter > Other > Offset, and everything falls into place. For more information, check out the previous article.

At the end of that article (honestly, how many links do you need to it?), I promised to share with you some interesting ways to employ your seamlessly repeating pattern. And true to my word, that's precisely what I'm going to do now. Two ways to use a repeating tile pattern. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing more to say. Read more » 

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