Creating a Chuck Close Effect in Photoshop

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke creates a Chuck Close-style effect for Photoshop portraits, paying homage to the legendary portrait artist’s abstract large-scale photo-realistic grid-structured works of art.

He begins with this portrait (from our friends at, adding Vibrance and Clarity adjustments to help prepare it for what he has in store:

An original close-up shallow depth of field portrait from

Then he creates a textured pattern of paint splotches, based on this 5 x 5 grid of dekeDrawn blobs:

Splotches created in Photoshop for a pattern

Finally, using a combination of blend modes, Levels adjustments, and shadow/highlight based layer masks in Photoshop, he arrives at this effect:

A portrait with a Chuck Close style effect applied

If you’re a member of, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he created the paint splotches that he used to make the pattern.

Deke’s Techniques, getting you closer to Photoshop mastery.


Next entry:Imbuing Your Chuck Close Effect with Color

Previous entry:Turning a Cube into a Hex Pattern in Adobe Illustrator


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