The Andy Warhol Silkscreen Effect

dekePod Episode 018: Okay, I got good news and I got bad news. Good news first: dekePod has caught up with its younger sibling Martini Hour. For this brief moment in time, both are 18.

Also good, this new episode, it’s a doozy. In this video, I show you how to turn any portrait shot—even a sweetly syrupy photo of two youngsters in real honest-to-gosh puppy love—into a credible Andy Warhol silkscreen effect. Complete with minimalist outlines, vivid fills, and lipstick that covers the teeth. Here’s the official marketing description:

Have you ever wanted to create an authentic looking Andy Warhol silkscreen? One of the most influential artists of the 2th century, Warhol was known for his avant-garde paintings and screenprintings. Remember Warhol’s garishly colored celebrity images of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, or Mao Zedong? In the studio he called The Factory, Warhol took an assembly-line approach to his high-contrast, silkscreens and produced art as a mass consumable, like a t-shirt or a pack of gum. It’s not surprising that his art is still popular today, and there are lots of one-click Warhol solutions. But if you want the real thing, join Deke McClelland in the final episode of this dekePod series, as he dissects Warhol’s process, and shows you how to use Photoshop to render your favorite portrait in bona-fide Warhol magnificence.

By way of example, I came up with this original take on Marilyn, one which could reasonably serve as the banner of yet another podcast. Colleen and I might be sitting around, cocktails in hand, discussing which celebrity is most deserving of artistic exploitation this week. Whatcha think?

Despite its minimalist appearance, the Warhol silkscreen technique is actually fairly involved. I’ll post an article documenting the many steps next week. In the meantime, this dekePod shows you everything, provided that you take the time to review the frames. To download the video for obsessive replay, try one of these links:

  • For a high-quality QuickTime movie, right-click here and choose Save Target or Download Link or the equivalent.
  • For an M4V file that you can play on an iPod, right-click here and choose one of those same commands.
  • Or you can subscribe to dekePod via RSS or iTunes.

You can also check out the page at my book publisher O’Reilly Media.

Okay, so enough delaying, now for the bad news: This is the final episode of dekePod in this format. Blame the down economy, my overly ambitious nature, or my sponsors getting wise to the seditious nature of the piece. (Personally, I blame The Man. Dude didn’t have anything to do with this thing, but he’s still a jerk!) Whatever the reason, after two pilots and 18 regular episodes, the money has dried up.

But that doesn’t mean dekePod is dead. In fact, it is very much undead. As in the Pirates of the Caribbean spirit of the word. Having touched the Web 2.0 equivalent of Cursed Aztec Gold, the impossible-to-kill skeleton of dekePod roams the world in search of new opportunities. Here are two examples:

  • To have your flesh picked by the phantoms of ancient dekePods (and keep up with future ghostly developments), check out my new dekePod channel at
  • I can’t actually tell you about the second opportunity. But it’s coming up real soon. And like everything I do, it’ll be either a rousing success or a hideous flop. That alone makes it worth waiting for, right?

Oh, and lest I forget, I have plans to document this very technique in a series of authentically educational videos at Hilariously, what I explain in 7 minutes and 5 seconds in this dekePod video will probably require something like 45 authentic-training minutes. To get a sense for what my “authentic” training looks like, check out my most recent series, Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, part of the Online Training Library. Weighing in at 13 hours, it is nothing if not comprehensive.

And with that, I will take my leave of you and the initial round of dekePods. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Only, see, there is no parting with the undead . . . !

Next entry:Butterflies: My Random Adventure in Nature Photography

Previous entry:Martini Hour 018, In Which Deke Takes on Two Women at Once

  • Undead

    I’ve been showing my daughter your dekepods. She’s a fan, too. She’ll be sorry not to see more in that format.

    I never knew your dekepod director - he had left before I started - but I recognized the name. We both worked at the same company in Manhattan in the 80’s.

    I know you didn’t posterize the colors from the photo, but it’s funny, because I was playing with that recently. I noticed I seemed to like posterizing in Lab space better than in rgb, fwiw.

  • Last dekepod?

    As a newcomer to the ins and outs of the Adobe family, I have found your books and your podcasts both entertaining and very, very, helpful.

    Hopefully the ‘undead’ opportunity comes to fruition and we can continue to enjoy the dekey goodness that is dekpod!

    Love your work!

  • Bring on the Undead!

    Sad to hear this is the end of the lne for the 1.0 flavour, they have been truly enjoyable and I suspect I learn’t quite a lot too ;-)

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to make them and really looking forward to seeing what a bit of zombie DNA will do to the 2.0 generation!

  • great work

    I have just joined and i am following all your tutourals they are great now i have found your blog ,your a very talented man ,keep up the good work ,hope i can get as good as you .
    kind regards


  • Lots of Fun!

    Great dekepod, but do you think it’s possible to go a little slower?  In spite of that, I enjoy them all. Fun to watch!

  • see dekes previous dekepod

    see dekes previous dekepod where he explains the speed thing ;)

  • I have sub’d to your you

    I have sub’d to your you tube chan deke and sent a friend req - using my other alias ;)

  • Watched it again…

    Maybe I was looking at the wrong one.  All he said in the Visual Comm Makeover was that he got 4 points for talking too fast.

  • Warhol

    As usual the Andy Warhol silkscreen effect was wonderful!
    Is there a place where these steps are written out?

    Love the video but you are a Spaz!

  • Love it

    Love it, surprised you don’t charge money for this stuff.

  • deke has some very fun and

    deke has some very fun and clever things to teach us. in this case, first half was manic images meant to be background on andy warhol, yet completely unnecessary, and then when he finally gets to the actual tutorial, he does it so rapid-fire-fast that you have to watch it over and over just to catch what he’s doing. so, why not leave out all the fluff at the beginning and then do the tutorial at a normal conversational speed?

  • I agree

    Deke always does have some strange things to teach, eh? hahaha

  • Ah, that’s why I followed it

    With a full-length article.

    Click here to check out the complete Warhol technique.

  • Nice dekepod, but do you

    Nice dekepod, but do you think it’s possible to go a little slower?

    Pro, email extractor

  • Article regarding \“Warhol Effect\”

    At the end of your movie, you mentioned that you would be having an article outlining everything for the “go at your own pace” people…

    I’m one of those people, but I can’t find the article. Did you get a chance to post and I can’t find it, or, has it not yest made it online.

    Thanks much.


  • Nvermind, sorry…

    I found the article, THANKS!

  • Deke, you’re cool. Thank

    Deke, you’re cool. Thank you.

  • I like it

    Thanks for this nice share.A really nice effect .It will be helpful for all ...

  • Pop Art

    Hi Deke,

    How about Roy Lichtenstein?

    Thank you.

  • Please help!

    I am new in photoshop, how do you use the brush to paint away unnecessary shadow? I cant seem to make it work..Thanks!

  • I looked all over google for

    I looked all over google for it!! Thanks for the info..pfff! :)

  • Looking for InDesign CS5 One On One

    Am I dreaming? While searching for your book IDCS51on1… I thought I found it listed overseas but can’t find it here in the US. Is this available? If so, where? Thank you!

  • One-on-One for InDesign CS5

    Amazon just told me they can’t get CS5 InDesign One-on-One. Where can I find it?

  • Coloring Book

    Dear deke,
    May be you know film about iron kid – Marti ( My little son very likes this film.
    I want to ask you: how to create coloring book (like this: from screenshots?


  • CS5 Channels & Masks palette

    I bought your book for CS4 “Channels & Masks”,  and would like the file for CS5 Channels & Masks palette as the CS4 file does not run under CS5.  Is this possible?  Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  • I’m afraid InDesign CS5 One-on-One

    Is not happening.

    We hoped to take it up after submitting the Illustrator CS5 One-on-One book, but we ran out of resources and time.

  • By \“shadow,\” do you mean drop shadow?

    If so, right-click on the FX next to the layer name (in the Layers panel) and choose Create Layers. Then you can erase or mask the Drop Shadow layer independently or the layer that cast it.

  • can you recommend a good InDesign CS5 book?

    Hi Deke—Since you seem to have canceled plans for your own InDesign CS5 One-On-One book, can you recommend another book that would roughly do the same job? I am not a beginner to InDesign, but not an expert either. I am looking for something a bit like your One-On-One series, that will guide the reader through various lessons, step by step, in plain language. P.S. Why did you cancel plans? Is InDesign CS4 too similar to CS5, perhaps?

  • Roy Lichtenstein!

    yes, i ‘m interested in that one too :)

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