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Computer ArtsTutorial

Photomontage tricks

Newcastle-based commercial artist Ian Keltie gives us an insight into his working methods and reveals how to create a bold and distinctive layered illustration using basic tools, a pen and a little bit of Photoshop

The inspiration for this illustration came from the idea of a personal journey and how making money often reflects the journeys we take - from the three tower blocks that watched over the estate I grew up on to dreams of one day living and working in a country where it doesn't rain quite so much.

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Visually, my inspiration comes from many areas, including fashion, T-shirt design, graffiti, old fairground and boxing posters and US films - in particular, the illuminated images in the film Casino.

During this tutorial you will learn how to use a variety of simple Photoshop tricks and techniques, and create a multi-layered, graphically-inspired piece of art.

For this image I used a mixture of stock imagery, drawings, textures, typography and photos. Most of the source material has been supplied on this issue's CD, but I would advise you bring elements of your own style and influences into the piece. Get out there and shoot your own little journey, cut it out, desaturate it, spin it around and whack it into this piece.

Photoshop is a complex package, and I'm always finding something new and amazing within it, but it doesn't have to be complicated. I like to use basic steps and repeat them, creating shapes and forms that can be reflected and rotated to create simple details that add life and colour to my work.

I use Photoshop as a canvas rather than a stage to show off any fancy tricks. For me it's about form and colour - there are no clipping paths or lighting effects. I have always been a fan of Egon Schiele's line work, rather than Da Vinci's perfectly formed drawings, and love the idea that it doesn't have to be beautiful to be beautiful.

Click here to download the tutorial for free

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