Skip to main content

Photoshop street art

In this tutorial you'll take a virtual trip to east Los Angeles and gather some inspiration for a stunning Photoshop lowbrow masterpiece. Low-rider cars, dime store religious iconography and gangland tattoos provide everything you'll need to produce this urban pop-art composition.

As you work your way through the tutorial, you'll notice many real world resources. When a dripping paint effect is required, you'll use a photo of exactly that. An appropriate paper scan is used to create an authentic unbleached parchment background, and all the primary elements are converted drawings or photos. But it's the conversion process used here that gives the final image its signature appearance.

All of the photographic or illustrated elements in this composition are converted to high contrast black-and-white imagery before they're added. Using the Bitmap mode is effective, because when you choose the Threshold method a pixel can only be either black or white.

Another method for achieving high contrast is to use a couple of native filters that reside within Photoshop. The Stamp and Photocopy Sketch filters can prove very useful when it comes to converting colour and greyscale images, and will help preserve a little detail where the bitmap conversion method will not.

In addition to Layer Blending Modes, you'll also be using Alpha Channels. These areas, for storing and creating selections, understand black and white all too well. By default, white areas are selected and black areas are not. Alpha Channels provide unparalleled control and flexibility when it comes to creating custom selections from black-and-white data, as you'll see.

Click here to download the support files ( 2MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free

Get the latest Photoshop CS6 review and Photoshop tutorials from our sister site Creative Bloq.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.