Design a mixed media portrait in Photoshop and Illustrator

  • Software Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 or later
  • Time needed 4-5 hours
  • Skills-Utilise your digital camera and scanner-Introduce a Smart Object and Smart Filter workflow-Use Illustrator’s Warp tools

By taking a different approach to your regular digital portraiture, it’s possible to produce some fascinating results. Over the following steps, we’ll compile a mixed-media portrait in Photoshop, utilising Illustrator for the generation of the artwork.

I’ll also introduce a non-destructive workflow between the two programs, in which we’ll copy and paste Smart Objects from Illustrator into Photoshop, and use vector masking (or quick masks) and Smart Filters to edit those objects non-destructively. This essentially means that any transformations or effects you create are not final: you will have the flexibility to go back at any time and make adjustments – which can be really beneficial for last minute changes and maintaining resolution in your files.

I’m using a Canon 7D but any decent camera around the 10MP range will do. And because this is an experiment, a point-and-shoot approach will suffice.

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