Create a two-color fluorescent portrait in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, we will dive into the 80s era to play with bright fluorescent colors. This style has become a popular trend, which is to transform the color in modern photographs into oversaturated fluorescent shades to create bright and sensual images.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to quickly recreate this two-color effect, then, using additional techniques, we will refine the design of the effect to give the image a modern pop art style.

Translator’s Note: The author used the paid image. In the archive you will find an alternative photo for the lesson.

The final result:

The idea of ​​the picture that we will create in this lesson is inspired by photos with two-color effect with supersaturated shades. We use the tool Gradient Map (Gradient Map tool) of Photoshop to replace the original colors of the photos with brighter and more saturated colors, then we will add different textures to combine the details and give the design a retro look.

The inspiration for creating this effect was obtained thanks to a suggestion from one of my readers, James. He found the Tumblr website, where photos in the 80s style were posted with various artistic and photo effects. He asked me if I could help him explain how this effect is created. I immediately noticed some photos (of course, because these were photos with bright colors). Unusual color grams gave the photos a sense of 80s fluids, as if they were made by the light of neon lights. These works belong to the designer Maddi. She edits photos and exhibits her work on the site (Note: there may be images with naked girls).

Step 1

Choose a sensual image that will become the basis for your two-tone pop art design. I chose a photo of a girl on Shutterstock. Correct with Levels (Levels) to enhance chiaroscuro.

Step 2

Press the button Create a new adjustment or fill layer (Create new fill or Adjustment Layer) at the bottom of the layers panel and in the appeared window select the option Gradient map (Gradient Map). With the help of the gradient map, we can replace the colors in the photo with the color shades that we specify, while maintaining contrast and original brightness.

Step 3

In the gradient editor window, set absolutely contrasting colors. I used gradient colors from light magenta (# da48dc) to yellow (# ffff00), but you can experiment with various combinations of saturated color shades, use the images shown at the beginning of this lesson as an example.

Step 4

At this stage, we have completed the creation of the main effect, however, I mentioned earlier that this will be a rather simple lesson. Let’s continue to work on our design. Next, we will add interesting textures to give the design a pop art style. Download the halftone patterns from the link at the beginning of this tutorial, and then install them into Photoshop. Create a new layer, and then select a tool. Fill (Fill tool). In the settings window of this tool, set the mode to Patterns (Pattern) and in the drop-down menu select the pattern “B.SG Halftone Dark L”. Fill the layer with the selected pattern.

Step 5

Change the blending mode for the pattern-filled layer to Darkening basics (Color Burn) to combine the pattern with the colors of our design. Reduce value Fillings (Fill) layer to about 80% to soften the effect.

Step 6

Download the Bokeh texture from the link at the beginning of this tutorial, and then open the texture in Photoshop. Apply scaling so that the blurred elements of the bokeh texture are evenly distributed throughout the canvas.

Step 7

Change the blending mode for the Bokeh texture layer to Lightening (Screen) to hide the black background, and then decrease the value Fillings (Fill) Bokeh texture layers up to about 70% to create subtle blurry lights.

Step 8

Download the Dirt Brush link at the beginning of this tutorial. Install the downloaded brushes in the program Photoshop. Next, set the foreground color to yellow (# ffff00). Create a new layer. Apply the Dirt brush to the edges of the image. Add fine splashes to key areas around your design, adding a contrasting yellow color to a purple background.

Step 9

Create a new layer. Repeat the whole process, but this time use the lilac color of the brush. Add a gentle splash effect over the yellow areas of the image.

Step 10

Next, on the newly created splash layers, apply the filter Sharpness (Sharpen). Do not forget to apply the filter to both layers with splashes.

Step 11

The beauty of the corrective layers is that you can carry out the correction without losing pixels at any time you want, so now is the perfect time to experiment with other combinations of color shades.

The photo with the main two-color effect began to look great after adding rich neon hues in the style of the 80s, which immediately attracted attention, and the half-tone textures and splashes really helped to combine the style of pop art with our rich colors and create truly amazing work.

We have completed the lesson. I hope you enjoyed this lesson, and you have learned a lot of interesting and useful things for yourself today! Thank you for your attention and good luck!

The final result:

Job translator:

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