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How I Did It: Purple Flowers

By JG
Purple Flowers

A few weeks ago, I featured these purple flowers. The process from original photo to the finished picture was actually a pretty simple Photoshop technique and did not take much time.

Original photo of the little purple flowers

This is what I started out with. It is actually a pretty nice photo on its own, but I wanted to do something a little arty with it.

This is pretty much how I always begin!

After cropping and making some minor adjustments, I made a duplicate layer of the photo.

To create a faux drawing effect

I used the Smart Sharpen filter to over sharpen the top layer. It brings out the details I’ll want to use as a sort of faux sketch.

Lots of versatility to be had here.

I then took the oversharp layer and made it grayscale by going to Image–>Adjustments–>Black & White. You can also get there with Command-Shift-Option-B. I use this way to get grayscale so I can manipulate how the color values appear in black and white. As you can see here, I lightened the blues and darkened the greens by quite a bit!

It's usually a little dark with multiply

When I was done with the black and white adjustments, while the top layer was still highlighted, I switched the Blend Mode to Multiply. That combines the two layers to give it the arty effect.

Lightening it up is an easy process

Multiply also darkens the image, so I lightened the parts I wanted lighter with the Curves adjustment.

There is always something I want to remove!

Almost the finished product! I decided there were a few things I wanted to touch up — the leaf in the upper right hand corner, for example — it was distracting, so I removed it.

These flowers were perfect for this effect. It works best with subjects that have fine detail that can be brought out in black and white.

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