Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Unique, Paint Splatter Portrait

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create a beautiful,
paint splatter, pop art, silkscreen portrait and how to easily change its colors and spatters from a photo. The technique can be applied to any photo
to create stunning, fun portraits. Before we begin, I provided a link to a brush
preset that we’ll be using in this project. The link is located in my video’s description below. If you’re not sure how to install brushes,
I included a link to my tutorial showing how to do it. Open a photo of someone that you’d like to
use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. The first step is to separate your subject
from its background. There are many ways to do this, but for this
example, I’ll use the Quick Selection Tool. If you’re using this tool, as well, I find
that a radius of 10 to 15 pixels generally works well for most images. Drag your tool over your subject to select it. To remove areas of the selection, press and
hold Alt or Option as you drag over those areas. To check your selection, press “Q” to make
it into Quick Mask. To revert it back into a selection, press “Q” again. If you’re using version CC 2015.5 or later,
click the “Select and Mask” button or go to Select and Select and Mask. If you’re using an earlier version, click
the “Refine Edge” button or go to Select and Refine Edge. I did in-depth tutorials on Refine Edge and
Select and Mask, so if you’d like to watch them, I provided their links, as well. After you refine the edges of your subject,
output it to a”New Layer with Layer Mask”. Then, click OK. We want to create a new layer below the active layer. To do this, Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the New Layer icon. We’ll fill the empty layer with white. But, first, if your foreground and background
colors aren’t black and white respectively, press “D” on your keyboard. Since white is your background color, press
Ctrl or Cmd + Delete to fill the layer with white. We’ll convert your visible image into a Smart
Object, so we can modify it with filters nondestructively. To do this, Shift-click the thumbnail of the
top layer to make it active as well, and click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel. Click “Convert to Smart Object”. We’ll make two new layers below it by Ctrl-clicking
or Cmd-clicking the New Layer icon twice. Fill the bottom empty layer with white. Make the empty layer above it active and hide
the top layer. Open your Brush Tool and Brush Picker. Click the gear icon and click, “HMS_Splatter1”,
which is the brush preset that I provided. When you see this message, click OK to replace
your current brushes with the new set. To make the thumbnails larger, click the gear
icon again and click “Large Thumbnail”. To see the entire set of brushes, go to the
bottom, right corner of the panel and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow, drag the corner down. Click one of the brushes to make it active
and make sure the opacity and flow are both 100%. Click the foreground color and pick a bright color. Then, click OK. Left-click once. Click Click the New Layer icon hree or four
times to make a few more layers. In each of these empty layers, we’ll add a
different paint splatter. Scroll to the bottom and make the first empty layer active. Click the foreground color and pick another
bright color. Pick another brush. If you want to adjust its angle, go to this
wheel and rotate the arrowhead. This rotates the angle of the brush. I’ll press Ctrl or Cmd + Z to undo the last step. If you want, you can also squeeze in its shape. First, I’ll rotate it back to its original angle. Drag one of the dots in. I’ll undo it. In addition, you can also make the brush bigger
or smaller by either dragging the size slider to the left or right or using your bracket
keys on your keyboard. Continue the same steps to build up a few more separate paint splatter layers. Because you have separate layers of colorful
paint splatters, you can reposition, angle or resize them independantly of the others. To make it easier for us to move our cursor
around our document, open your Move Tool. We’ll place all of our splatter layers into
a folder by scrolling to the bottom splatter layer and Shift-clicking it to make all of them active. Press Ctrl or Cmd + G. Make 2 copies of the
folder by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J twice. Make your subject visible and active. Go to Image, Adjustments and Threshold. I’ll keep its default level at 128. Select it all by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + A
and then copy it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + C. Click the Folder icon to place our subject into a folder. Click the Layer Mask icon to make layer mask
next to the folder. Go to the Layer Mask and Alt-click or Option-click it. Press Ctrl or Cmd + v on your keyboard to
paste your subject into the Layer Mask. Deselect it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + D. Invert
the Layer Mask by pressing Ctlr or Cmd + I. Make the top paint splatter folder active
and Shift-click the bottom folder to make all the splatter folders active. Drag them together onto the top folder to
place them into it. Hide the bottom subject. Make the middle folder active. We’ll adjust the size and angle of it the
paint splatters within this folder. Open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl
or Cmd + T. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonl, double-arrow, press and hold Alt
or Option + Shift as you drag it out or in. To angle it, when you see a curved, double-arrow,
rotate the bounding box. Then, click the check-mark at the top or press
Enter or Return twice. Change its Blend Mode to any of them that
results in the colors you like best. You can cycle through them by clicking the
top Blend Mode and pressing the Down arrow on your keyboard to see each blend mode applied
to the splatters in the active folder. Once you pick the Blend Mode you like, make
the top splatter folder active and open your Transform Tool again to resize or angle these splatters. Using the same steps as you did earlier, cycle
through the Blend Modes for these splatters until you get the color combination you like. Lastly, we’ll add splatters outside the confines
of your subject and remove areas of the splatters within and without. Make your Layer Mask active. As soon as you do this, your foreground and
background colors should default to white and black, respectively. Press “B” to open your Brush Tool and left-click
on an area outside your subject to to reveal the paint splatters through the layer mask. If you don’t like it, press Ctrl or Cmd + z to undo it. Click on another area to see if you like it. If you do, open your Brush Picker and pick
another splatter brush. If you want to make your brush bigger or smaller,
press the right or left bracket key on your keyboard. Go to area outside your subject and left-click. Continue to click on other areas to reveal paint splatters. To hide splatters, press “x” on your keyboard
to invert the foreground and background colors. Black is now your foreground color. Click over areas to hide splatters. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  1. Antonio Cissé February 27, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I love your Tutorials. Thank you. How can i get this picture without black spots on the picture? If i want just coloring areas and No black areas?!?

  2. Nathan Hurt February 27, 2017 at 10:34 am

    hey man i have a photoshop cc2017 but when i click on select and mask i dont get the options you get options you get on yours i have sent an image on your facebook page so can you help

  3. DeeSims February 27, 2017 at 11:10 am

    When I try to do a threshold and copy it to the folder and layer mask… Its just white and when I invert, black .. PLEASE HELPPPP

  4. FAHAD F February 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    شكرا لك كنت خلاقة حقا

  5. BrokenSARM February 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm


  6. IlPara February 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm


  7. IKRAR ALI February 27, 2017 at 8:22 pm


  8. Andrés Hernández February 27, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    excellent, I downloaded a few brush styles and they work very nicely, thanks

  9. Morgan Field February 28, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Thanks, as always, Marty! How you figure this stuff out is beyond me. And I always love how you set us up…this time with the splatter brushes. One note of caution: as you whip through the blending modes understand that with each blending mode change you're using up a History state. So be sure that you don't jneed to go back to make changes should a state be out of reach..

  10. Jessica Hicks February 28, 2017 at 11:20 am

    That's really neat. I can use this for some music posters. You were born to teach, I can watch your videos all day..

  11. yaswanth ynsv February 28, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    what do i do please help you said after refining edge output it to a new layer mask…but i don't have the properties tab in my photoshop what do i do?
    please help ASAP…..i have to impress my crush

  12. Sandeep Upadhyay February 28, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    i tried it, it was really good. thnx for ur help

  13. AoPENG Aphromoo February 28, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    is this going to work on a cs6 photoshop portable ?

  14. Mohamed Elhanaty February 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    you are great thanks sir

  15. AoPENG Aphromoo February 28, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    im having troubles with the part of threshold im using a photoshop cs6 portable

  16. Maxahir March 1, 2017 at 4:38 am

    Wow! This looks amazing. Thank you BLT 👌👌

  17. Don Funderburg March 1, 2017 at 9:06 am

    For me it does not always work perfectly. I'm using CC 17.1 I get down to the part where I drag three color lines up and attempt to place in group 2 and it make a new layer. I never get any kind of facial out line just a back on white with lots of beautiful colorful spatters on top.

  18. Mohit Kapoor March 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    thank you sir wow……

  19. daniel Kuznetsov March 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Hey man I do not see the threshold option, I followed all the steps to the letter

  20. Deesha payal March 2, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I am having problem when I'm going to Image -Adjustments-Threshold
    there are no option for Adjustments to threshold
    when adjustments page open there are no highlight for threshold!!! so I did not click for threshold?please help

  21. MUZAMIL.8BP March 2, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Mann You Are just Amazing !!!!
    Which software do you use for video editing???

  22. Carlo Cicero March 2, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Dear Martin, thanks from Italy. I've got an answer: towards the end of the tutorial, I saw you clicking on the layer Mask to invert it. At the same time, the picture on the main screen became "invert" too. When I do this on my Mac, the "Cmd+I" invert the icon of the Layer Mask on the right, but not the Picture on the main screen on the left. Why is it so? Is important for a successfull tutorial? Thanks

  23. Yaroslav Muzychenko March 3, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Good day!
    When I go to image > adjustment > Threshold (is not active.) Could you tell me Why? What should I do to change it?
    Thank you!

  24. 김진홍 March 4, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Thanks for your nice tutorial!!!

  25. Yaseen Shams March 4, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Threshold not working for smart object…i converted the layer for smart filters but still not working.

  26. Derpy Llama March 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Hey Marty,
    I love your photoshop tutorials. I'm trying to manipulate a photo to make it cubist. Would you know or have anything that would be of assistance?

  27. Sanket Phule March 5, 2017 at 3:10 am

    Sir,can you show as 'How to make a text look like it is painted professionally' ? It will be a huge help.Thank You !

  28. we & you March 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    hello sir

  29. Neculai Creanga March 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm


  30. Paulo Costa March 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    why when i try to do threshold with the smartobject the photoshop doesn't let me. i did everything like you said. i use the cs6.please help me

  31. rahul wani March 7, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    hello i have problem. threshold property doesnt work .what is another option????

  32. Michael Knoell March 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    The best tutorial channel on YouTube. The projects are so varied, never expected, and always appreciated. Thank You!

  33. Türkü Şapçı March 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for video. I am using CC 2014 0.0 release, lord knows I tried lol but I cannot paste into layer mask in no way. I have a mac pro 2015. What could be the reason?

  34. Nalinnipa J March 11, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you very much sir.

  35. Elena Diego Marcote March 12, 2017 at 1:28 am

    WOW! It´s great! And I´ve discovered another trick: some filters make impressive effects!

  36. Mohammed Ismail March 12, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    when I try to use the threshold, the option shows unavailable. When I do it without turning on smart object, then threshold option is available.

  37. Sue TP March 14, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    so cool!

  38. Kenny Nippon March 15, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Thanks for the great tutorials all the time . i have a question . when i try this tutorial my smart object doesnt active the adjustments so i could not threshold ? what should i do ? thx

  39. Mohamed Hassan March 15, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Sorry but the threshold is not active How do I activate

  40. livin901 March 16, 2017 at 10:39 am

    wonderful. You made every step so easier. Keep up.

  41. Don Strang March 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Best PS tutorial channel I have seen! Do you still have the tutorial on this using an older ver of PS that you mentioned? My ver doesn't have folders. Thx

  42. New York City Files March 22, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Amazing tutorial, clear and concise! Thank you for sharing your knowledge here, it's highly appreciated!

  43. Gigi & Bella The Shih Tzu Sisters March 22, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I'm lost at 6:09. I can no longer click the "Threshold". Please help me. Thank you!

  44. Maureen Meil April 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I must try this…. awesome!!!!!

  45. TAKTO Handcrafted Artifacts April 3, 2017 at 1:25 am

    I Found the way!!!!! Thanks

  46. Portia's Deals Of The Day April 3, 2017 at 4:15 am

    i love the video and can this be printed on a color shirt or just white shirts

  47. Prasanna Kumar April 8, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I didnt get the "threshold" option. Can you help me with it? I started editing with a jpeg image. does that work only with raw files?

  48. Riza Rizvi April 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    my threshold command is inactive when I try to apply it

  49. HARRIS April 16, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Hey ! Nice tutorial . I was following you step by step but i am unable use threshold. Can you help me with it?

  50. IBRAHIMA FAYE May 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    i like

  51. Satyam Choudhary May 6, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Stunning work man. Thank you for doing these videos.

  52. Cathy Neary May 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you!

  53. Wendy Munro May 8, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    My old version of photoshop doesnt seem to have these smart object elements. Very frustrating 🙁

  54. manusiaonta May 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    i want to ask why i cant treshold my layer?

  55. Bridget May 18, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Is it possible that there is not enough color area in the original photo to make the splatter colors work? I'm creating one with a photo of nephews and the younger one is bald so you can't see him that well. Is that where the Threshold comes in? If i make the Threshold too dark, you can't see the whites of the eyes. Any advice? Thanks! Great tutorial!! ;O)

  56. Blue Lightning TV Photoshop May 19, 2017 at 3:01 am

    IMPORTANT: If you're having trouble with the "Threshold" filter, at 2:40 in the video, don't convert your image into a Smart Object. Instead, merge the 2 layers by pressing Ctrl (Cmd) + E.

  57. no. 10 May 25, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Thnx Marty , ur d best

  58. Godfrie Robedillo June 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Nice work! I am learning tons! Thank you 🙂

  59. Ajmal Khan June 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    One of the Great Photoshop Tutorials on YouTube Thanks Marty 🙂

  60. Nikhil Irabatti June 7, 2017 at 3:27 am

    I unable to do threshold like the same …can you please me ..?

  61. Muhammad Nour June 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    keep it up bro nice Tutorial 🙂

  62. salma plac July 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Hi, Am ISMA. I don't what to say, You are doing a very good job.

  63. salma plac July 3, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks marty

  64. Henry Rick July 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Marty, Whatever i know about Photoshop its because of you.
    Thanks marty…..

  65. Lars Diederichsen July 8, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Hi Marty, i can´t find those brushes. where can i get them ? Thank u for this loveley Video…

  66. Sayantan Das July 9, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    HMS splatter not in my list 🙁

  67. christopher rankin July 16, 2017 at 2:02 am

    By any chance do you do online classes

  68. Chris Tine July 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I cannot copy the image onto the mask using your alt click and paste step. I'm on the latest version.

  69. Majki Majk July 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Probably best tutorials on YT, Slowly and clearly show step by step, I like this bro 🙂 big thx

  70. Aluico Esparza SJ August 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Marty, thank you for sharing your kwnoledge.

  71. marla julien August 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    totally awesone, love your videos

  72. Nasir Hossain August 22, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    nice video and understandable voice

  73. T Phillips September 24, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Awesome tutorial! I've seen this type of picture but haven't found a decent tutorial to tell me how to do it until now! Thx!

  74. Swaggy Toast September 27, 2017 at 2:30 am

    for some reason my colors become faded after applying the effect

  75. 📸🎥Let me see it📸🎥 November 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I love this guy

  76. Thiên Hương December 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you, my teacher. You are the best teacher in the world. Although I don't know any English words, I can still learn Photoshop easily!

  77. Nicolás Israel December 6, 2017 at 1:22 am

    I just came here to hear this guy's voice.

  78. Bdresser December 12, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Thank you so much, this will help me make an awesome profile picture for my Twitter account

  79. Aryan K December 29, 2017 at 5:49 am

    the brushes are not free… Please upload another copy.

  80. Ruthie Madison January 19, 2018 at 1:12 am

    I must be doing something wrong. It won;t paste into the mask. Just makes another layer

  81. Mimi M March 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Hi, all your tutorials are very good. thank you for sharing.

  82. Shrutika Javkar April 2, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Sir, as I am new to Photoshop, how long does it take to master Photoshop?

  83. DGore April 2, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    literally the boss of photoshop tutorials

  84. Soni Pratik April 8, 2018 at 5:05 am

    This is Wonderful. Do you have color painting video?

  85. mohammad aslam abdullah khan May 7, 2018 at 8:13 am

    very nice sir thaks

  86. Arthur Cansdale May 15, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Marty

    following along with your video
    up to where you placed the splatter into groups
    group 1 copy and group 2 copy
    the next stage is, go to image adjustments Threshold
    but my threshold is not lighting up for me to click on to.
    tried starting from scratch a couple of times with the same result.

    can you help, please.

  87. Keshav Kabra June 9, 2018 at 11:02 am

    getting an issue with the selection of my colour for the splash when I am trying to select any of the colour for the brushes the color again automatically changes to violet..and not getting any other colour..can you help me out with it ?

  88. Sunny Ahmed July 9, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Thank you so much

  89. Marielo Lanta July 23, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Eres el mejor aunque me cuesta porque leo subtítulos y al mismo tiempo veo el vídeo así que pongo pausa tantas veces en vídeo porque soy persona sorda.

  90. Angela Silversides September 6, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I always come back to your tutorials as they are easy to understand. Thank you.

  91. A P December 13, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Thanks Marty, are you a robot?

  92. Vishwanath Benade January 9, 2019 at 11:13 am

    so this cant be done in cs6

  93. Vishwanath Benade January 10, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    how can i sent my photos which i edited thank to you

  94. Kenzphotograph Y January 10, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    love you

  95. Creepy Rebel January 17, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Great tutorial, but I do have a problem in here..

    Everything goes fine at the beginning, but every time I reach the steps at 7:17, I don't get the same results like in the tutorial. The splatter brushes are all over the threshold photo, and when I hid the bottom subject I get nothing but splatters of paint. Is there a way I can overcome this?

    I have tried both, converted to Smart Object and merged them into two layers. But kept getting the same result. I also higher the threshold effect to 171, instead of 128.

    I have Photoshop CC 2018.

  96. Andriansyah Ryan February 28, 2019 at 7:52 am

    why i can't paste in grup 2? solution please … im already copy and can't paste in the layer mask…. is not wrking to me..

  97. BamaMom0225 March 20, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Oh my. I’ve been immersed in this all day…..but the hard way 🙁
    I’m making an autograph book using Disney characters for my daughters make a wish trip in 3 weeks. I found a lot of images I could use as is….but some less popular characters (like Bert from MARY poppies or the cast from Pinocchio) aren’t done and I’ve looked….and looked. And looked. The closet I’ve found is a little app that’s doing a pop artsy edit….I wish I could do this. Hell I don’t even own editing software. I am using picmonkey. 🙁

  98. Drew Stephens June 1, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Wow, great! Thanks for teaching this old dog a new trick!

  99. dawgnam July 8, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I love it .. this

  100. Sandeep Acharya August 15, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Marty, you are just brilliant PS teacher. Thank you!

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