How to design a grunge styled portrait in Photoshop


Today we will learn a technique that can be used to create nice portraits with your grunge textures. We will use many selection tools and masks to isolate objects. This is a tutorial for beginners who are approaching to an intermediate level.

Today we will learn a technique that can be used to create nice portraits with your grunge textures. We will use many selection tools and masks to isolate objects. This is a tutorial for beginners who are approaching to an intermediate level.

Today we will learn a technique that can be used to create nice portraits with your grunge textures. We will use many selection tools and masks to isolate objects. This is a tutorial for beginners who are approaching to an intermediate level.

Preview of the result:


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Support material:

Step 1

Open the photo of the lady in Photoshop and go to Image>Image size. Switch the width value to 2000px and make sure that “constrain proportions” is checked. We have resized the image because too large and it could be more difficult to find a texture of the same size.

Step 2

With the Lasso tool select the head of the lady and add a layer mask (click on the “add layer mask button” at the bottom of the layer’s window). Layer mask is the best way to isolate an object without lose pixels. This is not a simple argument for Photoshop beginners, and I suggest you to read some articles about this topic that is fundamental if you want to seriously work with Photoshop.

Step 3

Select the lady’s layer (not the mask) and go to Image>Adjustments>Threshold. Put 90 as threshold value. Now you can use the erase tool to eliminate unwanted pixels, or (the better method) select the mask and remove unwanted pixels with a black brush. (When you use layer mask, black eliminate while white restore the image).

Step 4

The aim of this step is to isolate black parts of the image. So make sure to have black as foreground color and go to select>Color range. Set fuzziness to 200 and hit OK.

Step 5

In the Paths window click on the right arrow and select Make Work Path with tolerance 1,0. Now in the layer window create a new layer, grab the pen tool and right click on the canvas>Fill Path. Call this layer “lady black” and hide the other lady’s layer. Voila! White has disappeared. You can also delete the path.

Step 6

Create a new layer and with a black brush start painting over the white parts in the hair of the lady. Also create a new layer, fill it with white and place it below the “lady black” layer.

Step 7

Create a new layer and use splatter brushes to paint around the hair of the lady. This is my result:

Step 8

Paste in the texture. At this point we have to play again with selections and layer mask: with the texture layer selected, ctrl+click on the “lady black” layer to select its pixels. Then shift+ctrl+click on the layers where you’ve painted on with the brushes to select also their pixels. You should obtain something like this:

Step 9

Add a layer mask to the texture layer. Now you can hide all the other layers except the white background.

Step 10

Now we can add a gradient adjustment layer (click on the “create new adjustment layer” at the bottom of the layer window and select “gradient”). You can choose one of the default gradients or create a new one with the colors you prefer. Set the gradient layer to overlay. Finished!


How to design an impressive graphic tee in Photoshop


Here at WeGraphics we are working hard on a new project. I can’t reveal too much for the moment, but I can anticipate you that a new awesome t-shirt brand is coming to life…I’m personally designing 10 tee graphics for the first collection and the style is the WeGraphics one: strong, expressive and with a touch of dirty!

After studied in the last months some techniques related to t-shirt design, which was difficult for me to deal with since I love complex digital photo-manipulations, today I want to share with you what I’ve learned. We will create together a stylized portrait of a blindfolded lady, using some of our resources and dealing with simple Photoshop techniques.

I’m considering to include this graphic in the first tee collection, so I’d like to hear from you in the comments: would you buy this t-shirt?


tee tutorial

tee preview

Step 1

Let’s start creating the Photoshop document where we will put in the graphic ready to be sent to the printing company. The size: 12×16 inches (around 30×40 cm) will work fine. Resolution is 300pixels/inch and color mode CMYK.

tee tut

Step 2

You can save and hide this document for the moment. In the first phase we will create a custom brush for the face of the lady. So search for the image of someone’s portrait, maybe a friend or a stock photo from Morguefile for example. I’ve used this attractive woman portrait from Shutterstock:

tee tut

Step 3

To realize the custom brush, we need to create a second Photoshop document. This time the size is 2500×2500 pixels always at 300 pixels/inch of resolution but in greyscale mode. You can consider to save this preset for future brushes. Once created the document, paste in the photo you’ve decided to work with.

Step 4

Since I want to include the hair of the model into the brush, we have to darken them. So grab the Burn Tool, set it on Mildtones, and start painting over the hair using a soft (hardness 0%) brush. In case your model’s hair are black, this step is not necessary. Consider that the more you darken the hair, the more they will be included in the custom brush.

tee tut

Step 5

Now isolate the head with the help of the Eraser tool (or a layer mask if you prefer). Remember to always set hardness to 0%.

tee tut

Step 6

Let’s add more style to the photo. Start by increasing a lot contrasts. Press Ctrl+L to open the levels window and bring nearer the black and white arrows as shown below:

tee tut

Step 7

My aim is to create a kind of blindfolded goddess. To create the shape of the bandage you can use the pen tool. It’s not important to add depth or to make the bandage realistic (you could also extract the bandage from another photo for this step), since we will cover it later using other brushes. Anyway try to follow lady’s lineaments and add a soft drop shadow to the shape. Also if you want to enhance face’s details you can also consider to apply the sharpen filter (Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen), but be sure to select lady’s layer before.

tee tut

Step 8

To complete the custom brush, increase again contrasts. This time use a Level adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment layers>Levels) and move the arrows as shown before.

tee tut

Step 9

The brush is ready to be saved. Go to Edit>Define brush and title it as you prefer.

Why can’t I click on “define brush preset”? This happens because you have the adjustment layer selected – in the layers window. Try clicking on the lady’s layer and repeating the same process (Edit>Define brush preset). This time it should work.

tee tut

Step 10

Let’s switch to the main Photoshop document. Create a new layer and click once using the brush just created.

tee tut

Step 11

The fortune of working for WeGraphics is to have a huge amount of great resources always at your disposal. Since my aim is to replace the hair of the model using other brushes, I’ve surfed through our arsenal and finally decided to use this awesome set titled Floral Emergencies created by Nathan Brown. Create a new layer, pick up one of the brushes from the set and click over the canvas.

tee tut

Step 12

Press Ctrl+T to activate the transform tool, so you can rotate/resize the brush and place it wherever you prefer:

tee tut

Step 13

Finally eliminate the area of the brush that overlaps the lady’s face. Also refine the edges of the brush as shown below:

tee tut

Step 14

Use the same technique to add more details with other brushes of the same set. Or you can experiment with other brush sets, mixing different elements and forms. There’s no trick, just experiment.

tee tut

tee tut

Step 15

The design is almost complete. Select the lady’s layer and the ones with the splatter brushes. Press Alt+Ctrl+E to merge the selected layers into a new layer. Now you can group and hide the layers merged and work only with the last one created from now go on. The result is nice, but we can go on with other paint effects. The important thing is that next effects will affect only the area of the lady with her abstract hair. So create a new group, where we will put in paint effects, Ctrl+click on the lady’s layer (the layer that contains the face and the splatters merged together), and add a layer mask.

tee tut

Step 16

At this point inside the group you can create new layers and paint over them using paint effect brushes, with white as foreground color. In my case I’ve used 2 of our sets: Dry Paint Strokes Brushes Vol1 and Watercolor brushes Vol1.

tee tut

Step 17

The black&White version is complete. We can go on and add some colors to the graphic. Create another group, title it “colors” and apply the same mask of the paint brushes (step 15). Switch the blend mode of the group to overlay. Now create a layer inside the group, set a nice red as foreground color, grab a large (around 1000-1500 pixels) and soft (hardness 0%) round brush and click over a detail of the graphic.

tee tut

Create other layers and use different colors like orange and yellow to give style to the image.

tee tut

tee tut

Step 18

The design is ready to be shown! Hide the white background and save as a .png image. We will now place the graphic on a t-shirt mockup. I’ve used our Ladies Tee Shirt Templates Vol1. Download the file and open it in Photoshop. In the layers window you’ll find 5 groups that represents 5 different templates. Hide the visibility of the purple t-shirt and make visible the white one. Open the .png image of the graphic and place it between the front mockup layer and the shadows one. Press ctrl+T and resize the graphic.

tee tut


All what remains to do is adding a nice background, and the tee graphic is complete! What do you think? Would you like to wear this t-shirt?

tee tutorial

Meet 9 more Big Brother Africa Hotshots contestants


Johannesburg – We have 9 more Big Brother Africa Hotshots faces for you to get familiar with as we get closer and closer to the launch date of the show.

Check out these fresh faces.

Age: 25

Professional sushi chef Permithias unsurprisingly lists sushi as one of his favourite foods, alongside pizza.

South Africa
Age: 24

Nhlanhla is from Witbank in South Africa, and is a business analyst, actor and model with an Honours degree in Information Systems.

Age: 25

Lusaka-born Resa is an event planner, MC and public speaker.

Mr 265
Age: 23

TV presenter, Mr 265 is single and currently studying purchasing and supply management.

Age: 21

Mozambican student intern, Mira, likes to eat pap and beef stew, the music of Sia and Miley Cyrus and watching Lost and Covert Affairs.

Age: 29

Hip hop musician Macky2 is from Luanshya in Zambia. His favourite book is 48 Laws of Power and his top TV shows are Suits, Crisis, Game of Thrones and Idols SA.

Age: 21

Sheilla is a student from Gaborone in Botswana, currently studying an AAT Diploma.

Age: 28

Sabina is a TV & Media personality from Mombasa. She has a degree in finance and is working on a post-graduate diploma in humanitarian studies and diplomacy.

South Africa
Age: 29

Self-employed former law student Samantha is from Potchefstroom in South Africa’s North West Province.

The more you pay, the tastier the food


Abuja – Does the price you pay at a buffet influence how much you like the food?

Surprisingly, yes! In a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, researchers found that when charged more for an all-you-can-eat buffet, diners rated the food higher than when charged less for the same food.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

In the study, conducted by researchers David Just PhD., Ozge Sigirci, and Brian Wansink PhD. author of the forthcoming book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, 139 diners in an Italian all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant were either charged $4 or $8 for the lunch buffet. The buffet offered pizza, salad, breadsticks, pasta, and soup. After finishing, diners were asked to rate the taste of the pizza and  how much they enjoyed the dining experience on a 9 point scale.

“People set their expectation of taste partially based on the price – and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I didn’t pay much it can’t be that good. Moreover, each slice is worse than the last. People really ended up regretting choosing the buffet when it was cheap,” says Just.\

Diners who paid the higher price for the buffet rated the pizza as being 11% tastier. In contrast, those paying $4, half as much for the same food, not only enjoyed the pizza less, but they enjoyed the food less and less with each additional piece of pizza. In both situations diners ate an average of three slices of pizza.

Based on these findings the researchers recommend that buffet owners think twice before setting a low buffet cost, even though cheap all-you-can-eat buffets are popular, people tend to stick to the “you get what you pay for” mentality and will rate the food lower in quality.

According to Wansink, there’s also news you can use if you’re a consumer, “Avoid cheap all-you-can-eat buffets. Go to the most expensive buffet you can afford. You’ll eat the same amount but enjoy the experience and the food more!”

Why nipples were much more than just a trend at London Fashion Week

British model Jourdan Dunn presents creations from the Spring/Summer 2015 collection by Burberry Prorsum
British model Jourdan Dunn presents creations from the Spring/Summer 2015 collection by Burberry Prorsum Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

From pasties at Tom Ford, to stripped bare and beautiful at Burberry, nipples were everywhere this fashion week and, perhaps most surprisingly, audiences seemed largely nonplussed.

A model showcases a new design by Erdem's Spring/Summer 2015 collection
A model showcases a new design by Erdem’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection Photograph: Ik Aldama / Demotix/Ik Aldama / Demotix

Christopher Kane was perhaps the boldest with his boleros sans undergarments. And there was Anna Sui with her quintessential high chintz spliced by seriously sheer fabrics. Yet it was the every day casual feel of collections showcased by Burberry – and Meadham Kirchoff’s petulant young woman – that seemed most groundbreaking. Much less a statement than a wearable look, these campaigns – several sheer chiffon dresses from Burberry, deconstructed pieces that captured a nomadic, urban adolescence at Meadham – which seemed to suggest that day-to-day nipple freedom might just be a hair’s breadth away.

Kate Moss, of course, has been spearheading her own liberated nipple campaign since the mid-1990s, wearing countless sheer dresses to showcase her iconic pair. But whether this is a look accessible to the rest of us remains questionable.

A model presents a creation from the Christopher Kane 2015 Spring / Summer
A model presents a creation from the Christopher Kane 2015 spring/summer. Photograph: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

After a slew of celebrities joined the Free the Nipple campaign on social media sites, the shock value of seeing a woman’s nipples – a word derived from the Germanic term meaning “beak”, “nose” or “face” – has begun to slowly diminish. Emphasis on “slowly”. We might be close to cracking the mysteries of the universe with the Hadron collider, but don’t think we’ve reached a point of full nipple emancipation just yet. When it comes to opening up the dialogue around those sinful protrusions, unfortunately it’s still a case of slowly does it.

While showcasing nipples in a public forum goes some way to breaking down the stigma surrounding exposed nipples, it remains largely hypothetical while the market for exposed nipples is saturated by perky 32Bs.

Still, it’s a start. But as is the case with many extreme trends, we’ll have to wait a while before this catwalk trend becomes high street reality.

The Complete History of Romeo Beckham, the Heartbreaker


As the star of Burberry’s 2014 Festive campaign, Romeo Beckham is handsome, well-dressed, and—based on the teaser Burberry tweeted—poised to break as many hearts as his father, David Beckham. But this is far from Romeo’s first bout leveraging his cuteness. Take a look back at the second-oldest Beckham’s most adorable moments.

Pop Culture Celebrity Spotlight The Complete History of Romeo Beckham, the Heartbreaker

July 17, 2014

Wearing slime like it ain’t no thing during the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Award. A fully gilded David Beckham follows behind him.

May 24, 2014

Waving to the lady on the ice during the Stanley Cup Playoff. Note the skill here: With a cute grin, eye contact, and rather shell-shocked wave, Romeo knows he’ll catch her attention over his older brother, Brooklyn, left.

February 9, 2014

Escorting his mother while expertly modeling an olive coat in New York City.

December 1, 2013

Adding another model shot to the portfolio with a killer smize and flawless coif during the world premiere of The Class of 92.

September 1, 2013

Wearing a fedora, oversized watch, and that cool, calm, and collected expression, he looks like a mini Johnny Depp at a London Barclays Premier League soccer match.

May 18, 2013

Wiping a tear as all sensitive heartthrobs do during his father’s final soccer game in Paris.

April 21, 2013

Practicing his handholding skills with mother Victoria on the Champs-Élysees in Paris.

February 8, 2013

In one of his first solo sightings, modeling a tan trench and channeling his inner Little Prince while leaving a restaurant in London.

November 16, 2012

Taking a video of the Lakers game or a magnificent selfie, your call. But that Justin Bieber phone case shows what teen heartthrob he’s expertly emulating.

August 11, 2012

Getting expert advice from his father David during the London Olympics, no doubt.

July 23, 2012

Walking through London with mother Victoria while basically creating a picture-perfect ad for his varsity jacket (as all off-duty models do.)

March 29, 2012

Wearing a matching beanie with his dad at a Lakers game, Romeo’s doing his best heart-melting blue steel.

August 8, 2010

Making one of his first award show appearances at the Teen Choice Awards. He’s already a natural with the cameras.

October 30, 2009

Unknowingly (or knowingly?) squinting/giving the world his first public wink during a Lakers game.

March 31, 2011

Smiling and being an all-around cute kid with his father.

May 15, 2010

Announcing his coming out as a style icon in white shades and black beanie during a Jonas Brothers performance in Hollywood. O Romeo, there art you.

June 30, 2006

In Germany with mother Victoria and brother Cruz. His sad expression broke hearts around the globe.

August 11, 2005

Clutching mother Victoria’s hand and showing off his adorable, #IWokeUpLikeThis baby locks at the airport in Nice, France. It’s the beginning of a legend.

Pretty Pieces With iPhone 6-Friendly Pockets


Friday, September 19, 2014 marked the official release date of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus. After standing in line for hours, people might have been happy to get their hands on the new gadget—but not so happy to discover that the new iPhones are just too big to fit into their skinny jeans. Lucky for all the iFans out there, cargos are back in style. Here, 25 pieces—including some jackets and skirts in case a cargo pant is too big of a fashion commitment—you need to upgrade your wardrobe once you upgrade your phone.

Guess Where Kerry Washington Is Already Wearing Her ‘Scandal’ Line

When Kerry Washington wore The Limited’s ‘Scandal’ collection on set—yes, Olivia Pope will be wearing the line, and you’ll find three pieces in the first five episodes alone, says show costume designer Lyn Paolo—she received the ultimate compliment: association with the fashion greats. “Kerry walked out in one of the pieces, and all the crew was like ‘Oh my God, which designer was that?’” Paolo told “And she said she was so proud. She was telling them, ‘Ahh, it’s us!’”

‘Us’ is Washington, Paolo and The Limited’s head designer Elliot Staples, who celebrated the launch of their 78-piece, Olivia Pope-inspired collection last night in New York’s Chelsea. Its high-end look, which makes the line indistinguishable from Pope’s usual Burberry and Dior attire, was the result of a lot of care. “Gosh, I think people wouldn’t know how much work it takes,” Washington told of designing. “There’s so many stages to the process because you have the drawing and then you have the actual sketch for the fabric. People wouldn’t believe that we were shipping buttons back and forth across the country and looking at fabric!”

Still, designing wasn’t harder than Washington envisioned. “Actually for me, it was more rewarding. I loved it more than I even thought I would.”

Related: Kerry Washington to Help Design a Olivia Pope-Inspired Clothing Line

The collection, which has coats, dresses, blouses, skirts and pants—clothes meant to empower any woman in her 9-5 gig—was created for the fans, Paolo said. “We had so many Gladiators and so many fans of the show sending us images of themselves, saying ‘I have an interview today! I want to dress like Olivia,’ that we decided to do this.”

And this season on Scandal (returning September 25), Pope is a work in progress fashion-wise, Paolo admitted. “Each new episode is its own little world, and I don’t approach it the way most costume designers do. I want to see it all together. I could never really tell you exactly where we’re going because one, I don’t have a script and two, each script is so different that I always try to tell the story with color.”

Related: Kerry Washington Speaks Out About a Different Kind of Domestic Abuse in a Powerful PSA

It’s this color that created Pope’s distinct, coveted look since season one. “As Olivia has gone through different traumas, her style has definitely evolved,” Paolo said. “But I think Abby’s style has evolved dramatically, and this season you’ll see big changes in some of the other characters on the show.”

Changes that could perhaps inspire more fashion line spinoffs? Time will tell. For now, Paolo and Washington are poised to watch their last year of work fly off shelves. “I hope that people gravitate toward the collection,” Washington said. “Because it’s really beautiful. We really poured our hearts into it.” Find your favorite piece on, available now.

Photo: Getty Images

Pokello Launches Pink Bottoms – Louboutin Inspired Shoes Named For BBA Female Housemates


Pokello is a former BBA housemate and one that has continued to focus on her career of fashion and design since leaving the house last year. The reality star has just announced the upcoming release of her Pink Bottoms, a Louboutin inspired shoe collection which she has named after some of the other female housemates, including Beverly Osu, Cloe, Koketso, Huddah Monroe and more. You can see all the shoes below…

In a statement she said –

“It’s been a year of studying Shoe Designing and understanding the logistics that come with the business. We are proud to say finally Pokello has her own Shoe line that will launch December 1st 2014. In the meantime the 13 pairs are being sent out to the all the female housemates whose feedback will be crucial in the final outlook. The rest of the pairs are available in store and people are free to come and have a feel of them.

I am thrilled and it is a dream come true. That first 30 samples are now ready of which the first 13 pairs will go to the female housemates of Big Brother Africa Season 8. Who better to criticize the comfort and quality than my girls who nominated me week in and Week out, lol. The first collection has 10 different colours and is also named after 10 of the female housemates.