Digital tracing in Photoshop

Your new assignment is intended to have you complete a set of creative self portraits to enter in the Saatchi Competition 

Here is your brief (also available on the VLE)

Selfie Brief

I think it is important for you to pay close attention to the grading criteria for this as you will need to be thorough in your research to meet the criteria.

Grading Criteria

UNIT 8 Grading Criteria
UNIT 8 Design Principles in Art & Design
Unit 45: Graphic Image Making
Unit 45: Graphic Image Making

Remember that you must meet all criteria P1-D1 to get the distinction. 


I am going to do a tutorial in creating a digital image using layers and fills in Photoshop.

Essentially what you do is this:

  • Open a photograph in Photoshop

  • Begin by using a the lasso or polygonal lasso tool to draw around the base image, You will be working your way up from bottom to top so you will need to really think about the shapes that you see.

  • Once you have made a selection you will need to goto SELECT>REFINE EDGE: You will then need to smooth out the line so it is not jagged, and then increase the contrast to get a distinct line.

  • Next create a layer with the name of your selection(eg FACE, or EYEBROW, depending)

  • Now take a point sample of that area in your photograph to get an average colour that is in that area (eg if a coat is blue, you would try to find a good blue in the coat)

  • Now using your FILL tool, fill that selected area.

  • You will now do this for each section till you “Build up” the image to a realistic-ish representation.

Another way to create a quick graphic element is to open an image in illustrator and use the image trace and expand tools, I will go over this in class. I should not you can create one using illustrator but for this aim it would take longer, but I encourage you to look for youtube tutorials like this one


Here are some examples:


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