Easy Vector Art with Photoshop

If you are interested in vector art, Photoshop has an easy way of doing it. Vector art has become very popular, and with Photoshop, you need not have excellent drawing abilities to create outstanding pieces of vector art; you just need to have good knowledge of using the Pen tool. Here are some easy steps which will get you going in creating your masterpiece.

Step 1: Choose Your Photo

Making vector art, although an easy process in Photoshop, will take a lot of time and patience on your part. First, you need to choose the photo you would like to convert to vector art and open it in Photoshop. The chosen image should be at least 600 x 600 pixels or bigger, so that you can easily work on specific feature details.

Step 2: Duplicate Background Layers

Vector art requires extensive use of layers, and initially you need to create two duplicates of the background layer. You will be working with these layers in your Layer Palette. For the first copy, you will be turning off the visibility. You will Desaturate the second copy by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U. This copy then has to be Posterized by clicking on Image, then on Adjustments, and select Posterize. In the dialogue box, set the Level to 9 and click on OK. You can name this layer as "Posterized" to get to it later, when you need to use it as a rough guide. Now turn back the visibility to on for the Background Copy.

Step 3: Create Face layer under the Background Copy

Create this new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N. Select the Pen tool from the menu and set it to Shape Layers by clicking on the square icon. Now, you need to trace the outline of the face and close the path. You can name the layer "Face" and lock it by clicking on the Lock icon so that you do not accidentally move it in your Layer Palette.

Step 4: Create Various Layers for Each Feature in the Photo

Similar to Step 3, you will be creating separate layers for each of the features like Hair, Fingers and so on depending on your photo. For each feature, you can create multiple layers depending how much depth you want to create. For example, when you are working with your Eye feature, you would want to create reflective layers with different opacity so that your vector art does not look flat. So, when you are creating these layers, make sure to select the right opacity in the Opacity box.

Step 5: Choosing Colors and Shapes for Your Vector Art

While you are creating layers for the different features, you will need to choose various colors that will bring your vector art to life. Do not go for the same colors as your original photo, but choose different shades which will give more authenticity to the art. Also in each layer choose different shapes which will introduce the element of complexity to your art. You can keep creating multiple layers until you are satisfied with the color effect and shapes. This combination of colors and shapes is what will make your vector art outstanding.