Lewis H.

Graphic Artist/Illustrator



Digital Tools for Printmaking: Photoshop Colour Layers

Outline: https://docs.google.com/a/lewisheriz.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vT05UfnWJlcyOQPSoMHnZApjtFNYszmtpBEW5icpJj1rsLS5QOmoUu_vM6o9vbylrpeNo0rULKv14u2/pub

Photoshop colour fill layers may seem like an unexciting feature, but they are surprisingly powerful when used in the right way. Many of my posters, record covers and illustrations have been built using them, and nothing else. This is a crash-course in using Photoshop colour fill layers to simulate traditional printing techniques such as screen-printing and linocut (block printing). Not only does this technique help you think like a printmaker and produce digital illustrations with a printmaker's aesthetic, the digital files can be used to export the elements to realise actual physical prints.

What do traditional printing processes such as wood engraving, potato prints, screen prints, linocut, etching etc have in common? They all need a design cut out of - or into - a surface, and have pigment applied to build up the print. Colour layers essentially work in the same way, and I'll explain how. Together we'll take a look at how to use them to create versatile illustrations that replicate those ancient processes that we still admire today. 

The class will be broken into 5 main sections:

  • Introduction to fill layers
  • Sketching your concept
  • Developing your design/illustration
  • Producing the final digital 'print'
  • Advanced tips and tricks

While working on your 'print', you will learn:

  • Shortcuts and tips for transforming colour fill layers into expressive and powerful illustration tools
  • How to make the most of a restricted colour palette
  • Dynamic use of mark making & layer masks
  • Advanced layer blending techniques
  • Applying effects for texture


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