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Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fruit with Faces Photoshop Lesson

Anyone can use the lasso tool to cut out facial features, paste them on top of a picture of a piece of fruit in Photoshop and try to claim that they have fulfilled this assignment. 

The real challenge is to create a convincing enough optical illusion that your audience does a double take, followed by a 'Wow! Cool! How'd they do that?' In this tutorial I will teach you how to warp facial features so that they look like they curve around the fruit and seem to truly belong there. I will teach you how to make the features look like they are actually emerging from or embedded in the fruit.

Below are two video tutorials that give step by step instructions for this assignment. I have also included screenshots with descriptions of key steps in the process.

Video 1: Adding the mouth

Video 2: Adding the eyes and nose

Take a photograph of a piece of fruit with a cell phone. Have a friend take a photo of you (or take a selfie)
Upload both images to the computer and then open them in Photoshop. Use the Magic Lasso tool to cut out your mouth. It's okay if you leave a little extra skin around the mouth. Then paste the mouth into the fruit picture.
Use the move tool to position the mouth over the fruit.
Click Transform, Scale to resize the mouth
Experiment with all the transform options to see what works best. I found that the most useful transform option was 'warp' because it allowed me to make the mouth actually look like it was the same roundness as the fruit.
Go to the layer that has the apple in it and click on the clone stamp. Then position the cursor on the apple right underneath the edge of the mouth and click on the clone stamp, while simultaneously holding down the 'alt' key. This will select the area you want cloned (the surface of the apple). Next, go to the layer that has the mouth and draw with the clone stamp along the edge of the mouth to hide the skin and make it look like the mouth is literally inside the apple. You can adjust the thickness of the clone stamp the exact same way you adjust the thickness of your paint brush.   
Use the burn tool to make the shadows on the mouth match the shadows on the apple.

Use the dodge tool to make the highlights on the mouth match align with the highlights on the apple.

The instructions for adding the nose and eyes are pretty much the same as those for adding the mouth, with one exception. You want the mouth and eyes to be a different color than the fruit, but the nose should match the peel of the fruit as closely as possible. 

After adding the nose layer, I experimented with the different filter layers (visible over the filter window). Normally the layer filter is set to 'normal'. However, if you click on the world 'Normal' a pop up menu appears and you can experiment with different choices. The one that worked best for me is 'Overlay'. You can also mess around with the layer opacity, also located near the layer menu.
Next, use the clone stamp to hide the edges of the nose, just as you did with the mouth.

Finally, use the burn tool to add shadows and the dodge tool (looks like a little lollipop) to add highlights and voila! Faces on fruit:

A word about setting up studio lighting. Use a light colored surface, such as a piece of paper. Set up two lights opposite each other so that they cancel each other out and form minimal shadows or hot spots. 

I required my students to take their own photos of fruit with their cell phones.

Student Art Gallery

Avocado Face by Jarvis Batista
Gourd Face by Katherine Valdez

Potato Head by Johanna Leonardo

Annoying Orange by Paulino Gomez

Almendra Sandoval, Acorn Squash Face

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  1. Sometimes when I do this, the pictures taken have an overly warm coloring. The students can fix it in editing software, but I was wondering with the array of light bulbs out there, if you found one that was true to the color of the objects?

    1. The bulb is lights of america 2814s-GU24
      It’s specific to the lamp. Not your ordinary screw in bulb. The lamplight is very white