This past weekend was the Independence Day holiday weekend here in the States. As such, I felt it was my patriotic chore to create a a Photoshop tutorial to show my pride. So, here it is, a World War II Propaganda Poster. I hope you enjoy it, as I had a lot of fun making it. I even listen to the star spangled banner on repeat while I made it.
Ok…I lied about that last part…
I added this background image from Shutterstock. But, any image of polished concrete should work pretty well.
Find an image of a head shot of a soldier. I used this image from Shutterstock. Get rid of any background that your picture may have.
After you have added your image, you will want to desaturate it. You can do this by going to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
In the Filter Gallery, you will want to apply the Sumi-e filter with the following settings:
You image should look something like this:
To make the image blend more naturally with our background, use the layer Blending Options and set it to Multiply
Because this is a patriotic poster, it is only natural that it should consist of patriotic colors. To do this, you will use the Layer Options and Color Overlay. Use the setting below:
After you add the color overlay, you will want to reduce the over all fill of they to about 62%
Now we will add in our patriotic American who is pumped to be buying war bonds. I used this image from Shutterstock. If you deside to use another image, be sure to cut out and background colors or texture.
To give this image the look of the older printer posters, we will apply the Cutout Filter to this image. Open the Filter Gallery and use the following setting with the Cutout Filter:
the result should look something like this:
We now need to change Blending Options of this layer as well. Change them to Multiply.
Keeping this poster patriotic, will will change the color of this image by adding a color overlay with the following setting:
Obviously with all these blending options, our layers are overlapping and not looking so good. You need to get rid of the soldier portrait layer that falls behind our patriotic American. You can use the Erase tool.
Or you can Auto Mask the layer of the man by command clicking on his layer. Next, click on the layer of the soldier portrait and just hit delete. This should make a perfect erase.
The layer of the soldier portrait was looking a little bold to me. So I reduced his transparency some. But this step is a bit irrelevant, because I adjust the colors in the next few steps. I simply added this step because I wanted to show you how the image evolved as I made it.
A war poster wouldn’t be complete without stars and stripes. While they are easy enough to create in Photoshop. I just ended up buying this image from Shutterstock to save time.
After you add the layer to your document, you will need to use the Blending Options again to set the layer to Multiply. Adjust the Fill to 56%.
You will then need to erase the portion of the layer that overlaps our other main layers. Feel free to use the method from step 10.
Now the image is really starting to take shape. But, I dont like how the colors look at this point. So I decide to play with the colors of our two main subjects. First, I adjust the Color Overlay from step 5 again. I changed them to the following:
I also decided to get rid of the color overlay on our patriotic American all together.
To give the poster that grainy look of the old war posters, I create a new Fill Layer on top of all my other layers. I use the color #72acb9, set the fill to 20%, and the blend mode to Multiply.
I then use the Layer FX to create a inner glow with the following settings:
Under the layer from the previous step, I create a basic rectangle and add some text.