Wallace’s Pop Art Update

If, like me, you are a bit of a fan of some of the results that ‘Pop Art’ has on otherwise ordinary pictures you may appreciate this rejigged image of Alfred Russel Wallace. As you can see I changed it from a standard black-and-white photo (below) into a slightly more colourful image.


this was achieved, rather simply by using the Open Source image manipualtion software, GIMP. After installing this superb free, Open Source alternative to Adobe Photoshop it is an easy (if at points time consuming) process to get a new end result;

  1. Open the image you would like to turn into a Pop Art image.
  2. Duplicate layer twice so you have three copies. Do this by right clicking the image in the ‘Layer’ dialogue box and selecting ‘Duplicate Layer’.
  3. Bottom layer should be made invisible (click on the eye so that it disappears);
  4. With top layer selected (i.e. highlighted in the ‘Layer’ dialogue box): Right click image > Colours > Invert [Should now look like a negative]
  5. Then right click image again and go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the horizontal and vertical pixels to 7 each;
  6. Go to Layers Dialog Box. Change the mode of the top layer from ‘Normal’ to ‘Dodge’;
  7. Merge the two visible layers;
  8. Right click on the image: Colours > Threshold. Change the Black point to around 240. Then change the black point until you get the level of detail that you want. Click ‘Ok’;
  9. Now you create a New Layer. This should be transparent, should be at the top and should be called ‘Matte Colour’. Change the mode of this layer to ‘Multiply’ in the Layers Dialog box [this means that it will leave the black outline currently on the image, it will not go over this];
  10. Now fill in the image (on top of the Matte Colour layer) with the Matte colours that you would like to be included;
  11. Merge Matte Colour layer and the layer below;
  12. Make the background layer visible again and move to the top. Set that in the layer mode as ‘Overlay’;
  13. Finally, right click on image > Filters > Distorts > Newsprint.
  14. You can also then change the layer to Hue (to make it looked washed out) or Multiply to make it look darker.

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