Category Archives: Class 13

Class 13 | 12.02.09 | Final Project Prep


  • Review revised Type Logos and Typeface Worksheets
  • FINAL PROJECT Portraits


Final Project Prep:

  1. Take your picture!
  2. Optimize your image in photoshop by reducing the number of levels in the continuous tone, first by adjusting the levels, converting to Black & White, and then by using either Adjustments > Posterize, or Filter > Cutout or a combination of the two. Try to keep as much detail as possible, while isolating the shapes that define the form > midtones, highlights, and shadows.
  3. Those more advanced students may wish to work directly from the photograph, though creatively simplifying the composition.
  4. Place your photograph on a tracing layer and take some time to decide how you will realize the composition. A good first step is to create layers for each major area and then use your pen tool to block out the main areas of base color in each major area.

Final Project Work TIPS:

  • In Outline mode begin tracing the mid-tones, shadows and highlights that define the structure of your face. Avoid drawing lots of little shapes at first, instead create broad solid shapes. You will toggle between OUTLINE and PREVIEW mode in order to achieve accurate curves.
  • Remember to save and label your color swatches. You can use the Eyedropper + Shift to select values from your bitmap image. We will be creating our own color palettes later in the project.
  • One good technique is defining all of your midtones and saving those swatches to the swatches palette. Then use HSB and add white or black to develop the highlights and shadows.
  • When you have defined the broad areas, go in and start to develop the more detailed areas.
  • Create closed paths using the pen tool and basic shapes. Use pathfinder and other commands to transform your objects as needed.


  • Set up your Final Project file as described above and have all the major tonal changes defined: midtones, highlights and shadows- starting with the definition of large, broad areas first.
  • Bring a color reference to class- this can be an advertisement, a photograph, or a physical object of your choice.