Creating Big Head Characters in Retro Style Disco Poster

In this tutorial we would be using basic crop tools to make a character with a big head and a small body. Using basic shapes and blending options we would make a retro disco poster like the one shown below.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1 : Stock Images

First of all download two images which would form the basis of your illustration. You can download the tree retro background and the beyonce wallpaper from the following links:

Retro Background:

Beyonce Wallpaper:

Step 2 : Background

Okay now let’s start with our backdrop. Open up a new document and choose the white color for the foreground and black for the background color. Choose Filter, Render and click on the Clouds option. In the adjustment layer you can opt for the Brightness/Contrast option. Reduce the brightness and increase the contrast of the layer.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 3 : Single Row Marquee Tool

Pick up the Single Row Marquee tool and make a selection on the canvas as shown below. Once the selection has been made simply copy and paste the selection on to a new layer. To do that simply presses CTRL+C and CTRL+V.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 4 : Transform Tool

Now go to the new layer, press CTRL+T and re-size the single row. Stretch the layer to fill the whole canvas.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 5 : Gradient Overlay

Second click on the stretched layer and go to the Blending Options. Click on the Gradient check box and use the following details for your gradient.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 6 : Shape Tool

Now we would make the bokeh effect appearing in the background. Pick up the Ellipse tool and make a basic circular shape on the canvas. Hold the SHIFT key while making the shape since that would help you make the circle in proper proportion.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 7 : Brush Preset

Decrease the opacity of the layer to 40%. Once that’s done right click on the shape layer and go to Blending Options. Choose the Stroke option and apply the 10px stroke on your shape layer. Now choose the Define Brush Preset option that you will find under the Edit tab. Once that’s done choose the Brushes option under the Windows tab. In the Brush Tip Shape tab set the spacing value to 200%. In the Shape Dynamics tab change the value of Size Jitter and set it to 100% while keeping the Minimum Diameter to 50%. In the Scattering tab set the value to 1000% while limiting the count jitter to 0% and keeping the count to 5. In the Other Dynamics Option use the same value of 50% for both Count Jitter and Opacity Jitter.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 8 : Circular Pattern

Apply the brush randomly on the canvas. Create two to three layers and apply the brush separately on each layer. Change the blending options of each layer to Overlay. Once that’s done apply the Guassian Blur effect on the bottom two layers to make the image a little out of focus. Keep the top layer as it is.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 9 : Completing the Pattern

There’s a lot you can do to add to the overall pattern for example more circular patterns with the use of the Ellipse Tool or even wavey lines (as highlighted in the image below) using the Pen Tool. Once done duplicate all the files that make up this background and merge them into a single layer. Once you are done with that duplicate the layer. Go to Image Adjustments and click on the Brightness/Contrast option. Reduce the brightness of the image as you see fit (since the output depends on the canvas size) and increase the contrast. With that done, pick up the brush tool and using the basic brush with zero harness pick up the black color and apply the brush around the edges to give the image a frame look. With that done simply change the blending options of that layer to Luminosity.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 10 : Retro Background

With your background finished merge all the layers and keep one single layer for your background. Bring the retro background that was previously downloaded on to the canvas. Keep the layer below your background layer. Change the blending options of the background layer that you created to Linear Light.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 11 : Beyonce

Bring the Beyonce Knowles image on to the canvas. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool make a selection of her head and copy the selection on to a new layer. Now you should have the body on a separate layer and the head on a separate layer. Remove the white background using the Magic Wand Tool.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 12 : Big Head

Select both the body and the head layers, press CTRL+T, right click on the layers (in the canvas) and choose the Flip Horizontal option. With that done, now simply choose the head layer and again press CTRL+T. Use the transform tool to increase the size of the head.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

Step 13 : Finishing Touches

And that’s basically it. You can use the Image Adjustment options to blend in Beyonce with the background. This can be done by the Levels Adjustment option and even the Brightness/Contrast option.

Big Head Photoshop Tutorial

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