Recipe 3.1. Art Nouveau

In Paris in the late 1880s, Art Nouveau was king. As a style, it is the very essence of all that's best in the decorative arts. To evoke the flavor of Art Nouveau in Photoshop, we can combine vector shapes with raster pixels. By using the much-maligned—and often dreaded—Pen tool, we can create a framework of lines to build upon. With the Pen tool, paths can be drawn and stroked with pressure-sensitive brushes, creating the calligraphic elegance that the Art Nouveau style requires.

Layer styles help to emboss parts of the image, giving the finished piece a decorative quality reminiscent of an illuminated manuscript. Voilá: Art Nouveau—with a digital-imaging twist!

1 With the original image open in Photoshop, go to Filter > Artistic > Paint Daubs. Use Brush Size 14, Sharpness 30, Brush Type Simple. This will simplify the tones in the image.

2 Now, isolate the figure from the background. Double-click the background layer to make it editable and rename it "Figure." Then hit Q on the keyboard to enter Quick Mask mode. Choose the Brush tool, and select a hard round brush from the Brush Picker. Using black as the foreground color, paint carefully over the entire figure. Remember to use the square bracket keys to alter the size of the brush, and, if you make ...

Get Photoshop CS3 Photo Effects Cookbook now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.