Fine art or an amateur Photoshop piece?

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Mickalene Thomas created this screenprint of Michelle Obama for the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. We are big believers that great art stimulates debate and this is certainly causing an uproar in the political and art fields. So to add fuel to the flames, we’ll show you how to create your own portrait suitable for the Smithsonian in a 9 easy steps using Photoshop!

Step 1: Get a head shot. We don’t know who this woman is, but we’re going to make her famous. Click here for a practice image.
Step 2: Open the image in Photoshop and convert from color to grayscale.
Step 3: Adjust the levels.
Step 4: Convert image to bitmap using a 50% threshold setting. You’ll have to clean up the specs a bit, so use the eraser tool.
Step 5: Convert the image back to RGB color. You’ll have to convert from bitmap to grayscale first, then from grayscale to color.
Step 6: Add a layer in the Layer pallet and place it underneath the image. Select the layer with the image and delete the white areas around her head. Use the Magic Wand to select the white areas. Then, hit the delete key.
Step 7: Almost done. Select the bottom layer, then pick a nice color for the background. First Lady Obama picked a Tiffany’s blue, so we’ll pick something similar.
Step 8: Using the paintbrush tool, paint the background with your blue color.
Step 9: Flatten the image — bam! you’re done.

Who says you can’t create fine art in two minutes!

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