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In this tutorial, we will turn a photo into stencil art in Affinity Photo. A stencil is a device that’s used to apply a design, pattern, or letters to a surface. The material for a stencil consists of a thin sheet of metal or cardboard where the design or pattern has been cut out. In order to apply the stencil to a surface, ink or another type of coloring substance is “rubbed, brushed or pressed over the sheet,” and it then appears onto the surface. Stencils have been around for centuries. Earlier forms of stenciling date back to 10,000 BC in cave paintings. Some popular stencil artists include Banksy, Tavar Zawacki (FKA Above), and Lady Aiko.
Go to the following links to download the images used in the tutorial.
First, go to File > Open and select the downloaded image.
Next, grab the Freehand Selection Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Context Toolbar, set the Type to Polygonal. Also, set the Mode to New. Make sure the layer is selected in the Layers Panel. Take the tool and select man.
Once you’ve selected the man, go to the Context Toolbar and click Refine. Go to the Adjustment Brush area and select Background. Take the brush and go over the spaces that weren’t added to the selection. Go to the area between the man’s arms. Take the brush and select this area. We’ll do the same thing for the areas between the man’s hands, glasses, and parts of his hair.
After you’ve covered all the spaces, go to he Output and select New Layer with Mask. Then, click Apply.
Grab the Rectangle Tool from the Tools Panel. Draw a rectangle that covers the document. Set the color to white. In the Layers Panel, drag this layer beneath the man layer with the mask.
Now go to the Layers Panel and click the Adjustments icon. Select the HSL adjustment. Take the Saturation Shift slider and slide it all the way to the left.
In the Layers Panel, click the Adjustments icon and select the Threshold adjustment. Set the Threshold to about 48%.
To change the color of the man, click the Adjustments icon in the Layers Panel and select the Color adjustment.
In the Layers Panel, turn the rectangle layer off. Next, select the man layer and the three adjustment layers. Then, right-click on the selection and click Merge Visible.
Now, turn off the other layers we had selected. And turn the rectangle layer back on.
With the rectangle layer selected, go to the Swatches Panel. Double click on the colored circle to bring up the Color Chooser. Then, set the rectangle to the color of your choosing. I set the rectangle to the following color #DEF003.
Go to File > Open and select the brick wall image you downloaded.
Next, go to the stencil of the man we created. In the Layers Panel, copy the merged layer and paste it onto the brick wall photo.
Select stencil layer. Then, click the Live Filters icon in the Layers Panel and select Displace.
Now, check the Preserve Alpha box. Then, click Load Map From File. Select the brick wall image.
Before you set the strength, lower the Opacity to about 36%. Then, set the Strength to your desired look. I set the Strength to -404 px. And, I decided to set the Blend Mode to Multiply.
Congratulations this tutorial is complete! You now know how to turn a photo into stencil art in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this article on how to create a hope poster.