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  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Scary Clown Face in Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this horror Photoshop tutorial, you'll learn how to make a scary face in Photoshop. I'll explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create this clown face Photoshop effect, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

Want to make a Photoshop clown effect in seconds? Check out the Clown Photoshop Action over on my Envato Elements portfolio, where you can choose from various Photoshop actions.

Clown Photoshop ActionClown Photoshop ActionClown Photoshop Action

And if you prefer to follow video tutorials, don't forget to visit the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel to find amazing content, like this new video to learn how to make a joker face in Photoshop:

What You'll Learn in This Clown Face Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to select the subject in Photoshop
  • How to make clown makeup in Photoshop
  • How to make a joker face in Photoshop
  • How to blend and texture the subject
  • How to change the hair and eye color in Photoshop
  • How to create a vignette effect
  • Halloween Photoshop ideas and Photoshop scary effects

What You'll Need

To recreate the Photoshop clown design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating a Photoshop Clown Effect

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2500–4500 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
checking image size and modechecking image size and modechecking image size and mode

2. How to Select the Subject in Photoshop

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make a selection of our subject and then copy the subject to a separate layer. Go to Select > Subject to make an automatic selection of the subject, choose the Quick Selection Tool (W), and use the Shift-Alt buttons on your keyboard to add or subtract areas from the selection to make a perfect selection.

selecting subjectselecting subjectselecting subject

Step 2

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 2 px, Select > Modify > Contract and set Contract By to 1 px, and Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 1 px. Then, press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection, and name this new layer Subject.

creating new layer using selectioncreating new layer using selectioncreating new layer using selection

3. How to Apply Clown Makeup in Photoshop

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create some joker makeup in Photoshop. Go to File > Open, choose the texture from the attachment, and choose Open. Then, in the newly opened file, choose the Move Tool (V), click anywhere inside the canvas, and drag this layer to the main document. After that, transform and position the texture to match your subject face. Each part of the texture is a separate layer, so you can also transform and position them individually.

placing textureplacing textureplacing texture

Step 2

Now select the layer mask of the Texture layer, set the foreground color to #000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush around the subject's face to remove any texture that extends outside the face area. Also brush over the subject's eyes to reveal them. Here is my result:

brushing into layer maskbrushing into layer maskbrushing into layer mask

Step 3

Select the Face layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new levels adjustment layer, and name it Face_Brightness. Then, press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Midtone Input Level to 0.60.

creating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layer

4. How to Blend the Subject With a Texture

Step 1

In this section, we are going to blend the subject with a texture. Select the Subject layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White to create a new black and white adjustment layer, and name it Subject_Saturation. Then, press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color, and set the Opacity to 80%

creating new black and white adjustment layercreating new black and white adjustment layercreating new black and white adjustment layer

Step 2

Now select the Texture folder, go to File > Place Embedded, select the texture from the link, and click Place. Then, transform and position the texture to fit the canvas, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, set the Opacity to 50%, and name it ST_1. Double-click on this layer, and in the newly opened file, press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer and Control-S to save the changes. After that, close this file and go back to the original file.

placing textureplacing textureplacing texture

Step 3

Control-click on the Subject layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer and hides the rest.

adding layer maskadding layer maskadding layer mask

Step 4

Now Right-click on this layer and choose Blending Options. Then, adjust the blending as shown below:

adjusting blendingadjusting blendingadjusting blending

Step 5

Select the Texture folder, press Control-Shift-N to create a new layer, and name it ST_2. Then, press D to reset the swatches, go to Filter > Render > Clouds, and Filter > Render > Difference Clouds.

creating new texture layercreating new texture layercreating new texture layer

Step 6

Now go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and set the Highlight Input Level to 75.

adjusting levelsadjusting levelsadjusting levels

Step 7

Alt-click on the layer mask of the ST_1 layer, and drag it over the ST_2 layer to add it to this layer. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, and set the Opacity to 10%.

changing blending mode and opacitychanging blending mode and opacitychanging blending mode and opacity

5. How to Change the Hair Color in Photoshop

Step 1

In this section, we are going to change the color of the subject's hair. Select the Subject_Saturation layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation to create a new hue and saturation adjustment layer, and name it Hair_Color. Then, press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, check the Colorize option and set the Saturation to 50.

changing hair colorchanging hair colorchanging hair color

Step 2

Now select the layer mask of the Hair_Color layer, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert it. Then, set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush over the hair area. After that, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color.

brushing into layer maskbrushing into layer maskbrushing into layer mask

6. How to Change the Eye Color in Photoshop

Step 1

In this section, we are going to change the color of the subject's eyes. Select the Texture folder, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation to create a new hue and saturation adjustment layer, and name it Eyes_Color. Then, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, check the Colorize option and set the Saturation to 50.

changing eyes colorchanging eyes colorchanging eyes color

Step 2

Now select the layer mask of the Eyes_Color layer, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert it. Set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush over the eye area.

adding layer maskadding layer maskadding layer mask

Step 3

Right-click on this layer and choose Blending Options. Select and check the Inner Glow effect, and enter the settings below.

adding inner glow effectadding inner glow effectadding inner glow effect

Step 4

Now select the Texture folder, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation to create a new hue and saturation adjustment layer, and name it Eyes_Darkening. Then, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Lightness to -30.

creating new hue and saturation adjustment layercreating new hue and saturation adjustment layercreating new hue and saturation adjustment layer

Step 5

Select the layer mask of the Eyes_Darkening layer, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert it. Set the foreground color to #ffffff, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush around the eye area, but not over the eyes. Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply, and set the Opacity to 80%.

adding layer maskadding layer maskadding layer mask

7. How to Create a Vignette Effect

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a vignette effect. Select the ST_1 layer, press Control-Shift-N to create a new layer, and name it Vignette. Then, press D to reset the swatches, go to Edit > Fill, and set the Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100%.

creating new layercreating new layercreating new layer

Step 2

Now press Control-A on your keyboard to make a selection of the whole canvas. Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Transform Selection, and set the Width and Height of the selection to 85%. After that, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection to add a layer mask that hides the selected area of the layer and reveals the rest.

adding layer maskadding layer maskadding layer mask

Step 3

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 200 px. Then, change the Opacity of this layer to 50%.

adding gaussian blur filteradding gaussian blur filteradding gaussian blur filter

8. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make the final adjustments to the clown face Photoshop effect. Right-click on the Face_Brightness layer and choose Blending Options. Adjust the blending as shown below:

adjusting blendingadjusting blendingadjusting blending

Step 2

Now select the Vignette layer, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer, and name it Color Look. Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, enter the settings below:

adjusting curvesadjusting curvesadjusting curves

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and X to switch them. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer, and name it Overall Contrast. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 20%.

creating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 4

Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new levels adjustment layer, and name it Overall Brightness. Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Highlight Input Level to 250.

creating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layercreating new levels adjustment layer

Step 5

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance to create a new vibrance adjustment layer and name it Overall Vibrance/Saturation. Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Vibrance to +20 and Saturation to +15.

creating new vibrance adjustment layercreating new vibrance adjustment layercreating new vibrance adjustment layer

Step 6

Now press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and then press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 2 px. Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and name it Overall Sharpening.

creating new sharpening layercreating new sharpening layercreating new sharpening layer

You Made It!

Congratulations, you've succeeded! You've now learned how to apply clown makeup in Photoshop, and how to make a joker face in Photoshop. Here is the final result of our clown makeup Photoshop tutorial:

final resultfinal resultfinal result

5 Photoshop Actions From Envato Elements

Want to see some cool Photoshop effects besides a joker makeup Photoshop effect? Check out this list of Photoshop scary effects and Halloween Photoshop ideas from Envato Elements.

Cyborg Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PSD, PAT)

cyborg photoshop actioncyborg photoshop actioncyborg photoshop action

Would you like to transform yourself into a T-800 or T-1000 inspired Terminator? This action will do it for you in just a couple of steps. You simply open your photo, brush over your subject, and play the action!

Facial Hair Photoshop Action (ATN)

facial hair photoshop actionfacial hair photoshop actionfacial hair photoshop action

This might not be a Halloween effect, but it's an interesting face morphing action. You can add realistic facial hair effect to create a mustache, a short beard, or even a thick beard, and it only takes a few clicks!

Island Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

island photoshop actionisland photoshop actionisland photoshop action

With this action, you can turn your photo into a realistic-looking island! It works with portraits and other photos, and even with vector shapes and logos. There are also ten color look effects included with the action.

Poster Creator Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

poster creator photoshop actionposter creator photoshop actionposter creator photoshop action

Using this action, you can create abstract and artistic face effect that you can use in your next poster design. The actions creates well-arranged layers that you can use to further adjust the results!

Snow Walker Animated Photoshop Action (ATN, PAT, ABR, PNG)

snow walker animated photoshop actionsnow walker animated photoshop actionsnow walker animated photoshop action

If you are a fan of the Game of Thrones TV show, you will certainly love this action. It will transform you into a white walker in seconds, and you can even add an animated snow blizzard effect!

Did you like this horror Photoshop tutorial on how to make a scary face in Photoshop? Then you may also like:

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