Traditionally trained artist Scott Rhodes reckons that it is layers – not filters – that can create a perfect mix between illustration and digital collage styles.


You can create a digital collage to combine your own drawings with clip art, photos and scanned textures into a single illustration, that has more interest than just flat colour, and without each element looking stuck on or out of place.

However, rather than using filters, which can look obvious, I tend to use combinations of layers, changing their opacity and the lighting options. Experiment with these combinations to get different effects.

I always start with a hand drawing, and a rough idea of how the illustration should fit together, but this can change.

I prefer a ‘non- perfect’ line in my artwork. It gives a more human touch, and avoids the image looking too ‘digital’. Remember, the computer is just a tool, and a pencil and paper are just as important. To create an illustration like this, you should expect to spend about 4-5 hours.



Step 1
Draw some figures in pencil, and scan them into Photoshop at the standard 300dpi in greyscale. This file is on the cover CD, called UNTREATED SKETCH.tif. To tidy the illustration, go to Images > Adjustments > Levels.

Move the outer sliders in towards the edges of the histogram to make the illustration more black and white, looking at the illustration as you do it. You may still have unsightly marks on the illustration, so paint them out in white using a hard brush.



Step 2
Find some hamburger photos – these can be easily found on the likes of iStockphoto.com, or take some digital photos of your own. Carefully draw around them using the pen tool Copy-&- paste them into your drawn file, ensuring that you have converted this file to CMYK by choosing Image > Mode > CMYK.

Change the drawn layer options to Multiply, allowing it to be transparent. Position the burger layers together so that they make one large burger. Merge these layers together by clicking on them, while holding the Shift key, then select Layers > Merge layers.

You may want to name your layers, as it can get complicated later on when you have many layers to contend with.