Doesn’t it cheer you up when you’re served a cup of coffee with beautifully drawn latte art on it? If, like me, you love latte art but don’t have the patience and skill to do it, here’s a tutorial on how to create latte art in Photoshop. With this really easy tutorial, you can turn your favourite photos into latte art!
First, find a picture of a cup of coffee, preferably one that has some nice crema or foam on the surface.
Next, choose a photo that you’d like to turn into latte art. It can be a pattern or a portrait, but it’s best if the photo is large with clear details.
Turn the image into a layer by double-clicking the lock symbol. Select “Ok”, then use a selection tool like Quick Select, Crop, or the Polygonal Lasso tool to select the part of the image that you want to turn into latte art. Select Inverse (Ctrl-Shift-I) and delete the unwanted parts of the image.
Now, we’re going to create a brush from the photo. Create a new Black & White adjustment layer. Try the different presets and select one that gives the greatest amount of contrast. Then, Invert the image (Ctrl-I) to create a negative. Select Edit > Define Brush Preset and save your brush.
Go back to your coffee picture and add a new layer. In the Brush tool, pick your newly created brush and stamp on your image in white. Now you’ve got your latte art! At this stage, however, it doesn’t look realistic yet.
To make the artwork look more like real latte art, we’re going to soften it with some natural touches. Select the Eraser tool and right-click to adjust for a small brush with a slightly soft edge. Adjust the Brush Opacity to around 60%.
Go to the Brush panel (F5) and check Shape Dynamics. Choose Control: Fade and adjust the number to produce a medium length fade, as seen in the preview. This simulates the drawing of latte art in foam.
After a bit of painting, here’s the final result. I erased out the eyes, nose, and insides of the ears, then rounded out the edges of the puppy image. Real latte art is made of foam so it shouldn’t have very sharp angles. Your painting doesn’t have to be very precise as well; it makes the final result look more natural.
For best results, try to use images which have softer, rounder edges.