Pixelmator Tip #47 – How To Create A Pop Art Album Cover

Ninja Share:

We started off this year with some very sad news – one of our favourite all time musician, David Bowie passed away. In his honour, we decided to show you how to create an awesome pop art album cover using Pixelmator. This is our tribute to David Bowie and all he has done for music and the world.

The Final Design

So here is what you will be able to create at the end of this tutorial. You will of course recognise that we used David Bowies all time top selling album – Ziggy Stardust for our tribute poster.

Pixelmator David Bowie Tutorial

So let’s get started.

Step 1:

Create a new document 1000x1000px.

1Step 2:

Using some quick searching we found one of the original vogue images of David Bowie.


Copy and paste this image into your canvas, adjust the size, and place it in the centre of your canvas using the automatic placement guides in Pixelmator.


Step 3:

Next we are going to get rid of the white background in the image we just copied.

Select the Magic Wand from the tool menu.
3Carefully click on the white area to the left side of the image, and drag. Do this until you reach a tolerance of 15%, which should remove most of the white background from the image. 


Once selected, just simply delete the selection and you should have something like the below image.
6Repeat the same process for the right side of the image.


Once you selected the region, then just delete it.8Now we have an image we can work with – a silhouette of David Bowie.


Step 4:

Move the image to the upper half of the album cover, and scale the image down to about 73%. You can do this by pressing CMD and dragging the corner handle of the image.10Next, copy and paste the image twice and shift the new images off centre as shown.11

Step 5:

Next we shall apply some pop art magic using the Effects Browser (CMD + 3) in Pixelmator. Ensure you have selected the image in the far right of your poster. Then, open the browser, and then go to Other, and select Blueprint.


Simply drag and drop the effect onto your selected image, and choose a light green colour setting #16a085.


You should have something like the below image.14Repeat the same process for the middle image, using a light blue colour #00a6d9 for the Blueprint effect.


And use a light red #c0392b for the Blueprint effect on the left most image.16

All going well you should have a pretty good pop art effect on your 3 images.

In the layers panel, we are going to do some additional magic to really make the images pop and melt into each other.

Select the first image or the red image, and set the Layer Blending Mode to Darker Color with an Opacity of 70% as shown.
17Next select the blue image, and set the Blending Mode to Multiply and with an Opacity of 70%.
18Finally select the green image, and leave the Blending mode at Normal, but reduce the Opacity to 80%.


Step 6:

Once you are happy with the pop art effect you just created, we will next create the album title text. First place a rectangle with a fill color of #16a085 and place it as shown in the image below. This will be our text placeholder.20Using the text tool, add in the name David Bowie, using a font Helvetica Neue, on Condensed Bold, All Caps, and font size 144px. The text should also be centered and placed on the green rectangle as shown below.

21Next add in the album title text “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars“. Using the same font in a much smaller size, we just made sure to put “Ziggy Stardust” on a separate line, and increase this font size relative to the rest of the album title.

22After some final adjustments to font sizes, we also selected the word “David” and then “Ziggy Stardust” and changed the font color to White to make it stand out a bit more.23

Step 7:

We are nearly at the end. The final tweak we added in was to put in a Light Leak Effect. Firstly, we selected the 3 separate image layers of our red, blue, and green David Bowie images in the Layers panel, and we right clicked, and we merged these layers into one layer. Next, we open up the Effects Browser, and under Stylize, you will find the Light Leak Effect. We choose the Orion effect with the below settings, just to add in some starlight into our pop art.


Awesome, you have now created  you very first pop art album cover in Pixelmator, and also took part in praising the legend that is David Bowie.

Pixelmator David Bowie Tutorial

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