Create a polygonal portrait in Photoshop

The work of digital artist Mart Biemans entitled “Feel it” combines a neon color palette with dynamic triangles and other shapes, creating an eye-catching effect.

In this lesson, Mart will tell you about the techniques he used to create this work for the online art group slashTHREE. You will learn how to build an image using a photo’s stroke and creating geometric shapes, and then choose a color scheme and apply lighting effects.

These techniques can be adapted to a variety of different styles — after completing the lesson, repeat it, and you will see how far you can go.

Step 1

The first step to create a work style is to choose the right photo.

I found my photo on, if you want to use the same image, you can find it here. Alternatively, find any similar photo. The picture should be the upper body and face profile.

Place the photo in a new portrait photoshop – size document A3. Make sure there is enough space around the margins for the effects.

Step 2

Create a new layer under the photo, fill it with a muted color. This will be the background of our work. Add another layer above the photo and carelessly circle the outline of the model using the tool Pen (Pen Tool) by filling it with a darker color. Hide this layer.

Create a third layer above all others and circle the shadows, filling them even darker. No need to leave a lot of details.

Step 3

Turn on the stroke layer, then repeat the previous step using different colors and blending modes to lighten the work. Again, do not be zealous with detail. Be sure to brighten the areas that have highlights in the original photo. Also do not forget to darken areas without lighting.

Step 4

On the new layer, draw a rectangle with a bright gradient. Duplicate it several times, resize and fill with different colors.

Create different variations using Editing> Transform> Warp (Edit> Transform> Warp). Unleash yourself by creating some abstract forms. Now place the shapes in the highlights and change the blending mode to Screen (Screen).

Step 5

Some areas (such as hands) need to be visually separated. For this we use Pencil (Pencil Tool). Set the size to about 19 px, if you are using a graphics tablet, make sure that the check mark Simulate pressure (Simulate pressure) is installed. Draw black lines in dark places and white to light.

Step 6

At this stage I was not satisfied with the color scheme, so I added a correction layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) red-green color. If you want to repeat this step, set the blending mode to Light replacement (Lighten) with Opacity (Opacity) 100%.

Step 7

The drawing is still a bit flat. To give it depth, create a new layer, set its blending mode. Screen (Screen). Use a large round soft brush of light blue in color to fill in the areas you want to lighten.

Create another layer, set the blending mode Soft light (Soft Light), Opacity (Opacity) 58%. Black brush paint over areas in which you want to strengthen the shadows.

Step 8

Now add the “broken” effect with the tool. Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool). Select small areas of the image, click Ctrl + Shift + C, To copy the merged version of all layers, then paste it all onto a new layer. Move the resulting pieces and repeat the step as you like.

Step 9

Shut down by adjusting the colors and adding a few strokes Pencil (Pencil Tool), making the overall look rougher. A similar effect is easy to achieve if you go to the menu. Filter> Styling> Edge selection (Filter> Stylize> Find Edges), but the result may turn out to be of poor quality. Fortunately, with our image the filter works well, since here only a set of shadows and colors that the filter can easily trace.

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