Create an abstract dragon in photoshop

In this lesson we will look at several techniques used by the Swedish designer and artist Pierre Gustafsson. It uses such little-known program features as the Polar Coordinates filter, the Overlap Mode, Exclusion, and the Channel Mixing correction.

Final result:

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop (Ctrl + N) and create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N). Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool) (G) and make a few fills to show the dark and light areas of the canvas.

Step 2

Create a new layer and create a circle on it using a radial gradient fill. Create multiple copies of this circle (Ctrl + J) and place them in different places on the canvas.

I want to emphasize that we are creating an abstract dragon, so the circles should represent his body, neck and head. To create a variety of colors, use the correction. Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + U). Once finished, merge all the layers with circles into one (Ctrl + E).

Step 3

Apply a filter to the circle layer Polar coordinates (Filter> Distortion> Polar coordinates) (Filter> Distort> Polar Coordinates).

Step 4

Create a new layer and fill it with green using the tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool) (G). Install Blend mode layer on Hard light (Hard Light). To change the tone of the fill, make a copy and work with the correction Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + U), and experiment with Opacity (Opacity) layer.

Step 5

Create a copy of the layer with gradient circles (Ctrl + J) and place it on top of the other layers. Tool Free transform (Ctrl + T) can reshape or rotate circles.

Step 6

Select the entire canvas (Ctrl + A) and press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the contents from all layers. After that, press Ctrl + V to paste everything on a separate layer. Install Blend mode new layer on An exception (Exclusion).

Step 7

Next, experiment with corrections. Channel Mixing (Image> Adjustments> Channel Mixing) (Image> Adjustments> Channel Mixer) or Selective color correction (Image> Adjustments> Selective Color Correction) (Image> Adjustments> Selective Color).

Step 8

Create another copy of the layer with gradient circles and place it on top of the other layers. Apply filter Polar coordinates (Polar Coordinates) to change the shape of the circles. Then create a new layer and fill it with the color # fff199. Install Blend mode on An exception (Exclusion). Place the changed circles on the area of ​​the dragon’s body and tail.

Step 9

If you want to lower the contrast of the entire illustration, add a new layer, filled with gray, black or white, on top of the other layers. Install it Blend mode on Chromaticity (Color) and lower Opacity (Opacity).

This method is simple and effective for adjusting the contrast. It is also suitable for processing photos.

Step 10

It is necessary to enhance the depth of the image and create a mystical atmosphere. Create a new layer and fill it with # d61b4d. Install Blend mode on Overlap (Overlay). On a separate layer, draw the dragon’s eyes with a purple brush.

Step 11

Create a new layer and draw white wavy lines. Apply to some of them Wave filter (Filter> Distortion> Wave) (Filter> Distort> Wave). Also draw some red lines (# d61b4d). Try Blend Mode Overlap (Overlay) for layers with lines.

Step 12
Now we will add some details and set a focal point. Enable snapping to grid lines Browse> Snap to> Grid Lines/ View> Snap To> Grid. Create a new layer and tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool) (M) create a circular selection in the center of the canvas. It is better to first move the guides to determine the center. Then you can set the cursor at the intersection of the guides and, while holding the Shift + Alt keys, create a circle.

The resulting selection can be filled or circled. Try different options and layer styles.

Step 13

Now we will create a wing for the dragon. It will consist of a set of dark and light lines (see the pattern in the screenshot). Transitions between tones will help us create volume. Tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool) (M) I selected the entire range of tones with a height of 20 pixels. Then saved the pattern through the menu Editing> Save Pattern (Edit> Define Pattern). In our main document, this pattern needs to fill a new layer.

Step 14

Filter twice to the created pattern Polar coordinates (Polar Coordinates). Tool Free transform (Ctrl + T) change the shape and set the blending mode to An exception (Exclusion).

Step 15

In the end, work on the details. Create multiple copies of the volume elements, add more lines, experiment with blending modes.

Final result:

Author: Per Gustafsson
Transfer: Khegai Gleb.

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