Create a dynamic illustration in Photoshop

Welcome to the new lesson in digital art. So many people asked for it, so I could not help writing it. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a dancing girl surrounded by multicolored lights and other elements.

Before I begin, I want you to know that when I created this work, I had no intention of writing a lesson on it. I did this job long before I had this site. I’m talking about this because I’m not able to provide you with all the source materials you need to complete this lesson, but it will help you learn new techniques. The provided PSD file contains more detailed points that are not explained in the lesson.

Preview of the final image

Necessary materials

Step 1. Create a new document in Photoshop. I used the size of 1500px in width and 2250px in height. Use the tool Radial Gradient (RadialGradient) (G) on the background layer and create a circular gradient. Use 0f0f0e as the main color and 010102 as the background color. Now create a new layer above the background layer and use the tool this time. Linear gradient (LinearGradient), to draw a vertical gradient.
Use the first gradient of the default settings. Name the layer “color” (color) and change it Blend Mode (Blending Mode) on Color / Color (Color).

Create layer mask (layermask) for the “color” layer and use again Radial Gradient (RadialGradient) (G), to draw a large gradient on the white to black layer mask.

Step 2. Use the scanlines pattern and tool Patterned stamp (PatternStamp) (S) and paint the entire canvas with white lines on the new layer above the “color” layer. Change opacity (opacity) layer at 50% and blending mode on Overlap (Overlay).

Step 3. Add a model to the canvas, reduce its size if necessary, and add to this layer layer mask (layermask). When I created this lesson, I didn’t know how to cut the hair clearly, so I used a halftone brush on the layer mask to create an abstract effect and mask out badly cut hair.

I also adjusted a little contrast (contrast) and saturation (saturation). Usually when I make a correction, I use adjustment layers (adjustmentslayers).

I added to the girl external glow (outerglow) and set the mode for it Basis lightening (ColorDodge).

To make the effect of the external glow stronger, I duplicated (duplicate) layer with a girl, put it under the layer with the original and set the parameter Fill (Fill) on 0, also added external glow (outerglow), but this time I took advantage blending mode (blendingmode) Overlap (Overlay). Here is the result of “before” and “after” the application of the correction and effects.

Step 4. As soon as I placed the girl in the right place, I needed to add some details to the background. I used brushes in the form of smoke mode Overlap (Overlay) (duplicate (duplicate) layer to enhance the effect), and also add a little spatter with a brush, again in mode overlap (overlay) or soft light (softlight).

Step 5. I noticed that the lower part is too dark, so I took a big soft brush and made a bright spot behind the girl. I used a bright blue color, blending mode (blendingmode)Hard light (Hardlight) and opacity (opacity) 75%. Then i created adjustment layer (adjustmentlayer) Hue / Saturation (Hue/Saturation), to change the color to the one I want.

Step 6. To create black square holes that you see on the girl’s right hand (that is, her left hand), I used dissipative (scattered) square brush on the mask layer with a girl.

Note translator:A scattering brush is nothing more than a regular brush, in the settings of which a certain value of the Scattering parameter is set (Scattering), you can read about this parameter and many others in the article. Brush tool (Brush). As for the square-shaped brush, this is the standard brush in Photoshop, if you don’t find it in your brushes palette, then you just need to load an additional palette from the brush library, this set is called Square brushes (Squarebrushes). About where the library of brushes is also written in the previously mentioned article, there are also screenshots for clarity.

I repeated this destructive effect using the same scattering square brush, but this time I set the parameter Size control (SizeControl) on Transition (Fade) (since I don’t have a tablet) and painted from left to right. Here’s how I got such a transition to small squares. Then I used the tool stamp (Stamp) and cloned some parts of the arm next to the squares.

Step 7. Creating multicolored lines was very easy. I’ll show you a very cool way to create these kind of strokes. Set the background and primary colors to different bright colors, this is important because we will use Color speakers (ColorDynamics).

These colors were created by me using the brush settings panel (F5). Select the first brush from the Sparklies Brushes set, install it and open the brush settings panel by pressing the F5 key or by going to the menu Window – Brushes (WindowBrushes). Decrease interval (spacing) in the parameter Brush Tip Shape, if nessesary. Activate the parameter Color Dynamics (Color Dynamics) and use the settings shown in the screenshot below. Now, when you use a brush, you will see that each stroke will be a different color.

Note translator: On how to properly load the brush, you can read in the article Zinaida Lukyanova “How to install a new brush in Photoshop?”

Take advantage of Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Levels in order to change colors or make them brighter.

Step 8. I added two bright dots using a big soft brush. Used also mode Linear brightening (Linear Dodge (Add)), but depending on the colors and brightness used on your canvas, you may need another blending mode (blendingmode). I also added some soap bubbles. You can find many on

Step 9. I used sparks brushes to add some more detail.

Step 10. Arbitrary bright lines were created using techniques that I saw in another lesson. You can recreate this type of light using a filter. Glare (Lensesflare), applying it on a black background and then distorting it using a filter Wave (wave) from the menu Filter – Distortion – Wave (FilterDistortWave).

Note translator: Glare Filter (LensesFlare) you can find in the menu Filter – Rendering – Blick (FilterRenderLensesFlare).

Apply the filter several times to the same light, but only move it every time you apply the filter. wave (wave). Change blending mode (blendingmode) on lightening (screen), to hide the black background and leave only the light visible.

Note translator: To create a similar effect, you can refer to the lesson. “Creating an energy ball in Photoshop”, Step 1 of this tutorial details the use of the Bleak filter (LensesFlare).

Step 11. The empty squares were made using the technique indicated in step 6. Draw a few squares, reducing fill (fill) to 0 and adding the following effects.

Final result

About the author: Hi, my name is Andrei Oprinca, I’m 22 years old, I’m a self-taught graphic artist. I write lessons for Photoshop about all the techniques that I know of, and also provide my own brushes, stock images and other resources. Hope you like my site.

Author: Andrei Oprinca

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