Create an abstraction from photos in Photoshop

The author of the video lesson: Elena Vinogradova

After my series of image processing lessons, it’s time to create something abstract. In this tutorial we will use quite a lot of different brushes. This will not be a difficult lesson, so I hope you enjoy this lesson.

I wrote this lesson to show you a more than usual technique, so as a result there is nothing really surprising, but the image still looks pretty nice. I did this work in about a couple of hours.

Final result

Source materials:


STEP 1. Create a new document 1300? 1600 px. Select the default background layer and go Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction (Filter> Lens Correction). Apply the Vignette effect, as in the screenshot below (select the tab instead of the automatic correction).

After applying the Vignette effect, right click on the layer and Convert to smart object (Smart Object). Next we go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise) and apply a noise value of 2% monochrome (monochrome). If you have an earlier version of Photoshop, just add noise without converting it into a smart object.

STEP 2. Open the image of the young man, select the tool Pen ((Pen Tool (P), in the top settings panel set Contours (Paths), highlight the young man. Once you have closed the contour, right-click on the contour and select To form a selected area (Make Selection), apply the default values ​​and click OK.

As soon as the selection has become active, we apply a layer mask to the layer with the image of a young man in order to separate the young man from the background. And move the image of the young man to our document, call this layer “young man.”

STEP 3. We transform the image of a young man into black and white with the help of a correction layer Black and white (Black White), as a clipping mask. Apply the settings as in the screenshot below.

Next, increase the contrast of the young man, until his shirt and pants are pure black. Apply adjustment layer Curves (Сurves). See screenshot below.

STEP 4. Apply to the youth layer layer mask, choose a different spray brush or stroke of your choice (or download those referenced at the beginning of the lesson) and paint on the layer mask to paint the bottom part of the young man. I got this result.

After this step, I selected all the layers associated with the young men and transformed them into one smart object.

STEP 5. Next, you must add dirty splashes and strokes. Here you have complete freedom. Simply select different brushes and start adding individual strokes to the new layers that are located below the boys’ layer.

You can also paint black on top of the young man, combining the brush strokes with the black color of the shirt (this is why we used levels to transform the shirt into pure black). Also use some shades of gray, not just shades of black, it will be much more interesting. I will post only one screenshot of what I did. It’s very simple, just paint with a brush here and there.

STEP 6 Also add colors. This is how I added color strokes. I found a colored texture on the DeviantART website, (at the beginning of the lesson a link to a colored texture is given) I placed the texture on a new layer above the layer with the young man and completely hid the mask. Next, I used a grunge brush and painted it with a white brush on a layer mask to show the colored details of the colored texture.

STEP 7. Download Abstract Vector Brushes and apply them on a new layer above the layer with the young man.

STEP 8. Add more details to the image. I added a big red spot using a circular selection tool and using the same selection tool I created the selection and applied a stroke in black to create a thin circle.

STEP 9. Select the handprints and on the new layer draw a handprint with any color shade. Next, open the fractal image, copy and paste this image onto a new layer above the layer where you used the brush and transform the fractal image into a clipping mask. Open another image and paste it over the previous one again as a masking mask, but this time change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft light).

STEP 10. As a last detail, I added text and applied brushes and strokes to the text.

This is all you need to do. Hope you enjoyed this easy lesson. If you have any questions or any of the links does not work, then the author asks to add a comment to the lesson and he will try to fix it.

Final result

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