Create an expressive space illustration in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how, using various techniques, create an expressive illustration filled with vintage spirit.

You will learn how to apply several techniques and effects, including lighting effects. In addition to the technique, you will learn how to combine color shades to make the scene more dramatic. Some steps may be useful for beginners, but why not try it?

As usual, you will learn many interesting and useful things in this lesson. If you want to go to the next level of skill and raise your level of knowledge, this Photoshop lesson is great for you. Let’s get started!

Final result

Materials for the lesson:

STEP 1. Create a new document.
Let’s create a new document with a resolution of 300 DPI and dimensions of 4200px x 5100px. We use the image of Cosmos and Nebula:

STEP 2. We will add more clarification and give the galaxy an exciting mood. Using the Ctrl + L levels, set the following values ​​(9 – 1.00 – 255), and change the blending mode to Lightening (screen).

STEP 3. To align the edges of the image with the background, select the tool Brush (brush) size 200 px., apply to the layer a layer mask on which we will work with a brush. Go to the “Brushes” tab. Set the values ​​for the parameter Scattering (scattering) 121%, Control (control) Turn off (off) Counter(count) – 1, Swing counter(count jitter) – 1%.

STEP 4. Go to the layer mask and paint on the layer mask with a black brush with an opacity of 20% of the image edge to combine with our black background.

STEP 5. Add 2 more images with nebulae, placing them on top of all layers, and repeat the last 3 steps.

STEP 6. Next, select all layers (Ctrl + A), copy (Ctrl + Shift + C) and paste a new layer on top of all layers, Change the blending mode to Lightening (screen), apply a layer – mask to the merged layer, fill the layer mask with black color.

STEP 7. Using a 100px round brush (this brush size can be changed, depending on the area you want to show) and a brush opacity of 20%, start coloring and showing light effects, as shown in the screenshot below.

STEP 8. Duplicate the layer, then remove the mask and set the blending mode to Normal (normal). Let’s go Filter – Other – Color Contrast (Filter – Other – High Pass), Radius (Radius) 0.6. Change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay).

STEP 9. We’ll make the color contrast layer brighter, so choose a tool Lightening (Dodge tool), with the following settings Range (Range) Sveta (highlights), exposure 12% and a brush of 182px in size, and apply brightening on some areas (this brush size can be changed, depending on the area you want to show).

STEP 10. Go to the adjustment layers and apply Hue / Saturation (Hue Saturation) to give the image additional new color shades. You can also apply a brush and a layer mask for more color shades. Use the color shades that you like best and play with various adjustment layers.

STEP 11. In this step, we need an image of a girl aviator. You can buy an image of an aviator girl or use any other image you want.

Move the girl to our document and apply the Transformation – Flip horizontally.

STEP 12. Apply adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + U) to the image with a girl and apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below. Next, go Menu – Edit – Fade Hue / Saturation (Menu – Edit – Fade Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + Shift + F). Reapply the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + U) and apply the settings shown in the screenshot below :.

STEP 13. Next, go Filter – Sharpness – Contour sharpness(Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp mask). When the menu appears, apply the following values:
Effect(Amount): 234%
Radius(Radius): 2.0 px.
Threshold(Threshold): 15 levels(level)

STEP 14. Duplicate the girl layer and apply a filter Colour contrast (High Pass) and repeat the same technique as described in Step 8.

STEP 15. In this step, we will highlight the lenses of the glasses using the tool Pen (pen tool) and fill them with part of the background content to create a reflection on the glasses. Be careful when choosing areas with cosmic flares, the reflection brightness can be achieved with a tool Gradient (gradient tool).

STEP 16. Create a new corrective Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation (Ctrl + U), apply a layer mask to the adjustment layer, then fill the layer with a mask in black and use the brush to show new colors in the areas shown in the screenshot below to align with the background.

STEP 17. Add a few highlights around the girl with brushes of various sizes.

STEP 18. Next, go Image – create duplicate (Image – Duplicate) in order to work only with the image of a girl. Remove the background with space and nebulae, merge all the layers with the girl (Ctrl + E), so that we only have a black background and a girl. Let’s create some shapes that we cut. To create shapes, we will use the tool Pen (pen tool).

STEP 19. Create a shape with the tool Pen (Pen Tool), create a selection, copy the selection to a new layer and fill the selection with black color so that the figure on the hand is filled with a black shade.

STEP 20. Next, using the same selection to duplicate the shape of the Ctrl + J arm, place this layer on top of all layers and then go Editing – Free Transformation (Edit – Free Transform) and turn the lower left corner up and move the shape of the hand slightly to the right.

STEP 21. Still use the shape and repeat the step with the selection, then go Selection – Modification – Compress (Select – Modify – Contract) and apply the settings as in the screenshot below. We will create edges for our hole pattern.

STEP 22. Using tools Clarifier and Dimmer (Dodge tool and Burn tool) create light shadows on the edges of the hole figure and add more details in places where more shadows or light are needed.

STEP 23. We need to add some shadows at the bottom of the shape on the arm in order to align with the whole picture. See screenshots below.

STEP 24. Repeat Steps 19 through 22 to create more holes in the girl’s body.

STEP 25. Give more depth to the image of a girl. Create 4 adjustment layers with curves (2 for the shadows, 1 for the light and 1 for the color shade), repeat the same technique with layer-masks and paint over with a brush on the layer-mask.

STEP 26. Using brushes of various sizes, add a few highlights.

STEP 27. Use the Spark images to add sparks. Change the blending mode to Lightening (screen) and use the selection and transformation tools to make each spark bigger.

STEP 28. Next, we will add color effects using brushes of different diameters and blending mode – Lightening (screen).

STEP 29. In this step we will add some dynamic lines and gradients. Choose a tool Rectangular area (rectangular marquee tool) and fill the selection with different gradients, as shown in the screenshot below.

Translator’s Note: 1 to create dynamic lines, do not forget to create a new layer 2. for each line, you can use different gradients.

STEP 30. Let’s add 3d shapes, the link is below. Pay attention to the light and shadows and use layer masks, various techniques with correction layers, curves and brushes that you already learned to combine 3d shapes with our image.

STEP 31. To create a greater depth of field, let’s add a more 3D figure to the forefront of our work, using the tool Lasso (lasso tool) select our shape and then go Selection – Modification – Feather (Select – Feather) – 30%, then go Filter – Blur- Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Motion Blur) – Angle (Angle) 79 – Distance (Distance) 10px. This will help us create a sense of depth of field.

STEP 32. Next, we will give the color shades a vintage look, apply the curves, as shown in the screenshot below.

STEP 33. In conclusion, duplicate our document and then go Filter – Stylization – Edge Glow (Filter-Stylize-Glowing edges). And apply the settings as in the screenshot below. Change the blending mode to Soft light (soft light) and reduce Opacity (opacity) layer up to 45%, on this guys, we are finished.

Final result

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