Abstract illustration with a horse in photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create exciting photo manipulation using various mating techniques, brushes, and more.

The lesson is designed for the average and advanced user of Photoshop. You will also learn how, using scanned ink splatter textures, create your own brushes in Photoshop. And of course, the lesson also includes a link to the lesson PSD file.

Final result

Step 1

In this step, I will show you how to create your own brush. For these purposes, I used a scanned ink spray texture.

Choose a tool Frame (Crop Tool (C). Hold down (Shift) + create a square selection around the ink stain.

On top of the ink stain layer, create an adjustment layer. Black-white(Black White), let’s go Layer – New Corrective layer – black-white (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Black White). In the settings window Parameter Set (Preset), set the “High Contrast Red Filter” option.

Next, go to the bookmark Channels (Channels) and create a duplicate Red Channel (Red Channel). On the layer with the red channel, right-click on it and in the window that appears, select the option Duplicate channel (Duplicate channel).

Next, go Image – Correction – Levels (Image – Adjustments –Levels). Slide the sliders so that the ink spot is black and the background is white.

Download selection, hold down (Ctrl) + click on Red Channel (Red channel).
Invert the active selection.
To invert, press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + I). Before you go back to the bookmark Layers (Layers), don’t forget to enable RGB visibility. channel (channel).

Translator’s Note: without removing the active selection, go to the tab Layers (Layers).

Returning to the bookmark Layers (Layers), go to the inkblot layer, and then, press (Ctrl + J) to remove the active selection around the blotch.

Try different selection methods, for example Color range (Color range) or Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool).

Translator’s Note: everyone can choose the selection technique at their own discretion, in this case, the author used the technique of selecting objects using channels.

Color range (Color range) (example in the screenshot below)

Now, fix the sites that you do not like. For these purposes, you can use the tool Eraser (Eraser tool (E). Also, if you want, you can change the position of the ink stain.

Create a brush.
To create a brush, I used the following document dimensions 2500x2500px resolution 300dpi. Next, go Editing – Define a brush (Edit – Define Brush Preset).

In the screenshots below, you can see my settings for creating a brush.

Step 2

Create a new document, go File – New (File> New) or press the keys (Ctrl + N).

Open the stock image of the Horse.
Folder: Resources / Horse.psd
Add this image to our working paper.

Add adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map) to the horse layer. For this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map). Gradient type black and white.

Right-click on the horse layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Now, we are ready to add Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights), for this we go Image – Correction – Light / Shadows (Image> Adjustments> Shadow / Highlights).

Add a layer mask to the horse layer. To do this, click Add layer mask (Add layer mask) in the bottom toolbar.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush tool (B), brush color is black. Apply the brush on the layer mask layer. Usually, I use the first brush in the standard set. Brush opacity is 50%.

Next, select the brush, which is shown in the screenshot below. Brush color is white. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.
Just move the brush to the area you want to process and click once or twice.

Select the next brush. Brush color is white. Also paint over the layer mask layer.

Step 3

In this step, we will add an image of the roots (Folder: Resources / IMG_5602) as an element of abstraction to the image of a horse. Place the layer with the roots on top of the layer with the horse.

Right-click on the layer with the roots and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Now, we are ready to add Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights), for this we go Image – Correction – Light / Shadows (Image> Adjustments> Shadow / Highlights).

Next, on the layer with the roots, apply the filter Oil paint.

Next, convert the layer with the roots into a clipping mask to the layer with the horse.

To do this, hold down the (Alt) + key and move the cursor to the red line, you will see the icon appear – and then click on the red line.

Change the blending mode for the layer with the roots to Soft light (Soft Light).

Create a new layer on top of the layer with the roots, go Layer – New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Next, go Editing – Fill (Edit> Fill), set the value of the content Gray 50% Gray, then click OK.

So apply the fill. Gray 50% Gray to layer with roots. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) 100% layer opacity. Next, select the tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool). Apply this tool on the fill layer. In the settings of the instrument clarifier, I used a soft brush with an exposure of about 20-50%.

50% gray fill layer with overlay mode Normal (Normal).

After clarification, the horse will look like in the screenshot below.

Layer structure at this stage.

Author’s note: the inscription on the screenshot Cienie / Podswietlenie means Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights). I apologize for this, I used Photoshop in Polish.

Step 4

In this step we will add more roots. In fact, it is very difficult to repeat all the drawing actions, therefore, I will show you how to do this with the following example.
Open the image IMG_5598 Folder: Resources / IMG_5598

To the layer with the roots, add a layer mask. You can add a layer mask through the bottom toolbar by clicking the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask).

Choose a soft black brush with 50% opacity. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.

Select the next black brush with 100% opacity. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.

The same brush, brush color is white. Also apply a brush on the layer’s layer mask.

Select the next white brush with 100% opacity. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.

Select the next black brush with 100% opacity. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.

Select the next white brush with 100% opacity. Apply this brush on the layer’s layer mask.

Now you know how to create an abstraction. Next, I’ll start adding roots to our image.

IMG_5598_ver.01(version 01)

IMG_5598_ver.02 (version 02)

IMG_5598_ver.03 (version 03)

IMG_5598_ver.04 (version 04)

Right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Now, we are ready to add Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights).

IMG_5603

Right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Now, we are ready to add Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights).

IMG_5596.psd

Right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Now, we are ready to add Light / Shadows (Shadow / Highlights).

Layer structure.

Between layers with roots create a new layer, let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N).
Choose a soft white brush. Paint over a new layer to create light effects. Brush opacity 30-50%

Create a selection as shown in the screenshot below. Apply the brush inside the selected area.

Create another new layer between the layers with the roots, let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Choose a soft white brush. Paint over a new layer to create light effects. Brush opacity 30-50%

Create a selection as shown in the screenshot below. Apply the brush inside the selected area.

On top of the Horse group, create another new layer, which will also be used as a brightening layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N).

Choose a soft white brush. Paint over a new layer to create light effects. Brush opacity 30-50%.

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 20%.

Create a selection as shown in the screenshot below. Apply the brush inside the selected area.

The structure of the layers at the moment.

The whole picture at the moment.

Step 5

In this step, I’ll draw a mane. For these purposes, I use the tool Finger (Smudge tool).

Choose a brush that is shown in the screenshot below. Brush size 70px

Tool Settings Finger (Smudge tool).

Before you start creating the mane, turn off the visibility of the layers with roots, we need to see only the layer with the horse.

One more thing, we need to use the option External channel (apply image), for this, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N), then go Image – External Channel (Image – Apply image). Do not change anything in the settings, just click OK. So, we are ready to create a mane.

Apply the brush in the direction of the arrows.

Quick steps.

Choose a tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to create a selection, as shown in the screenshot below, then press the keys (Ctrl + J) to duplicate the selection to a new layer.

Press the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) in the bottom toolbar.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush tool (B), brush color is black. Apply the brush on the layer mask of the layer.

View Masks.

Change the blending mode for duplicate layer to Replacing dark (Darken).

Step 6

Add a dirty background. On top of the layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map), create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). The opacity of the layer is 10%. Name this layer “Splash”. Using a watercolor brush, create a dirty background.

Next, add an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels), let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Levels).

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast), let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Brightness / Contrast).

Step 7

In this step, we will create abstract lines. For these purposes, I use the image of the spine. Folder: Resources / Root.psd. Next, we apply the filter Plastics (Liquify), let’s go Filter – Plastic (Filter -Liquify). Settings for the brush.

Steps.

So, we are ready to add abstract lines to our image.

The structure of the layers at the moment.

Step 8

It’s time to add color shades, first I’ll add a new adjustment layer. Color Search (Color Lookup), let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Color Search (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Color Lookup).

Choose a large soft black brush. Paint over the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Brush opacity 50-70%

Over the adjustment layer Color Search (Color Lookup), create a new adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map).

Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Darkening basics (Color burn) Opacity (Opacity) layer 10%. Apply the gradient shown in the screenshot below.

Over the adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient Map), create a new adjustment layer Levels (Levels), for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Levels).

Choose a large soft black brush. Paint over the center of the image on the layer mask of the adjustment layer.

On top of all layers, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color) layer opacity 50%. Select a large brush. Brush color # 7c59e0. Paint over the brush as shown in the screenshot below.

On top of all layers, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Change the blending mode for this layer to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge), layer opacity 50%. Select a large brush. Brush color # faf4da. Paint over the horse’s legs.

Now I want to darken the edges a little.

On top of all layers, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Blend mode for this layer Subtraction (Subtract).

Choose a big soft brush. Brush color # eae2d4. Brush opacity 10-20%. Paint the edges of the image with this brush.

On top of all layers, create a new fill layer. Colour (Color). Let’s go Layer – New Fill Layer – Color (Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color). Change the blending mode for this layer to Replacing dark (Darken), layer opacity 70%, color # f6ff68.

Choose a big soft brush. Brush color # 000000. Brush the bottom of the image on the layer mask of the fill layer. Brush opacity 30-100%.

On top of all layers, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N). Blend mode for this layer Chromaticity (Color).

Choose a big soft brush. Brush color # 291988. Paint over the top of the image. Brush opacity 50%.

If you overdo it, then use the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E).

I decided that the bottom of the image should be white, for this purpose, I used a gradient fill, a type of gradient from white to transparent. So let’s go Layer – New Fill Layer – Gradient (Layer> New Fill Layer> Gradient).

Choose a big soft brush. Brush color # 000000. Paint the bottom of the image. We paint, of course, on the layer mask of a layer with a gradient fill. Brush opacity 30-50%

Layer structure.

Step 9

In this step we will create drops, which we will add to our image.

Using tool Pen(Pen Tool (P), create a shape as shown in the screenshot below. Shape color # ece8d7.

Next, we add Layer styles (Layer Style). Double click on the layer with the drawn figure to make the window appear Layer styles (Layer Style).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Add drops to our image.

Create a duplicate group ABSTRACTLINES (LINES) and DROPS (DROPS). Right-click on the layer with the group and in the menu that appears, select the option Duplicate group (Duplicate group), and then merge groups (Ctrl + E).

Now merge the groups ABSTRACTLINES (LINES) and DROPS (DROPS), and then load the selection (hold down (Ctrl) + click on the layer).

Go to layer Gradient fill (Gradient fill). Using a black brush, paint over the layer mask of this layer.

To remove the selection, press the keys (Ctrl + D).

Layer structure.

Step 10

We need to use the option External channel (apply image), for this, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N), then go Image – External Channel (Image – Apply image). Do not change anything in the settings, just click OK.

Duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J).

Next, apply an oil paint filter.

I do not want this effect to be present in the background, so add a layer mask and, while on the layer mask of the layer, paint over with a soft black brush to hide the effect in the background.

View Masks.

Once again we use the option External channel (apply image), for this, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N), then go Image – External Channel (Image – Apply image). Do not change anything in the settings, just click OK.

Being on this layer, go to the tab Channels (Channels) in the layers palette. Select Red channel (Red channel), next, create a selection (Ctrl + A), and then copy the channel (Ctrl + C).

Before you go back to the bookmark Layers (Layers), don’t forget to activate the RGB channel.

So, after you return to the bookmark Layers (Layers), press the keys (Ctrl + V).

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 50%.

Once again we use the option External channel (apply image), for this, create a new layer. Let’s go Layer- New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer) or press the key combination (Shift + Ctrl + N), then go Image – External Channel (Image – Apply image). Do not change anything in the settings, just click OK.

Next, we apply the sharpness filter (sharp), let’s go Filter – Sharpness – Sharpness + (Filter> Sharpen> Sharpen more).

Step 11

The final touch.

Since my computer is “dead”, I will change the image resolution in this step.

Apply the tool Sharpness (Sharpen).

Tool Settings Sharpness (Sharpen).

Paint with a soft brush.

Final result

Picture on approach.

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