Create a bright abstract composition in Photoshop

In this lesson, we will create a bright and unusual abstract composition, taking as a basis the photo of a woman with paint painted on her face and body, and we will use stock pictures to create an abstraction. This picture was created by an artist with a pseudonym. Neuron. All of his work can be found on the resource DeviantArt. I think they can not fail to attract your attention.

Final image:

Before we begin, I will say a little about ToolGradient (Gradient Tool).
In the course of work, we will often use it to give our work an abstract effect. We will use the gradient included in the standard gradients supplied with Photoshop.
Highlight Gradient Tool:

Next, in the gradient palette, select such a gradient.

Step 1. Now we can begin the lesson.
Create a new document of any size.
In our case, this was a 215 by 525 pix document.

Step 2. We took for work just such a stock photo of a girl covered with a layer of white paint. Now you need to put it on our canvas.

Step 3. Now we need to add behind the girl, diverging in different directions of the line.
This can be done with the help of one of the arbitrary figures included in the standard set of Photoshop figures. Select Tool Arbitrary shape (Shape tool).
Next, on the top toolbar, open the shape palette window and load all possible shapes.

Step 4. Scroll through the list, you will find just such a figure icon. Choose her.

Step 5. Apply this shape by stretching it over your entire canvas.

Step 6. Reduce the layer opacity to 11%.
In this case, the blending mode of the layer is left normal.

Step 7. Although we have reduced the transparency of the layer, but, nevertheless, stripes are still visible on the girl’s face. We need to get rid of them. The layer mask will help us to do this.
So, create it. We go to Layer-Mask Layer-Show all.

Step 8. Being on the mask of the layer with the lines, we brush the black color over the places where we want to hide the visibility of the layer with the lines. For more accurate results you can use Pen tool (Pen Tool). The picture shows a selection that has not been changed, the rest of the image (face, neck) was painted over on the layer mask in black.

Step 9. Now add some grunge texture to our background.
Apply a texture over the image and add a mask to this layer.

Step 10. Being on the mask of a layer with a texture, black brush, walk around the girl’s figure, since the grunge texture should not be visible on it, it should be visible only in the background, background.

In this screenshot you can clearly see the layers panel.
Pay attention to the layer masks. In black we paint over the girl’s figure.
Check if it all looks like this.

Step 11. Create a new layer. Select Brush tool (Brush Tool) and slightly reduce its transparency.

Now let’s go through the brush in random order on the canvas, trying to add depth and shadow to the work.

Reduce the transparency of this layer to 20%.

Step 12. Then take some abstract image similar to the one we took and transfer it to the canvas. In our version, these are a few twigs, which we carefully placed behind the girl. In general, you can use anything here, so long as it adds a bit of detail and texture to our background.

Now change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light(Soft Light) and
reduce its transparency to 16%.

Step 13. Activate Gradient Tool and select the gradient we talked about at the very beginning of our lesson.

Drag it horizontally from right to left across the entire canvas.
But before this, make sure that the type of gradient you choose is linear, and not any other.

Step 14. Using Eraser tool (Eraser Tool) erase unnecessary parts of the gradient around and above the woman, as shown in the figure below. You can also do this through a layer mask (as you prefer).

Set the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), reduce the transparency of the layer to 10-20% (according to your taste). All this will help to add a little bit of color to our boring gray background.

Step 15. I think all of you have noticed that at the top of the document we still have a completely white fragment of the canvas. It must be filled. To do this, use the tool. Pipette (Eyedropper Tool). Especially do not try to get into the tone, anyway, a little later we will deal with this fragment.

Step 16. Now add our image more depth with Curves Adjustment Layers. The values ​​below are shown as an example only. You can set the values ​​to your liking, and get a result that seems to you the most acceptable. To create such a layer, select Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves).

Or this option settings:

Step 17. Due to the poor quality of the picture, this may not be visible, but there is still a difference between this and the previous images. The lighting has changed, now the space around the girl has become a little darker.

Step 18. Now we’ll add rainbow colors to the girl’s skin. The image we have chosen is quite unique, because due to the unevenly applied paint on the body, we have created such abstract, not shaded areas, which we will now paint over. To select the areas we need on the girl’s body, select Pen tool (Pen Tool).

Make sure that you have correctly set all the values ​​in the settings of the top panel.

Enlarge the image so that you feel comfortable working. Start outlining those areas on the body that are not covered with white paint (except the eyes!) And to which we, naturally, want to apply an abstract effect (try to do it more carefully than I do) …

Reduce the image back. This is how the areas that we circled should look like.

Step 19. On the layers panel, click the tab. Contours (Paths). If you chose the right settings at the beginning of the pen, now you should see the work path here. Right click on it and select Make a selection (Make Selection).

Step 20. Now select Gradient tool ( Gradient Tool) and use these settings, which we talked about at the beginning.

Step 21 Apply a gradient in selected areas. Experiment until you like the result.

Let’s go Layer> Layer Style> Inner Shadow (Layer> Layer Style> Inner Shadow). Choose the angle of fall of the shadow so that it coincides as much as possible with the lighting that is already in our work. Slightly reduce the transparency of this layer.

Blending mode set Overlap (Overlay) and a little lower transparency.

Step 22 Since the girl’s eyes are too dark, we’ll add a little bit of “life” to them. For this we use a stock photo of the eye. In general, you can change the color of the eyes any way you want, because there are a lot of ways to do it. For the method we use, we need a stock photo of the eye. Transfer it to your canvas and transform it to the desired size.

Now apply a photo filter to this layer. Let’s go Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Photo Filter (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Photo Filter) with a density of 25%. Later we will add this layer. Clipping Mask (Clipping Mask).

Keystroke CTRL + ALT + G add to this layer Clipping Mask. Blend mode for this layer select Brightening basics (Color Dodge). Also slightly reduce the transparency of the layer. If you did everything right, only the eye should be colored. At this stage, your layers panel should look like this. Compare.

Step 23 Now we need to work with the second eye. You can not repeat the entire procedure, but simply duplicate the layer with the eye and place it in the right place.

Add a photo filter, as shown in the picture below, set the density to 100%. Now the eyes have become a different color.

That’s how we managed to change eyes.

Step 24 Now we will draw drops of paint in the corners of the eyes. Zoom into the document in the eye area so that you are comfortable working. Select Brush tool (Brush Tool) small diameter. Spend two lines from the corner of the eye down, for greater similarity with these drips, draw a couple of irregularities on the side.

Reduce the document to its original position. This is what your drawing should look like. Toward the end of the lesson, we will add a few more stains of paint on other parts of the face.

Step 25. Now let’s do the hair. We are going to attach a tree to the top of the head, but for this we need to make the top of the head flatter. Create a new layer. The next step can be done in several ways:
– just draw with a brush, having previously taken the color with a pipette from the adjacent area of ​​the head;
– through the external channel, Image> External Channel (Image> Apply Image);
– with help Toolsstamp (CloneStamp tool).
This animation clearly shows how to add another section to the hair:

Step 26. In this step we will use a stock photo of the tree. And in the next steps we will also use stock photos of various elements. Try not to copy exactly what you see here, try to invent something of your own, something original, do not repeat blindly, develop your imagination.
This is how we added a tree:

And here are some more branches to it:

Step 27. Here we add a waterfall, pouring straight from the tree. You can use a stock photo of a waterfall, but you can draw it with a regular brush. Experiment with different techniques, and choose the most suitable option for you.

You can add another waterfall coming out of the tree. Try to make it all look harmonious.

Step 28. We continue to add items. This time it’s a stock image of the house. We place it on a tree. Do not forget that during transformation an object may either lose its sharpness, and appear too blurry compared to the other elements of the picture, and vice versa, become excessively sharp. In this case, it would be advisable to use the same tools as Sharpness (Sharpen Tool) and Blur (Blur Tool). With their help, all this can be corrected.

Step 29. Behind the tree we add such wonderful whorls:

Step 30. Add a rainbow to the tree:

At its base, add clouds:

And in the completion of our small collage with a tree, we will add an image of an elephant standing near the waterfall:

Step 31 Now let’s add the proper lighting to our image. To do this, create a new gradient map: Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map) and choose nice colors on the canvas. We took red, orange, yellow with the transition to white. Blend Mode Set Multiplication (Multiply), transparency about 30-40%.

Step 32 Create another adjustment layer that will help make the red color in our picture more saturated. Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Selective Color Adjustment (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Selective Color). The picture below shows the settings that were used by us. Reduce transparency to 20%.

This is what you should get:

Step 33 Now you need to darken the top of the picture. Pipette the dark color from the canvas. Paint with the brush with this color on the new layer the desired fragment.

Then change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply), and, if necessary, reduce the transparency.

Step 34 Find a good stock photograph of a starry sky. This one is quite suitable:

Step 35 Place a layer with a starry sky at the very top of the document.
We will connect it with our picture using a layer mask.

Now select Gradient tool (Gradient Tool), set the gradient from the base color to the transparent color, as shown in the figure below.
Make sure that the main color is white.

On the layer mask, apply the previously selected gradient, stretching it from the bottom of the document to the very top. This will help us to hide the unnecessary part of the starry sky, while what we need will remain visible.

Step 36 If the image of the starry sky does not suit you completely, then now you can refine it a bit by adding a few bright stars, planets, etc. We are all creative people, so go ahead! Just do not forget that you need to do this on a new layer.

Step 37. It’s time to end up with paint stains on the girl. Select Brush tool (Brush Tool), approximately 2-3 pixels in size, choose the color you want to paint with smudge using Pipette tool (Eyedropper Tool).

Now draw some smudges on her chin.

Some more near the eyes.

And a couple more on the left cheek and near the mouth.

Here is the result with already finished streaks:

Step 38 Now we’ll slightly change the color of the girl’s eyes, to me personally they seem not bright enough for such a picture. To do this, take the bright pink and bright blue colors, like those that we have already used in this work (for example # CC0161 and # 029FD0). Colors are applied on a new layer!

Blend mode for the layer with the color of the eyes set Overlay, and according to your taste, slightly reduce its transparency.

Step 39. So, now bring to mind the lighting. Let’s go Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves). Experimenting with curves. Our task is to add a bit more depth to our picture. If necessary, you can slightly reduce the transparency of this layer (I have it 90%).

But this is not enough. Add another adjustment layer. Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map). Choose a gradient color from black to white. The blend mode for this layer is set Multiplication (multiply), and its transparency is reduced to 15%.

And that’s what happened after a small adjustment of the light:

Step 40. On a new layer, apply Image> External Channel (Image> Apply Image).
We need to add sharpness to our document. This can be done in other ways, for example through repeated use of the appropriate filter, or by “passing” Sharpen tool (Shape Tool) on the most blurred areas of the picture.

Step 41 Add some text to our picture. It seemed to me that this, in the Chinese style, looks very nice here:

Now add a gradient to the text layer. Layer> Layer Style> Gradient Layer (Layer> Layer Style> Gradient Overlay). Choose a gradient like the one below. Make sure the angle is 90 degrees!

Here’s how it happened:

Step 42 Next to the already printed text, you can add any more text, or any effects. Here, for example, as shown in the figure below. We have added a few small squares. In order for them to look better, you can slightly reduce their transparency. In general, here is the will of your imagination.

Step 43 At this stage, your work is basically over. But you can still apply the tools of clarification and darkening in the relevant areas of your work. So you will give the final image a great completeness in terms of light and shadow.

And here is the final result of our work with you:

I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.
I wish you success !

Author: Base

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