Decorate a portrait using vector shapes in Photoshop


Today we will create a truly colorful and complex picture using ordinary forms and our imagination. The purpose of this lesson is to show you how the simplest thing can become a masterpiece if you give it due attention, and you will learn useful and interesting material in the lesson process.

The final result:

Download the archive with materials for the lesson

Step 1

Create a new document 4000 x 2300 pixels in RGB color mode, select the background setting “Transparent” (Transparent). The secret of high-quality digital images is the high resolution file. After you reduce it, you will not notice the flaws that were made when the file was larger.

Step 2

Open a separate image with a girl File> Open … (File> Open …), select the entire canvas (CTRL + A), copy it (CTRL + C) and place it on our document (CTRL + Tab). Place the image as shown below.

Step 3

At the bottom of the layers palette (F7), click on the icon “Add layer mask” (Add Layer Mask). Now take the tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) and hide the background image. Do not go into details, just make sure that you have hidden most of the background.

If you want to check if there are any areas that were not deleted, click the “fx“On the layers palette (F7) and select a style Stroke (Stroke) and click “OK”. Remove the layer style after clearing the entire background.

Step 4

Create a new layer in the menu. Layers > New > Layer (Layer> New> Layer) (CTRL + SHIFT + N). Take the tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) and make yourself a palette of the colors presented below.

Step 5

Create another layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N), take the tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) and draw a rough sketch of the direction of the waves. You can draw them as you like. Here’s a neat idea for you: create these lines in such a way as to complete the shape of the girl’s head and the lines of the figure, this will create a nice effect between them.

Step 6

In the layers palette, click on the “lock” icon so that you cannot randomly edit the layer. Now take Pen (Pen Tool) (P), set him mode Figure (Shapes) and draw a line as shown below. To convert the anchor point from “rounded” to “sharp”, hold down the “ALT” key and click on it.

Step 7

Draw a few more lines only where you want to show a different direction, and place them away from each other. This step is probably the most important of all, because it will guide every line we will create later.

Step 8

In the layers palette (F7), double-click the line layer thumbnail itself, and in the palette window that appears, select one of the colors that we created in step 5 to change the color of the line. Do the same for other lines.

Step 9

In the layers palette (F7), press the fx button and select Overlay options (Blending Options). Set the layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) and use the settings below. Click OK. This will add a slight contrast to the overall look. To apply this effect to other lines, hold down the ALT key and drag the “fx” icon, which is next to the layer thumbnail, onto other lines.

Step 10

Now we have a solid foundation for work. As in architecture, when you have a solid foundation, your layout will not collapse.

Take the tool Pen (Pen Tool) (P) and draw wider lines of different colors until you fill the remaining area. When drawing a line, use the tool Pipette (Eyedropper Tool) (I) to select a color.

Use CTRL + [and CTRL +] to place the desired layer below or above the others.

Step 11

Draw more lines, but thinner and place them on wider lines, until you fill the entire area.

Step 12

Take the tool Move (Move) (V) and press CTRL + click on the extreme line. Make sure that you do not check the function. “Automatic selection” (Auto-select). Press CTRL + G to place it in a layer group, then create two new layers (CTRL + SHIFT + N). Set one layer to Lightening basics (Color dodge) with opacity (opacity) 50% and the other on Darkening basics (Color burn) with opacity (opacity) 50%.

Step 13

Select the second layer (with blend mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge)), take the Pen (P), set the mode Circuit (Path) and draw the shape as shown below. The main thing is to capture part of the line, the rest of the selection does not matter.

Right click, select Select area (Make Selection) and click “OK”. Now hold CTRL + ALT + SHIFT (very important!) and click on the layer with the line. Now we have the necessary part for the next step.

Step 14

Take the tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B), hold down the ALT key, click on the color of the line and fill all the selection with it. Press CTRL + D (Select> Unselect) (Select> Deselect) to deselect. Take a round soft Eraser (Eraser Tool) (E) and press the number “4” to set opacity (Opacity) by 40%. Erase part of the painted area.

This is an easier way to make a gradient effect that saves us from having to choose colors for it.

Step 15

Select another layer (with blend mode Darkening basics (Color Burn)) and do the same using the same color.

Step 16

From this point on, we will start a lot of work, and it would be good if we could automate part of the process. So let’s create an action!

Press CTRL + click on the new line so that we can continue to work. Open the panel Operations (Actions panel) for this go to Window> Operations (Window> Actions) and click Create a new set (Create new set), then click Create a new operation (Create new action) and click Record (Record).

Step 17

Press CTRL + G to place the selected layer with the line in the group. Press CTRL + SHIFT + N (new layer) and create two new layers, set to one blend mode Lightening basics (Color dodge) with opacity (opacity) 50% and the other on Darkening basics (Color burn) with opacity (opacity) 50%. Press the button Stop recording (Stop Record).

The action records everything you do, every command, so it is very important that your workflow be without unnecessary actions. When you select an overlay mode, do this with the mouse, not the direction arrows. This also applies to the opacity parameter: do not use the slider, but enter the value using the keyboard.

The difference is that the action will record each value that you specify using the slider or by switching each blending mode with the arrows on the keyboard, so the script will turn out to be three times larger than it should be. Here is an example that is made for opacity settings.

Step 18

Repeat steps 13-15 for the selected line, then take the tool Move (Move) (V) and CTRL + click on the next line and run the action we created. Then repeat steps 13-15. Do the same for all lines.

Step 19

Now you see how the lines come alive and become voluminous. But now our girl’s face needs attention, so let’s retouch!

Take the tool Move (Move) (V), press CTRL + click on the girl. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a clear outline of her face. After right-click and select Select area (Make Selection). Click OK.

Step 20

Press the CTRL + U key combination and move the slider slightly. Saturation (Saturation) left. Then go to Filter> Blur> Blur Over Surface (Filter> Blur> Surface Blur). Click OK.

Duplicate the layer (CTRL + J) and open Filter> Styling> Edge selection (Filter> Stylize> Find Edges). Set the layer blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 21

Select the layers and press Ctrl + G to place them in the group and go to Layers> New Adjustment Layer> Levels (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Levels), then Layers> New Adjustment Layer> Color Balance (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Color Balance). Use the settings as shown below.

Step 22

Create a new layer. Layers> New> Layer (Layer> New> Layer or CTRL + SHIFT + N) and click CTRL + SHIFT + [ to put it below all other layers. Take the tool Gradient (Gradient Tool) (G), click on the gradient edit in the upper left corner and set the values ​​as shown below. Click OK.

Step 23

Select Radial gradient (Radial) and apply a gradient to the layer as shown below.

Step 24

Now you need to make the colors more vivid and vibrant.

Select the topmost layer and go to Layers> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Hue / Saturation) and Exposition (Exposure). Use the settings below.

Step 25

Select the entire picture (CTRL + A), copy the merged layers (CTRL + SHIFT + C) and paste it. Select Filter> Other> Color Contrast (Filter> Other> High Pass). Specify a radius of 2.5 px and click OK. Set layer blending mode Overlap (Overlay).


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