Making an abstract collage in Photoshop

In this lesson we will learn how to create beautiful abstract work using only 3 images. Combining images when creating works in the program Adobe Photoshop, very often brings very good results.

Let’s get started!

The hardest part of this lesson will be to combine a fallen drop of water with the sky. The author advises to use a background image in which the sky is very clear, or with scattered clouds for a more realistic effect. Knowledge of blending modes and the ability to put them into practice will save you a considerable amount of time and prevent many mistakes. The author used the blend mode Multiply (Multiplication) for water droplets as well as a correction layer Levels (Levels) for lightening midtones.

Step 1

Let’s open the image with the city (Ctrl +O) in a programme Adobe Photoshop or just transfer this image to the program.

Here we will create a new adjustment layer. Exposureure (Exposure) and apply the same settings as in the screenshot. So we will make the image brighter.


Step 2

Open the image with a drop of water (Ctrl +O) or also, you can transfer the image to the program, and then to the document, after selecting it (Ctrl +A), and then using the tool Move (Move) (V) or with the key held down Ctrl transfer the image to our document. With the tool Free Transform (Free transform) (Ctrl + T) let’s reflect the image with a drop of water vertically by pressing the right mouse button and selecting Flip to Vertical (Flip Vertically). Next, arrange the image with a drop as in the screenshot:

Step 3

Put the drop layer in mode Smart Object (right click on the layer – Convert to Smart Object). Using the key combination (Ctrl +L), which invokes the command Levels (Levels) let’s slightly brighten the image (move the middle slider to 2.55).


Step 4

Next, let’s create a white one. Layer Mask (Layer mask) for a layer with a drop and use the tool Gradient (Gradient) (G) from black to white. Let us stretch this tool from top to bottom, as indicated in the screenshot.


Step 5

Use the tool Brush (Brush) (B) black with Opacity (Opacity) 50% and go through this tool along the edges of the image with a drop to make it like in the screenshot.

Step 6

Next, we need to slightly lighten the image with a drop, so that we can as best as possible remove the black area in this image. First, the author suggests using Layer Style (Layer styles), and more specifically, sliders Blend if (Overlay if) in the general section Blending Options (Overlay settings), which are shown in the screenshot:

It becomes noticeable that the black area starts to disappear, but the edges of the selected area are too sharp, and this removal method is bad for the drop, which has frozen in the image. What does not suit us! Let’s try an alternative way to remove the black area. Double click on Levels (Levels) that are under a layer Smart Object and move the lower left slider located in the black area to the right to the value 55.

And here is the result:

Step 7

Now, bringing the black area closer we will see that it is not so black anymore. Now you can try again to remove this black area using the sliders Blend if (Overlay if) in section Blending Options (Overlay options). Set the same values ​​for the sliders as in the screenshot and change the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication).

And here is our result:

At the end, use the tool again. Brush (Brush) (B) to remove excess background areas on Layer Mask (Masked layer). If suddenly you notice that you are erasing the area you need, simply change the color of the tool. Brush (Brush) (B) on the white and deleted area will begin to recover.

Step 8

Now, let’s duplicate the image with the background (Ctrl +J) and apply it as Clipping Mask (Clipping mask) to the drop layer (to do this, move the mouse over the area between the copy of the layer and the drop layer, hold down the key Alt and left-click with the mouse.) Then change the blending mode of the copy of the layer to Color (Color) and Opacity (Opacity) reduce to 70%. Result on the screenshot:

Step 9

And now it’s time to add a model to our document. Beforehand, do not forget to separate it from the background.

After the model is added, place it under the drop. With the tool Free Transform (Free transform) (Ctrl + T) decrease a little, and then reflect vertically Flip Vertical (Flip Vertically). Name this layer woman. Result:

Step 10

Create a new layer Shift +Ctrl +N and immediately change its blending mode to Screen (Screen). Now we will create something like an aerial perspective. With the tool Brush (Brush) (B) of different diameter, with color # 795228, make a few clicks in the model area to make it look like the screenshot. Opacity (Opacity) layer down to 50%.

Step 11

Let’s duplicate the background image again, or rather its copy. Place it at the very top of the list of layers and change the blending mode to Normal. Also, do not forget to return Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 100%. Let’s go to Filter – Distort – Pinch (Filter – Distortion – Distortion) and set Amount (Radius) -100, to get this result:

With the tool Free transform (Free transform) (Ctrl + T) reduce the image to the size of a drop and place it in the same place where the drop itself is located. Flip it vertically (Ctrl + T – right click on the selected area Flip Vertical (Flip Vertical)). Now we need to remove the extra areas so that this area becomes the same as the drop. Decrease Opacity (Opacity) to 60% and on the white mask layer, black brush, walk on the extra area to remove it. Translator’s note: do not worry if you erased the desired area. To restore it, switch the brush to black (X) and draw on this area. Thus, a reflex is obtained.


Step 12

It remains to hold the final settings. Create a new adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient map). Double-click on the color transition, select from the list that appears the gradient called Sepia 4 and change the blending mode to Hue (color tone), and also reduce Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 20%. Settings on the screenshot:


Create a new adjustment layer. Color Lookup (Search color). In the list next to 3Dlutfile select Candlelight.CUBE. Opacity (Opacity) reduce to ten%. Settings on the screenshot:


Next, create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and apply the same settings as in the screenshot:

And here we get the final result. The lesson was very simple and I hope that you liked the result. Click image to enlarge.

The order of the layers is attached:

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