Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation “Imperfection”

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In this Photoshop tutorial I’ll show you how to create an emotional, abstract photo manipulation. You’ll learn how to combine abstract elements, work with groups, create depth of field and more.


Final Image

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Photoshop CS3+
  • Estimated Completion Time: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Resources


Step 1

Create a new document (1100×1000 px) and fill it with white. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer. Hit G to active Gradient Tool. Choose Linear Gradient with color #bababa and #ebebeb. Drag a line from the top left to the bottom right to get the result shown below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 1

Click the second button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to erase the top left of the canvas:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 2

Step 2

Make a new layer and press U to active the Ellipse Tool. Hold down the Shift key and draw a circle with color #c2c2c2:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 3

Use layer mask to erase the right side of this circle:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 4

Step 3

Cut out the model and drag her into our canvas using the Move Tool (V):

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 5

Step 4

Add a mask to the model layer. Change the brushes to the splatter ones and choose number 353. Press F5 to change the settings of this brush:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 6

Use this brush to erase the model’s head, then use a soft basic brush to remove the hard edge of the model’s body. You can see how I did it on the layer mask and the result on the picture:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 7
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 8

Step 5

To reduce the saturation of the model, I used an adjustment layer with Clipping Mask. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 9

On this Hue/Saturation layer mask use a hard black brush to keep the lower lip red:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 10

Step 6

Make a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the model:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 11

Step 7

Open the circular design pack. I chose the set 002 to rasterize with the settings below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 12

Make a red circle with the Lasso Tool (L) and place it onto the shape drawn in step 2. Set this layer under the model layer.

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 13
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 14

Use a layer mask to erase some parts of it as shown below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 15

Step 8

I used a Hue/Saturaton adjustment layer for this circle layer:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 16

Step 9

Make a new layer (still under the model layer). Change the foreground to black and use the splatter brushes to draw around the model and the circle area ( I used the brush number 353):

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 17

Use a layer mask to reduce this effect as the image below shows:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 18

I named this layer “background splatter”.


Step 10

Rasterize all the circular design sets. I took three circles from these sets and placed them around the model (feel free to use the ones you like).

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 19

Remember to set all these layers above the model layer.


Step 11

Add a mask to all these circle layers and with a black brush, hide some of their edges:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 20

Step 12

Take a purple circle from the set 002 and place it onto the right of the model’s head. I arranges this layer under the small circle layers arranged in the previous step. Use the Warp Tool to tweak it (Edit >Transform > Warp):

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 21
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 22

Use a layer mask and a hard black brush with opacity varying from 30-100% to apply on the circle. Here is my result after this erasing job:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 23

Step 13

Select all the circle layers created in steps 10 and 12 and hit Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a group for them. Change the mode of this group from Pass Through (default group mode) to Multiply 100%. I named them from 1 to 4. On layer 4, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 24
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 25

Step 14

Open the flower image. Place it at the model’s neck and then duplicate it twice. I arranged them as shown below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 26
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 27

Step 15

Make a group for the flowers as you did with the circles but with Normal mode 100%. Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change their color to black and white:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 28

Step 16

I used a Curves adjustment layer to increase the dark contrast of these flowers:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 29

Step 17

Make a new layer under the flowers group. Change the foreground to black and use feather brush, number 432 to paint a feather beside the flowers:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 30

Duplicate this layer four times and arrange them around the neck and under the flowers. You can rotate, transform, warp if needed:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 31

Step 18

Add a feather above the flowers. Use a layer mask to remove the part on the model and make it appear behind her:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 32
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 33

Step 19

Make a new layer on the top. Change the brush to the splatter ones. I used number 682 to paint on the model’s head:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 34

Flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal):

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 35

Step 20

Add some other splatters using different brushes to the right of the model:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 36
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 37

Step 21

Drag the branch into our main canvas and put it behind the model’s head. Place this layer under the background splatter layer (step 9).

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 38

Use a layer mask to erase the part on the model :

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 39

Step 22

Duplicate this layer, flip it horizontally, and use a layer mask to get the result below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 40

Step 23

Open the red splatter image. Isolate it from the background and put it onto the right of the model (the eye). Change the mode to Multiply 100%:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 41

Step 24

Copy a part from this splatter image and put it under the model’s eye (Multiply mode 100%):

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 42
Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 43

Step 25

Create a new layer on the top and alter the brush to the petal ones. I chose number 78 and used black for this brush. Hit F5 to change its settings:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 44

Paint the petals around the center section as shown below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 45

Step 26

On a new layer, use a bigger size for the petal brush to add to the edges of the image:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 46

Step 27

Go to Filter > Blur > Gassian Blur and set the radius to 6px:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 47

This step is to add depth to our picture.


Step 28

Create a new layer on the top of the layers. Use a basic brush, 4 px with red (#ff0000) and the settings below:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 48

Paint red lines from the model’s eye to her right side:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 49

Step 29

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on the top:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 50

On this Hue/Saturation layer mask use a brush to erase the upper lip of the model:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 51

Step 30

On a new layer I used the brush with color #ff0000 to paint on the eye part, then changed the mode to Lighten 100%:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection 52

Step 31

Final step: Add a Curves adjustment layer to the top:

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection

And We’re Done!

I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial.

Create the Abstract Photo Manipulation Imperfection
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