Friday, January 25, 2013

Abstract Art in Photoshop Tutorial: Swirls with Distort

Abstract art can be one of the many uses of the 'Distort' filter in Photoshop.  Creating and making graphics with swirls to add to image backgrounds or to use as stand-alone works of art can be accomplished in just about any version of the program.  We will be using Adobe Photoshop CS6 for this beginner's tutorial.

Objective:

Create a beginner's tutorial for Adobe Photoshop CS6 that will show you how to turn a photograph into an abstract piece of art using the filters available.

photoshop tutorial

How to make Swirls in Adobe Photoshop CS6 :

  1. Select 'File', 'New' and enter your dimensions.  (For the example below we used 900 pixels X 900 pixels so it will fit into the Facebook timeline photo without distortion.)  Select 'White' for the background fill.
  2. Select the 'Filter' drop down menu and pick 'Render' and 'Clouds'.  Or this maybe where you insert your own photography via 'Copy' & 'Paste'.
  3. From the 'Filter' menu, select 'Pixelate' and choose 'Mezzotint' as 'Short Strokes'.

  4. abstract art, distort filter, mezzotint, photoshop tutorial

  5. From the 'Filter' menu, choose the 'Blur'/'Radial Blur' option.  Change the default 'Amount' to 100, with the 'Blur Method' set to 'Zoom' and the 'Quality' set to 'Best'. 

  6. photoshop tutorial

  7. Now select 'Distort' from the 'Filter' menu with a 'Twirl' setting of 125.
  8. Duplicate the layer by right clicking and choosing 'Duplicate Layer'.  Select 'Lighten' from the 'Blending Options'.
  9. With the duplicated layer selected, add another twirl by selecting 'Distort' from the 'Filter' menu with a 'Twirl' setting of 175.
  10. Add color or change color by selecting one of the layers, and choosing the 'Hue and Saturation' icon in the 'Adjustments' sidebar.  You can edit the sliders to your liking or insert the following figures of: Hue 10, Saturation 25 and Lightness 0.
  11. Select the other layer.  In the 'Hue and Saturation' setting, check the colorize box and insert: Hue 180, Saturation 80, and Lightness 0.
  12. 'Merge' the layers.
  13. After cropping for your appropriate use, save the file in the required format.

    Suggestions for alterations:
    1. Use your own photographs to alter into abstract art.
    2. Choose a negative setting on one of the twirled layers.
    3. Use the 'Move' Tool to offset the twirls.
Other examples of what can be done with variations are shown below:

photoshop tutorial

photoshop tutorial

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