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advanced photoshop
Oct
17

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Master custom shapes, layer styles and the Pen tool to create your portrait images

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

Thanks go out to Vincent Rhafael Aseo AKA Aseo for this tutorial. See more of his work at http://vincentaseo.com/

See part 1 of this tutorial here.
 

Step 10: Continue to Trace

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

With the same process as before, trace the leaves via the Pen tool, give it a green radiant look to complement our flowers. Apply a layer mask to create those smooth gradient transitions. Since we’re going to apply some free transforming in the subsequent procedures, giving the shape such layer properties will make it immune to pixelation, making our elements stay sharp whatever distortion we apply. Finally group the layers and label them accordingly to avoid confusion since we’re going to work and duplicate so many layers in the composition process.

 

Step 11: Style in Outlines

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

The good thing about working with line-art is it can stand out by itself but you can also use it as additional patterns for added depth in your artwork. Duplicate each branch and have them ready in another area of your workspace or house them in your Custom Shapes, as demonstrated in Step 9. You can add more details in your outline if you want, just be free and creative and remember that we are aiming for that abstract feel, so there’s no need for perfect lines.
 

Step 12: Flower Power

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

Flowers add so much depth in an artwork and they’re instant eye catchers – they can easily make a dull piece more intriguing. Now repeat the same process as previously and trace via the Pen tool. Have flower layers grouped in a folder and label it Flowers. Create different variations of flowers by duplicating the group and changing the colour of the petals. It helps if you have image references and stock photos. Try to give it more detail than the rest of the elements.
 

Step 13: Pattern Loops

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

This time we’re going to have pattern loops ready using our current set of elements. This is one of the fun parts because it enables you to create infinite variations depending on your imagination. Just duplicate the grouped elements, Rotate and Free Transform. Be free in choosing angles and distort them in any position to create different results. With everything set save your pattern loops and every element we created in one PSD file and name it Organic Elements for easy access.
 

Step 14: Background Setup

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

Temporarily hide your vexel portrait so that we can work on the background, aiming to merge two contrasting colours as our layout. These tones can be whatever you like, but we’ve decided to begin with a maroon tone, filling the whole canvas with this colour shape. Next, we pick a golden colour or any lighter tone on our colour picker and apply through the Shape tool once more. Apply a Layer Mask to this Colour Shape layer and brush away the edges to create a vignette effect similar to that seen in photo styles.
 

Step 15: Blend Elements

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

We now open our elements file and copy>paste or simply drag them over into your main image canvas. This section requires you to change the blending layer properties on some of your grouped elements to Luminosity and arrange them in a manner that spreads out over your image area. Reveal your vexel portrait occasionally to see how these match up in behind your model, or have your model set at 50% Opacity or below, so you can have a perfect view of how everything falls into place.
 

Step 16: Resize, Rotate, Duplicate

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

Now that you’re done with your background, reveal your vexel portrait, adding elements by creating a new layer on top and using the same methods in our last step. Be free with placements but make sure not to cover the facial feature areas. The great thing about surreal styles is that it doesn’t follow any rule in terms of arrangement so be liberal when resizing, rotating and duplicating. However, do keep in mind that it’s important to strike a balance since we have a focal point in our artwork, which is in this case our model.
 

Step 17: Here we glow

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

Here we will use the Pen tool to create white droplet elements, making sure they have a directional curve motion. Now to create additional form, use the Ellipse tool to add more particles around them and make sure they’re as tiny as possible. Go to Layer>Layer style>Outer Glow and adjust your Glow size to 50+ or higher creating radiant lighting with a yellow tone. Like with the flowers and branches, spread out your glowing elements in your working area.

 

Step 18: Light up

Decorative Vexel Art Tutorial: Part 2

The final step is for you to add additional light sources by creating a new layer on top of everything and set the blending mode to Lighten.
Set Photoshop’s default Brush Opacity to 50% and then pick out lighter colours such as yellows and magentas, subtly brushing the areas you want to be lightened up like our glowing elements and highlighted areas. Remember that you can adjust the pressure of your brush and layers any time, so play around and try to see what setting best suit your effects.