The four shapes added here are stock photos. Some of them were gathered from free sites like www.sxc.hu and some were taken by the artist (see the supplied stock images and links). The great thing about abstract art is that you can add interest to even the most mundane shapes. So get your camera out and take some pictures to make your work more unique.
To create the white glow on the main circle we must first create a lens flare. To do this, on a new layer, use the Marquee tool (M) to create a black box. Next go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare and select 105mm Prime. Press OK, change the blending mode to Screen and use the Warp function to curve the shape.
Every stock/render you have at your disposal can be bent, twisted and bulged into an entirely different shape. Open the ‘Crazy S.tif’ shape and, using the Liquify tool again, this time select the Bloat tool (B). Bubble out a portion of the image to create this new sphere. Remember there are infinite possibilities just as easy to execute as this one.
This effect is achieved by using the render titled ‘Open Sphere.tif’. In order to make it appear that the model’s face is unravelling, we strategically place this sphere so that its right edge aligns with the model’s cheek bone. We then duplicate the model stock and create a clipping mask over the unravelled sphere, erasing a bit at the end to reveal the original white colour of the sphere.
In order to round off the unravelling effect, we will add three more open spheres to the image. The first will go in the centre of the fishing reel stock (ie SXC’s ‘Old reel’ image). For the other two, we will use layer masks to hide all but a very small portion, which we will then place between the small circular gaps of the fishing reel. This gives the illusion of a threaded shoelace type material.
Open the ‘Platonic.tif’ render and increase its dark levels. Next chop off the bottom half of the shape and place the flat edge against the triangle sliver at the top left of the image. To create the illusion of depth we paint white into two of the hexagonal shapes and shade it using the Burn tool set to Highlights (O).
Here we use the ‘Platonic.tif’, ‘Open Sphere.tif’ and a regular sphere with a grey-to-white gradient to add some final touches to the balance of the piece. The Open Sphere is the only one we change by inverting its colours (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Even though these elements are relatively small, they help balance the image by strengthening the planes that already exist.
Now we will finish painting the model’s hair. Using a hard round brush with Opacity and Size Jitter set to Pen Pressure we will paint a few flyaway hairs to give a more dynamic feeling to the model’s do. While we have this brush out, we will also add some hand-written scribbles to the upper right portion of the image for better balance.
At this point the image still needs a bit of compositional balance so we add one final line using the ‘Chain.tif’ render which we place into the bottom right of the image. Next we open the ‘Ball23.tif’ shape. We invert the image (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and then, using a layer mask, remov portions of the centre. Lastly, we position it in the upper right corner of the image.
With a large soft brush, paint black all around the border of the image. Change the Opacity to 50% and the blending mode to Overlay. The screenshot shows what the image looks like just after we have painted it without changing the blending modes. The finished effect adds texture and draws the viewer’s attention to the centre of the image.
To finish the image we will add a Levels layer to the entire image upping both the dark and light levels to add more contrast to the scene. Finally, we add a purple-to-orange gradient map with the blending mode set to Hue and adjust Opacity to 50%.