★ Create an Energetic Portrait in Photoshop

★ Create an Energetic Portrait in Photoshop

Are you wondering how you can add energetic movement in your work? With some basic lightning tips, using the warp tool and liquify filter. I will help you create stunning lightning effects.

Final Result

Create an energetic portrait in photoshop

In this premium tutorial, BramVanhaeren will show you how a cool technique of creating organic like shapes and colorful effects on portraits using Photoshop.

Tutorial details

  • Tutorial type: step by step text tutorial with screenshots
  • Number of steps: 15
  • Has video: No
  • Members can download PSD and stock images used: Yes
  • Tutorial file included in the download: Yes, html format

Stock used

Step 1

Start by looking for the perfect stock photograph. People frequently ask me, what exactly makes a photography a good one. First of all it needs to fit for your requirements. If you’re looking for a specific pose, make sure you find it. You will be browsing through hundreds, maybe thousands of stock images.

Go with your gut feeling. A good image will jump out. Once a photograph grabs your attention. Ask yourself why and take a look. Go through quality control, amount of downloads, preview of details, available sizes. When you love it, download and open it in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 2

Start up Adobe Photoshop (CS6 in my case). Create a new file and set up your size and color settings. For this tutorial I started a new file, with the idea to print this later. 300dpi is a must, with a minimum of A3 format size. With the concept in my mind, I choose to work in landscape formation. (Also great to turn your work into a free desktop wallpaper) Click create and we can start this tutorial.

Step 3

Before we actually start to add new layers to our new .psd file. Let me explain you a simple technique, better, a habit of mine when I start a new file. No matter what I’m going to create. Start by organizing your file. For example, create a group called background, model, effects & lightning. To make sure you start adding layers in the correct group. When you end up with a big file, with a lot of layers. It’s important to stay organized to easily find your layers back!

Step 4

Let’s start with cutting our model from her original file. There are many techniques out there to cut your model. I’ve been used to use the traditional way, using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and create your selection click by click. Zoomed in at 1500%.
If you don’t want to “damage” your stock image. You can work with Layer Masks. (If you don’t know how, look up a tutorial). Once you have cut out your model, make sure to zoom in and double check if you haven’t missed a pixel.

For the hair I have chosen not to use it in this artwork. We will replace the hair with a very colorful and energetic color composition later. For now cut out the hair with a nice flow. (Check my preview for an idea, how you could do this.)

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Step 5

For our next step, create a new layer and fill it with #0084ff (blue). Change your blending option to Difference with an opacity of 15%. This will create a lovely red/orange effect to your whole artwork. All the white will disappear under this layer! Keep this in mind.

here ends the preview

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Bram is 24 years old and studies cross media design, after 2 years freelancing together with his brother. He’s been developing his style since his first pen tool experiments in Illustrator about 7 years ago. Bram’s style ranges from simple illustrations and typography to mixed media artwork. When he’s not making art, Bram enjoy going out with friends, train together with his brothers, running the 400m. He's also founder of Milla Magazine and writes for several blogs and give creative advice to brands. You can always make him happy by sending some kind words trough email or give him a book about social behavior and design


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