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Dance – Photoshop digital art tutorial

Dance – Photoshop digital art tutorial

Welcome to a new photoshop digital art tutorial. It was requested by so many people that I had no other option but to write it. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make a dancing girl surrounded by colorful lights and other elements.

Before I start, I want you to know that when I made this I had no intention on writing a tutorial. I made this artwork long before I had this website. I say this because I will not be able to give you all resources needed to follow this tutorial but it may help you learn the techniques. The original PSD file has some more stuff on it not explained in the tutorial.

Final result preview

Materials needed

You can get similar models from deviantart. Here are a few links: the78, street-dance,

Download PSD file



Create a new document in photoshop. The size I used is: width 1500 and height 2250 pixels. Use the Radial Gradient Tool (G) on the background layer and draw a circular gradient. Use foreground color 0f0f0e and background color 010102. Now create a new layer above the background layer and use a Linear Gradient this time to draw a vertical gradient.

Use the first preset from the Spectrums set. It’s a photoshop default preset. Name this layer color and change the Blending Mode to Color.

Create a Layer Mask on the color layer and use the radial gradient again to draw a big white to black gradient on the layer mask.

Step 2

Use the scanlines pattern and the Pattern Stamp Tool (S) and paint the entire canvas with white scanlines on a new layer above the color layer. Change the layer opacity of the layer to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Step 3

Add you model on the canvas, scale it down if necessary and add a layer mask on the layer. When I made this I didn’t know how very well how to mask hair so I used a halftone brush on the layer mask to create a kind of abstract effect and hide the poorly masked hair.

I also had to adjust the contrast and saturation a bit. As I usually do when I have to make adjustments, I used adjustment layers.

I added an outer glow to the girl and set it to Color Dodge.

To make the outer glow stronger I duplicated the girl layer, I put it below the original, set the Fill to 0 and I added and outer glow but this time I used the Overlay Blending Mode. This is the result before and after applying all the adjustments and effects.

Step 4

Once I had the girl in place, I could add some details on the background. I used the Smoke Brushes with Overlay blending (duplicate the layer for a stronger effect) and i also added some splatters using brushes again on Overlay or Soft Light.

Step 5

I noticed that the bottom part is too dark so I took a big soft brush and I made a spot light behind the girl. I used a vivid blue color, Blending Mode Hard Light and Opacity 75%. Then I created a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to be able to change the color whenever I want.

Step 6

To make the square holes that you see on the girl’s right hand (actually it’s her left hand) I used a scattered square brush on the girl’s layer mask.

I replicated the disintegration effect using the same square scattered brush but this time I set the Size Control to Fade (because I don’t have a tablet) and I drew from left to right. That’s how I got the progressively smaller squares. I then used the clone tool and I cloned parts of the hand over the surface of the squares.

Step 7

Making the colored spikes was very easy. I’ll show you a very cool tip to make this kind of colorful brush strokes. Set your foreground and background colors to different bright saturated colors, this is important as we will use the Color Dynamics.

This colors are made using the Brushes Presets Editor (F5). Select the first brush in the Sparklies Brushes set and open the brush editor by pressing F5 or from the menu Window>Brushes. Increase the spacing on Brush Tip Shape if necessary. Activate the Color Dynamics option and use the settings shown in the screenshot below. Now when you use your brush you will see how each stroke will be a different color.

Use Hue/Saturation and Levels to make the colors more vivid or change them.

Step 8

I added two spot lights using a big soft brush. I used Linear Dodge (Add) but depending on the colors and lights you have on your canvas, you might need to use a different blending mode.. I also added some bubbles. You can find lots of bubbles brushes on deviantart.com

Step 9

I used the Chic sparkles brushes to add some more details.

Step 10

The random light lines are made using a technique that I’ve seen on another tutorial. You can recreate these kind of lights making a lens flare on a black background and then distort them using the Wave filter from Filter>Distort>Wave.

Apply the filter several times to the same flare but move the flare after each time you apply the wave filter. Change the Blending Mode to screen in order to hide the black background and leave only the light visible

Step 13

The hollow squares are made using the same scattered square used on Step6. Paint a few squares, reduce Fill (not opacity) to 0 and add the following effects.

Final result


About Andrei Oprinca

Yep that's me :) I like Photoshop and Spotify 2 years ago I said to myself I will fill this with some useful info about me but I never had the chance to do it XDDD


  1. thanks andrei

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