Photoshop tutorials for professionals and beginners
Posterized abstract colorful portrait effect

Posterized Abstract Portrait Effect

In this new photoshop tutorial I’ll show you how to create an abstract portrait effect using filters.I will use Photoshop CC but any version of Photoshop can be used to create this abstract posterized effect because we will use traditional filters that should be available on all photoshop versions.


Efecto para retratos. Retratos abstractos en photoshop
Effect that you’ll be creating using a great combination of filters and blend modes

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Abstract portrait effect – Posterized look

This abstract effect can be achieved on any portrait and a precise background removal is not mandatory. With just a basic rough selection it’s enough so you can use portraits with difficult backgrounds as well.

The base of getting this effects for your portraits is layering. Layering multiple filters and combining them with blend modes you can create the outlines of the facial features and gradually build up the effect.

Using adjustments such as the Posterize or Threshold you can separate different details of the portrait and then apply filters to this areas in order to get the effect that you see on the preview.

Posterized portrait. abstract portrait tutorial
The higher the posterization Level, the more amount of details you include. This applies to the Threshold adjustment too.

Tracing the contours of the desired areas is done by first isolating details with the Posterize and Threshold adjustments (Image>Adjustments>…) or with the cutout filter from the Filter Gallery, and then applying other filters like the Glowing Edges or the Trance Contour.

Combining these with blend modes you can create different effects and gradually create the outline of the facial features.

Retrato psicodélico en Photoshop. Retrato abstracto

After achieving the final result we will use adjustment layers to give more strength to our artwork. I will show you how to use Camera RAW to make the final touches using the split tones and HSL module and also how to use Camera RAW if you don’t have Photoshop CC.


Andrei Oprinca

I've been creating Photoshop tutorials since 2009 for beginners and advanced users. I'm a self-taught Photoshop artist and like teaching other how to improve their skills. I love design and graphic communication.

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