Astral Illustration Tutorial
Skill Level: Advanced
Create a futuristic illustration with geometric shapes and astral textures.
The Final Outcome
The model we’ll be using for this tutorial is from a stock photo that can be downloaded here.
With the photo open in Photoshop, use the Pen Tool to draw a clean outline of the model’s body, then a fairly rough outline around the hair.
Use the Refine Edge tools to further refine the selection around the hair, then output the selection to a layer mask.
With the layer mask selected, clean up the selection alternating between small black and white brushes.
For more information on making selections, see this article.
Or you can download the precut model here.
Open a new 1800 x 2500 document, and drop in your model, then desaturate it (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate).
Below the model layer add a Color Fill adjustment using the colour #666a76.
Duplicate the Color Fill layer and move it above the model layer. Right click on the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask, then set the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light.
Add a Curves Layer with a clipping mask, and use the black colour picker and white colour picker buttons to pinpoint a corresponding black or white area of the model, therefore boosting the contrast.
Open a new document 1px x 4 px.
Make a rectangular selection over the top two pixels and go to Edit > Fill, then select Black.
Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset, and give the pattern a name.
Back in your main document, make a new layer above all the others and go to Edit > Fill, then select your pattern from the Custom Pattern list.
Give the layer a clipping mask, then set the layer’s blending mode to Overlay and set the opacity to 20%.
Create a new 5px x 50px document, and fill the top 15 pixels with black.
Save the image as a pattern like before.
Add a new layer in you main document, and fill it with your new pattern.
Using the Move Tool, scale down the pattern and rotate it 45 degrees.
Position it so that it covers the bottom of the model. You can hide the layer when you’re done.
Select the model layer, and apply a layer Mask.
With the layer mask selected go to Image > Apply Image, and choose the diagonal lines layer from the Layer list.
Now take the Gradient Tool and using a black to transparent gradient, draw a gradient from the base of the model to the top of the diagonal lines layer.
You can download the space stock here.
Drop the photo into your document, and move it below the model layer.
Give the space layer a layer mask, then use the Gradient Tool to draw a radial gradient over the centre of the model.
Take the Ellipse Tool, hold down the shift key and draw a circle around the models head.
Double-click on the layer thumbnail and set it’s colour to #373944.
Now draw a much larger circle over the model, then double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Styles box.
In the main blending options set the Fill Opacity to 0%, then in the Stroke settings set the size to 10px and the colour to white.
Add a Gradient adjustment layer and use a white to transparent gradient with the Style set to Radial, and the Scale set to 80%.
You can download the wireframe texture pack here.
Drop the texture into your document above the gradient layer.
Rasterize the layer, Invert it, then set the layer’s blending mode to Screen.
Add a new layer and draw a radial gradient using the colour #feb02b from the centre of the model to the white circle.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Lighten, and it’s opacity to 50%.
Now add a new layer above all the other layers.
Draw a radial gradient over the model’s left shoulder using the colour #fd2a9a.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Lighten.
Take the Line Tool and draw a 45 degree (hold down shift) white 1px line as shown below.
Duplicate the line layer and move it downwards.
Duplicate the space layer twice, and move the layers above all the others.
Set both layer’s blending modes to Screen.
Use a radial black to transparent gradient to draw a small gradient in the top layer mask and a larger one in the bottom layer mask.
Finally add a Selective Color adjustment layer and adjust the sliders in the Whites as shown below.
The Final Outcome
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