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Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial will show how to create a very simple abstract shape using a few brushes and effects. For this tutorial I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS3. If you have an older version of Adobe Photoshop, you may still be able to follow this tutorial.

Keep in mind that it would be nearly impossible to duplicate this exact object, but this tutorial should give a guide to creating your own unique object. You should end up with something like this.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

The first thing we need to do is download the brush set for this tutorial. You can download the free Trance Brushes from by clicking here..

After you download the brushes, extract the .abr file from the .zip and save it.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Open Adobe Photoshop and create a new document 700×700.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Fill the background layer with black (#000000) and select the brush tool.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Load the brush set that you just downloaded by clicking the drop down next to the brush > the arrow point right > then the load option.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Select the Trance Brushes and load them. You will see the new brushes appear at the bottom of the brush set.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Reset the color swatches so that white is the foreground color and black is the background color. Create a new layer and use some of the brushes to create an abstract shape. When you are painting with these brushes, do not drag the mouse like you normally would. Instead click once to create the shape. There is really no science to this. First I will use brush 305 to create this.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Next I will add a few more with #213.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Then I will use 215 to make a tail.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

To complete this shape I will dab a couple times with the brushe that is numbered 380 for me.
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Like I said before, there is no set way to do this, just come up with a shape you like. Now to add a little bit of color I will apple a purple glow. Right click on the layer in the layers pallet and select blending options.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

Apply an outer glow using the color #7200ff.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

I also added an inner glow using the same color #7200ff.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

Apply the changes and you should get something like this.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

Now we are going to distort the image using the polar coordinate filter. Click Filter > Distort > Polar coordinates.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

Make sure that Rectangular to Polar is selected and click ok
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

You will get something like this.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

Where the object is located on the canvas will effect how it is distorted. If you do not like the way it came out, undo the filter and move the object. Then try to apply the filter again. Mine looks ok, but I think it is a little blurry.

I am going to apply the Smart Sharpen filter to sharpen up the image. Click Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

You will have to play with the settings to see what looks the best for you, or you could skip this step completely. Here is what I used.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

This is what my image looks like now.
Easy Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

That is all it takes to create a simple abstract shape using brushes. If you do a search online you can some great free brushes to play around with. You could also add some text to this and make into a background or something.
adobe photoshop abstract tutorial

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  • Photoshop tutorials

    Great abstract effect! Thanks for submitting it to my site.

  • Ilma. Massink

    This is nice! A quick guide to show how easy it is to make great abstracts. Thanks.

  • gamenac

    Wow, I have to say, I’m impressed. Often, short, simple abstracts end up looking like shit, and are just a way of people getting attention, but this is very nice. I love the effect that you end up with, it has a very nice tech feel.

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  • prasanna

    pls ur t

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  • sivagami


    I dont have great idea about photoshop, even then this tutorial was interesting.

  • Pan

    Hi, I have Adobe Photoshop 5.0 I couldn’t open the uploaded brush, can you tell me how for 5.0? thanks

  • http://photoshopabstractseasypupple ravi

    hi this is ravi i am very happy on working on photoshop and the other thing is your easy abstract purple tutorials is very good.

  • Professional Web Design | Flash Developer | Web Design Romania | Flash Web Design | Professional Website Design

    Now this is looking good….There should be more Abstract Design Tutorials for people…

    Altought the purple color doesn’t look so good, maybe a blue color would have looked much better….

  • Rajita – Logo Design

    WOW- this is very beautiful… excellent graphics

  • jasyfriend

    Well done my dear

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  • Vanessa

    Excellent tutorial!

    • sepideh taban

      send email photoshop tutorials

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  • MvG_da_best

    This tutorial OWNZ man !
    You really ROCK !

  • preenita

    its really interesting

  • marjhun

    great job….contiue for hardworking and sharing knowledge to others..tnx…

  • gofer1971

    Excellent tutorial. Made my first ‘abstract’ in only 5 minutes – and I’m a photoshop newbie! Cheers!

  • joe claessen

    I found That if You flip this on its side, then duplicate and flip that horizontally, move them apart, you can make an amazing pair of fantasy wings with some added brush strokes

  • http://none Kim Richards

    this might be a dumb question to post on this tutorial for advanced photoshop,..but how do you get a photoshop program to begin with??
    I make abstract paintings using acrilics, and i have started to make some on my computer using the blah old paint program.
    but this looks so interesting,..i really want to try it!:)

    -♥kimmeh R♥

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  • danish

    hiiiiiiiii…….its very helpful for new photoshop users…….thanks

  • marione matta

    Hello, I was wondering if one of the responsible for these tutorials is Sivagami, a girl who graduated with me at the Academy of Art University in 2000? I would love to reconnect with her. My name is Matta. Please let know.

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  • Julie Jang

    wow. nice!!!! thaks!!

  • Giulio

    Hey .. this is a easy but painfull question ( cuz im a bit dumb xD)
    when I do the Outer and Inner glow part .. it glows but in the border of the document ( instead that in the borde of the brush) .. how do i get it right ?? thx and congrats on the tuto xD.

  • sivas

    very good, thanks

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    Very nice tutorial.

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  • andre

    thanks for sharing with us. It’s wonderfull:)

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  • Softloader

    Thx for this very nice tut 😀

  • mb

    I can’t get color to add, tried to redo many times. He must have left step out.

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  • PSP Go

    I have been looking to learn more about Photoshop so this tutorial wasvery helpful. Thanks!

  • pwnura55

    this helped me thanks very helpful for a noob like me :)

  • Katie

    Well i like this tuorial..because it tells you in detail everything he does..!
    i like the way it looks and i love purple so its pretty cool.

  • vignesh

    I was very much proud of your performance in this design. I want you to send me your designs to me by mail. please!

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  • http://N/A Jared

    I like the method that you used to make this, but I don’t much like the smart sharpen, it looked much better when it was smooth. I bookmarked this site, I hope to learn a few new tricks for Photoshop.

  • Seth

    WOW i empressed my teacher when i showed him this easy shit!

  • hans

    this is a great tutorial for a newbie like me. i almost got it however i am having trouble applying the blending effect, please help on how to apply the blending effect..

  • berkeleysamson

    wow.. great lesson.. i bough a book about this and this is greater.

  • berkeleysamson

    i’m a newbie.. i know how to use corel but a little on photoshop, i like this one..

  • Megan Fox

    I love your Photoshop tutorials John, very easy to follow and understand. The finished picture looks great.

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  • amin amin

    This is a remarkable and very useful lessons. Thank you great! I found a lot of new for me.

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  • IraQlife

    Good Work , Thanks For Sharing . :-)

  • carlo suza

    how can i open photoshop new document

  • Andres

    Very nice tutorial, Thanks a lot!

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  • ujo

    NICE :)

  • fffff

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  • Rick Nash

    I used to love following tutorials and i learn a lot from them, this tutorial has re taught me the simple methods of using brushes to make some awesome looking images. thanks for the time you put in to write it.

  • Külföldi munka

    Wonderful read, and excellent points. Cheers

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  • jit

    nice tutorial . the way you have described is very easy and i think it is easily understandable to all.thanks for your posting.Add more stuff like this. Thanks again.

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    this was like the worst 1 EVER!!!

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  • http://metalanet samsul

    thanks …
    I like this tutorials…

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  • Jes

    Thanks.. its very useful..

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  • venomboy

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  • Steigerhout Meubelen

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    thanks for sharing this great tutorials! 

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  • TJTom

    Wow, good job! Personally, I am using Flame Painter for such effects. It’s quicker.

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  • kite-lines

    Nice done… we also had to do this on the website kitesurf lines hope you like it to for kite-lines.

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  • Biznizmuff

    Спасибо! 😀

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    Yeppy! I just did it :) Thanks a lot for this cool tutorial. My friends gonna envy. Haha

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  • James Cooper

    I am trying hard still not getting the perfection like you in creating the stroke of lighting! I guess the blending need to be perfect enough for this.

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