Create Awesome Grungy Style Artwork with Vexel Hair in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show the steps I took to create this awesome grungy style artwork with Vexel Hair in Photoshop.  Have a try!

Along the way, I will show you some paint techniques I used to make the hair and the surrounding grungy textures. We also will be using Pen Tool a lot in this tutorial, so if you’re not family with it, check out this post.

Here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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Ok let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Grungy Brushsets (Pick some from the list)


Step 1

Create a new document sized 700px * 950px, use the grungy brushsets from the list and paint some texture around the edges of the canvas, as shown below: (when you paint the texture, make sure you adjust the flow and opacity, and don’t just use one brush for the entire canvas)

Create a new layer and grab another grungy brush, this time with a bigger brush size but a lower opacity, fill the centre portion of the canvas:

Step 2

Load the “model” stock image into Photoshop, cut out the model using whatever method you prefer (I found the quick selection tool here is probably the quickest).

As you can see this model has short hair, which is nice but personally I think it would be better with long hair in this occasion. So i decide to extend her hair (which I will show you in step 3) and also add some textures around her to blend her body with the surroundings.

I erase the outer portion of her hair with a soft brush:

I also added some grungy texture on the bottom of the model for support:

and some white texture around the model:

plus some dark texture around the violin and her arms:

The important thing to remeber here is when you paint the textures, make use of the size, opacity and flow settings for the brush – this way you can create more depth to the image and add variety.

I added some hair on the shoulder with a 3px, 75% hardness brush with a dark grey color:

Also I paint some more hair on top to form a head shape:

Step 3

Now we can get to the fun part of the tutorial – the hair creation :)

Grab the Pen tool and create a path like this:

Stroke the Path with the brush settings as shown below: (make sure you tick “simulate pressure” setting when you stroke)

you will have the following hair-like effect:

duplicate it and make them into a bunch (around 10-12 of them), then group all those hair into one folder, name this folder as “hair group”:

Put the bunch onto the model’s shoulder part:

Keep adding more hair by duplicate the “hair group” a few more times:

and you will have the following effect:

Step 4

Now let’s add some abstract lines around the model. I created a brush with the following brush dynamics:

Shape Dynamics


Other Dynamics

Also tick the “Airbrush”, “Smoothing” and “Protect Texture” options.

Create a new layer below the model layer called “abstract lines”, and use the brush to paint some dots as shown below:

Apply the following motion blur settingss to it:

then Warp it as shown below:

Once you finish the warping, duplicate it a few times and put them to the positions as shown below: (you can flip, resize them as you see fit)

Step 5

Now we can add another layer of hair to the model for some variation and depth. Use the same method as the previous described, but choose a lighter colour (grey) this time, make some hair as shown below: (don’t forget to group them once you make around 10 of them)

Duplicate the hair group a few more times to add more lighter colour layer:

To blend the two hair layers together I added a new layer on top of all layers and use a soft round white brush to paint a layer of light to the position as shown below: (set blending mode to “Screen” and drop the layer opacity to 60%)

I added the following two adjustment layers to fine-tune the image a bit:


Layer Mask on the Curves adjustment layer:

Color Balance (set blending mode to “soft light”)

I also Smart Sharpen the image a bit and add some lighting around model, and here is the final effect I have: (click to enlarge)

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and learnt something new :) of course you can further enhance the final effect by adding more objects and textures, but that’s totally up to you.

Also if you have any question about this tut, drop me a comment below and I will try my best to help you out.

Until next time, have a nice day!

Categories: Photo Effect

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  • Matt

    dang this is a nice new layout you got here!

    also Im gona go out on a limb and say that this is by far the greatest outcome of any tutorial I have seen you create yet, amazing work!

    keep it up ;)

  • ayoub

    wow very very nice tutorial

  • A


  • NickDesign

    Great tutorial and style. Thanks for sharing

  • emma

    Great, even if I think one of the most interesting effect in this work is the lighting around the model that you didn’t explain. It is what give the picture a “fantastic” aspect …
    I tried to do something similar but the result is not that good :-(
    thanks for the tuts anyway.

  • JohnnyD

    Awesome tutorial. Inspired me to finally open PS again. Mine didn’t come out anywhere near as good as yours, but it really helped improve my brushing and just general use of stuff. I’m gonna try this same tutorial but with a different model involved and try adding more into it, great job.

  • Salim

    Very good and styled tuto. Many thanks

  • photo editor

    Best abstract art. I’m lovin’ it. More, more, more… :)

  • Elly

    I’m really in a tight spot with the “Layer Mask on the Curves adjustment layer” part.

    I kind of tried everything but I can’t seem to go to that one.

    Can someone elaborate? Please and thank you! :)

    God bless!

  • Slc

    Very good tuto thanks for the share

  • laptop accessories

    I’m gonna try this same tutorial but with a different model involved and try adding more into it, great job.

  • RB

    I tried this and I got amazing result. Adding some elementts will really enhance the design.Thanks for the nice tutorial.

  • jon

    hi i really love your tutorial but i cannot follow everything . would it be possible if you could send me a video tutorials of your photoshops so i can then start applying it to my photos . i honestly love your work & hoping you can consider my request . keep it up & as always following your tutorials

  • ian

    @jon . same as me . i cannot follow very well.

    your work very nice. i hope you could make a video tutorial of this . love it

  • ruxoture

    donno what I’m doin wrong but whatever I do I can’t make it to simulate brush pressure , It just won’t do it !

    these are my settings :
    Brush size : tested many sizes !
    Brush Hardness : tested from 100% to 0 ..
    and the line I create with the pen tool is the exact copy of what you draw in the picture above .
    Stroke , simulate brush pressure . and what I get is a bold line following the pen ..
    is there some kind of pre-settings !? anything !? suggestions !?

  • PSD Vault

    Hi there, try the suggestions on this link here:, hope this helps :)