The Creation of “Thinker” Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the processes of creating this “Thinker” photo manipulation in Photoshop. We will use a model image and combine with abstract lines and a few flying stones to form this artwork. We will also be using several adjustment layers to perform the final touches.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

Here is a preview of 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:

Background texture

Model by DaeStock


Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 1132px with black background. Choose a texture image you like from the texture pack you just downloaded, copy and paste the texture over to our document:

1 paste

Use a big soft eraser to remove the following portion from the background texture:

1 erase

Add the following adjustment layer on top of the texture layer:

Black and White

1 bw


1 lvs

and you will have the following effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

We will add the model onto our canvas in this step. Load the model stock image into Photoshop and cut out the model, paste it over to our document. Re-size and position it to the centre of the canvas as shown below:

2 paste

We will also remove the following parts from the leg to create a “detached” effect:

2 remove

Add the following 2 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this model layer:

Black and White

2 bw 2


2 lvs

and you will have the following effect so far:

2 effect

Step 3

We will add some abstract lines into the mix. Use a solid brush to paint a line on the canvas, then use the liquify filter to warp the line as shown below:

3 liqf

The settings for the liquify filter brush:

3 liq settings

Repeat this process and add a few lines around the model:

2 more lines

Continue to add the lines around the canvas as shown below:

3 line groups

Step 4

We will add some flying stones around the canvas in this step. Load the stone texture into Photoshop and select a piece of stone from it:

4 sel

Copy and paste the selection over to our document. Reduce its size and use a cyan brush to paint over the cracks to create some special fantasy effect:

4 paint

Set this blue paint layer’s blending mode to “Overlay”:

4 overlay

and here is the effect for the stone:

4 effect

Repeat the step above and add a few more stones around the canvas:

4 more stones

Use the Smudge tool to add some blurry motions for the stone, in order to create some flying effect:

4 blur

Step 5

We will add some extra effect to spice up the image a bit. Use a black soft brush to paint some lines under the body as shown below:

5 dark lines

Use a particle brush to paint some dots around body:

5 particles

Apply the following Radial Blur settings to this particle layer:

5 rad blur

And you will have the following effect:

5 after rad blur

Step 6

Ok we’re almost done! For final touches, I flattened the layer and duplicate the background layer, apply some blur to the foot area to add some motions as shown below:

6 blur

Add some colours for the image with the following adjustment layers:

Selective Color

6 col reds

6 col whites

6 col neu

6 col black


6 curves rgb

6 cur red

6 cur green

6 cur blue

and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy going through it and find it useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Photo Effect

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  • Amazing tutorial for photo manipulation. Nice job.