Create “Hand in the Cloud” Abstract Digital Art in Photoshop

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In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps used to create this “Hand in the Cloud” digital art in Photoshop. This is an abstract artwork and doesn’t have any particular meaning, but I think it’s a great beginner-level tutorial for practicing basic selection techniques and brush painting. Have a try!

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

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:

Cloud

Rock

Cloud Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1000px*1000px with white background. Use the Gradient Fill tool to fill the background layer as shown below:

Load the cloud stock image into Photoshop, select the following portion:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, place it at the bottom of the canvas. Use a soft eraser to fade the top part of the cloud:

Apply the following Black and White image adjustment to this cloud layer:

Here is the effect so far:

Step 2

We will work on the “Wrist” in this step. Load the Rock stock image into Photoshop and select the following portion:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, place it above the cloud and use the Free Transform tool to adjust its perspective, as shown below:

Use a soft eraser to fade the edges of the rock:

Apply the following image adjustment layers as clipping mask to this rock layer:

Black and White

Levels

This is the effect so far:

Step 3

We will work on the “Palm” portion in this step. We simply go the Rock image, select a portion by using the Lasso Tool and attach it to the wrist:

Grab the Burn tool from the toolbar (set its strength to 100%):

Apply the burn tool effect to the following portion of the rock:

Apply the following adjustment layer to the palm layer:

Black and White

Here is the effect so far:

Step 4

We will work on adding fingers to our hand. Make a selection on the rock image as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, use the Shear filter (under Filter > Distort > Shear) to twist the selection as shown below:

Apply the following black and white adjustment layer to this finger layer:

Attach it to the palm as shown below:

Repeat the above process, add all fingers to the palm. Make sure you adjust the shape and size of the fingers:

To add some details to the fingers, I used the chalk brush as eraser:

Removed small bit of rocks from the edge of the fingers to form a break-down effect:

Step 5

We’re almost done! To finalise the effect, I added some particles around the hand as shown below:

Use the cloud brush, paint some cloud around the finger: (

I further adjusted the contrast and sharpened the image, and this is my final result: (click to enlarge)

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! If you have any questions about the steps, please contact me or leave a comment below. I will try my best to answer them.

Till next time, have a great day!

Tags:

  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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