Create “Drift in Space” Digital Art in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the process of creating this “Drift in Space” Digital Art in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and some steps can be tricky. Have a try!

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

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.

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:


Crack Brushes

Rock Texture

Space 1

Space 2

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1440px * 720px with black background. Use a cloud brush or the cloud filter to render some subtle cloud effect: (keep the cloud opacity to a low level so they are barely visible)

1 cloud

Load the model image into Photoshop and select the facial area:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document. Re-size it to a small scale, and use a soft eraser to tidy up its edge:

1 paste

Use the crack brush you downloaded as eraser to the edge of the face, as shown below. I also use the Sharpen Tool to sharpen the eyes of the model a bit:

1 erase

Apply the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to the model layer:

Black and White

1 bw


1 lvs


1 curves

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect


Step 2

We will apply some rocky texture onto the model’s facial area in this step. Load the rock texture into Photoshop and select a portion of it as shown below:

2 sel

Copy and paste your selection to the document, re-size it to fit the size of the face. Set this rock layer as clipping mask to the layer below and change its layer blend mode to “overlay”:

2 overlay

and here is the effect so far:

2 paste

Apply some extra cloud effect to the right side of the face:

2 cloud

Step 3

We will add some space elements into our design. Load the “Space 1” stock image into Photoshop. Select a portion of it as shown below:

3 sel

Copy and paste your selection to the document and change its layer blend mode to “Screen”:

3 screen

Position the new layer around the model’s face, and here is the effect you should have:

3 effect

Use the same process, add more star around the face as shown below:

3 more


Step 4

We will add some rock pattern above the model’s face. Select another piece of rock from the rock texture:

4 sel

Copy and paste your selection to our document, use soft eraser to remove the edge of the rock texture. Apply the following Levels adjustment settings to this rock:

4 lvs

Re-size and rotate the rock until it looks like the screenshot below:

4 rotate

Use the same process, add another smaller piece of rock down below:

4 effect

Step 5

Load the “Nebula 2” image into Photoshop and select the following area:

5 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, change its layer blend mode to “Hard Light”:

5 hard light

Attach it to the back of the model’s face as shown below:

5 paste

Use the same process, add another piece to the model’s forehead:

5 more


Step 6

In the final step, we add apply some extra star pattern around the face by using the same techniques in Step 3:

6 more star

Perform some image adjustments by add the following image adjustment layer:


6 bc

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!


  • 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.

  • Show Comments

  • Top Hat

    how do you do the crack brush tool thing?

  • Inspiring digital art. As a Photoshop designer i completely enjoy it. Thanks for sharing it.

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