Design an Awesome Space-themed “Unleash Your Creativity” Artwork in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this really great looking, space-themed “Unleash Your Creativity” Artwork in Photoshop. Have a try!

The key points I would like to address in this tutorial are:

  1. How we can achieve great lighting effect by simply mixing custom brushset and various Photoshop filters
  2. Explore different layer blending effects and the use of Pen Tool to create abstract lines
  3. How to quickly and effectively render realistic star field effect in Photoshop.

Here is the preview of the final effect: (click to enlarge)

Alternative Version with different color scheme (click to enlarge)

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Ok let’s get started!

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


Planet 1

Planet 2

Abstract Brushset

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 800px (actually size doesn’t really matter here, you can try out other resolution if you like), fill the background layer with black color.

Load the “Model” stock image into Photoshop, use whatever method you perfer to cut the man out, and paste it onto our document:

Hint: I used a combination of Lasso Tool (set tolerence to 7-10px) and Quick Selection Tool to cut him out.

Name this layer as “model”, add the following two adjustment layer onto it: (tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)



and you will have the following effect:

You can see now we increase the contrast a bit and reduce the colour saturation of the model. This way it’s easier to refine the color and add more effect onto it later on.

Step 2

Download a copy of this Abstract Brushset, load it into photoshop, create a new layer on top the of all previous layers, use this brushset to paint over the model’s body.

I can’t go into much detail about this painting step, however one important thing is to try out different brush blending mode – I used overlay, soft light, hard light, and Multiply). Also make sure you try out different opacity and flow settings as you go.

You can also try out Scale, Distort and Warp this paint layer to maximise its effect.

You can find those settings on the top option bar:

and here is the effect I have after the painting: (You can see I emphaise on the legs and arms)

Step 3

Create a new layer above the background layer, however below the “model” layer, use the same brushset and paint some abstract effect on the bottom.

If the effect doesn’t feel right,  try using the free tranform tool to scale, warp this layer:

also make sure you paint some shadow under the model to add more depth – to do this, simply create a new layer named “shadow” and paint over the area as show below, with a black brushset:

here is the effect I have so far:

Step 4

Load the “planet 1” image into Photoshop, drag it onto our document and put it just below the “Model” layer, but above the “shadow” layer. Resize and position  it as shown below:

Name this layer as “model”, add the following two adjustment layer onto it:  (tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White


You will have the following effect:

Optionally, you can make a duplication of the this planet layer and resize the duplicated layer to a smaller size, and position it as shown below:

Step 5

This is an optinal step. I personally like to add some abstract lines extending from the model’s arm :)

To do this, simply create a new layer below the model layer, then use the Pen Tool to draw a path as shown below on the newly created layer:

Stroke the path with a 5px soft round brush with White color:

and here is the effect after the stroke:

Once you’re happy with shape, you can duplicate this line layer a few times and adjust their position and size, as shown below:

Step 6

Load the “planet 2” image into Photoshop and drag it on our document. Resize and position the layer as shown below:

Name this layer as “planet 2” and duplicate it once, resize it as shown below:

Desaturate and apply the following Gaussian Blur settings to the duplicated layer:

Reduce the layer opacity to around 90%, you will have the following effect:

Then add the following two adjustment layers to it:



and you will have the following effect so far:

Step 7

Let’s render the star field now :) To do this, go and add a new layer on top of all other layers and name it “star field”, then go to Filter > Noise > Add noise and apply the following settings:

Apply the following Levels settings to this layer:

To reduce the density of the star a bit, we can apply the following Curves adjustments:

You should have the following effect so far:

Change the blending mode of the layer to “Screen”, you should have the following effect:

Step 8

To wrap up this design, we can add some color onto the image by adding some more layers (with “soft light” blending mode) on top of all layers, make sure to try out different color combinations.

Here are two versions I have for this tutorial:

Version 1

Version 2

I decided to go with version 2 and the final step I took is to apply a smart sharpen filter to the flattened image:

and here is the final effect for this tutorial (click to enlarge):

Alternative Version with different color scheme (click to enlarge)

Hope you enjoy this tutorial! Drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out!


  • 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

  • Mikk

    very inspiring, good one!

  • wow. nice techniques with photoshop. really love it.

  • nice techniques

  • taryarL

    step 7 make me a little confuse..
    but it’s ok!
    i can go on all well
    thank admin
    i love this tut too
    wishing u merry christmas (i know it’s kinda late to say this hee hee) :)

  • Chelsea

    That was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed making that one. :) The only thing is, on Step 7 I try to add noise, but it says that it can’t do it because the selected area is empty. So I made a black layer and put it right about the background and then was able to add noise and I think it turned out all right.

    Yours are so pretty! To get all that color did you just pain everywhere with the brush then switch it to soft light or do you have some super secret technique you used? Haha either way I’m pretty pleased with my result. I had a really easy time following this tutorial which is really surprising for me lol. Thanks so much!

  • James Qu

    @Chelsea @Taryarl: for step 7, fill the new layer with black colour first BEFORE you add the noise :)

  • Chelsea

    @James, yeah, that’s what I did and then it worked out fine, I just wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong because your tut didn’t mention that part, but I’m glad to know I did something right by myself for once, lol.

  • taryarL

    thank for answering admin :)

  • Thank your for sharing this tutorial. I learn many things from this process.

  • Nice tutorial, will be helpful to a lot of people. For anyone serious about photoshop check this out (USA only)

  • you did amazing work on image, thank you very much for your excellent step by step instruction, I have tried same effects on my project and got appreciated by client..God Bless..have a prosperous career.

  • legal service

    Oversaturation works great here! Glad to find so impressive PS classes )

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