Vitaly Friedman June 11th, 2010

30 Useful Abstract Photoshop Design Tutorials

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By Janos Racz

Abstract works have many uses in design: they can serve as a vibrant desktop background, a mysterious webdesign header or they can be beautiful art pieces by themselves. What’s more, abstract design has many forms, and not too many limitations. You can always come up with new shapes and compositions with combination of various color schemes. You can create them using computer algorithms, putting it on the canvas from pure imagination, or just following a simple pattern you made up in your spare time.

But once you have an idea, it’s always good to know how to actually implement those to get the desired results. This collection of abstract design tutorials will hopefully able to introduce you to some of the skills and techniques commonly used when creating such pieces of artwork and design elements. Enjoy!

Useful Abstract Photoshop Tutorials

Chroma Wallpapers
The article shows how to make a great abstract composition combining a 3D-looking base with some additional effects.

Chroma Wallpapers
Create a Wavy Blackberry Style Wallpaper Design
This wavy abstract design is brought to you buy Fabio Sasso, featured on PSDTuts. With only 16 steps to complete, this is a fun, quick and easy tutorial for everyone!

Create a Wavy Blackberry Style Wallpaper Design
How to Create Brilliant Light Streaks in Photoshop
Various lightning effects are important parts of almost every absract design. This tutorial shows you how to use various filters to achieve a nice circular lightning effect and create this stunning image below!

How to Create Brilliant Light Streaks in Photoshop
Windows Vista Aurora Effect Photoshop Tutorial
Tutorials on re-creating certain popular and commonly used effects are always popular. This tutorial takes a good look at creating the Windows Vista aurora effect and walks you through step-by-step.

Windows Vista Aurora Effect Photoshop Tutorial
Leopard Aurora Borealis Photoshop Tutorial
Speaking about popular effects, here’s a nice Mac OSX Leopard-style wallpaper tutorial from DesignNerd.

Leopard Aurora Borealis Photoshop Tutorial
Luminescent Lines
Luminescent Lines is another quick and fun tutorial on creating abstract lines and coloring them nicely with layer styles and the use of some brushes.

Luminescent Lines
Making of an Abstract Art Piece: “Lonium”
This article is more of a making-of than a tutorial, where the author walks you through the most important phases of creating this amazing abstract artwork. An interesting read nonetheless with lots of ideas for future designs.

Making of an Abstract Art Piece: Lonium
Creating Smoke
This tutorial illustrates a quick way to create smoke-like effects with the liquify filter that’ll surely come in handy for many abstract designs.

Creating Smoke
Lines Tutorial
A quick and simple tutorial for creating a nice colorful effect, brought to you by Giackop Design.

Lines Tutorial
Creating an Abstract 3D Design
A bit longer and more difficult tutorial to create the image below. If you have the time though, certainly give it a shot!

Creating an Abstract 3D Design
Awesome digital bokeh effect in Photoshop
Bokeh effects are becoming more and more popular nowadays. This tutorial illustrates one way to achieve such an effect in a colorful composition.

Awesome digital bokeh effect in Photoshop
Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a mac-style desktop background using custom selections and gradients.

Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop
Abstract Tutorial
A stunnig lightning effect merging complex shapes using various brushes.

Abstract Tutorial
Really cool Eclipse Effect in Photoshop
This tutorial with the beautiful outcome below is brought to you yet again by Fabio Sasso. It uses multiple techniques from other tutorials to create this piece that was once used as Abduzeedo’s footer.

Really cool Eclipse Effect in Photoshop
Swirl Mania in Illustrator & Photoshop
With a little work in Adobe Illustrator, this tutorial guides you through the process of creating this lively abstract piece.

Swirl Mania in Illustrator & Photoshop
Light Rays
Another cool lightning effect that combines a great number of filters to achive the final effect.

Light Rays
Abstract Background Photoshop Tutorial
Yet another abstract lightning effect for those who still want more!

Abstract Background Photoshop Tutorial
Signature Backgrounds
This tutorial walks you through creating this abstract image that you can commonly see in forum signatures.

Signature Backgrounds
Colorful Tornado
Another great abstract artwork tutorial by 9Tutorials, this time not so chaotic!

Colorful Tornado
Colourful Swirl
This tutorial shows you how to create then combine multiple swirl effects to achieve the result below.

Colourful Swirl
Make Abstract Wallpaper with Brushes
This tutorial featured on 10Steps.sg shows you the steps to create an amazing piece of abstract artwork using various brushes as a base.

Make Abstract Wallpaper with Brushes
Starfield Tileable Twitter Background Tutorial
If you’re in need of a cool new twitter background right now, this tutorial is just for you! And if not, it will still give you some ideas and techniqes that you can use in your future works for tilable abstract patterns.

Starfield Tileable Twitter Background Tutorial
Abstract Visual Effect
The effect below would look just as great as a desktop background as an artwork by itself, but you’ll find in the tutorial that it’s not as complicated as it looks. Make sure you click “next” to read the rest of the tutorial

Abstract Visual Effect
Abstract art wallpaper
A great tutorial specifically about abstract wallpaper creation, with a nice result.

Abstract art wallpaper
Design a Vista Styled Wallpaper
Yet another Vista-style wallpaper tutorial, a different style this time.

Design a Vista Styled Wallpaper
Creating a Stunning Digital Smoke Effect
Although the title suggests smoke effect, this tutorial is another great step-by-step guide on abstract design.

Create smoke in illustrator and photoshop tutorial
Trendy galactic poster design
A trendy poster nonetheless, a nice colorful background with some typography, though the first part is what you shold be more interested in abstract-design-wise.

Trendy galactic poster design
Create a Rather Interesting, Wavy and Curving Abstract Shape Effect in Photoshop
This tutorial walks you through the creation of this rather interesting and colorful shape. Very detailed, with lots of screenshots.

Create a Rather Interesting, Wavy and Curving Abstract Shape Effect in Photoshop
Design Eye-catching Laser Particle Abstract Effect in Photoshop
These kind of images are what you can usually see in online galleries at the abstract 3D section, but this tutorial shows you how to create a nice laser particle effect right in Photoshop, without the use of any 3D applications!

Design Eye-catching Laser Particle Abstract Effect in Photoshop
How to Create an Interplay of Abstract Light Streaks
Lastly, a tutorial about this interesting and quite complex abstract image from PSDTuts with a few more new techniques to learn!

How to Create an Interplay of Abstract Light Streaks

41 comments

    1. Wow… Very Creative ideas and design. It’s helps a lot for me as a beginner in photoshop to make a professional design like this. Thanks a lot to all of you guys who shared this very useful tutorial collection. Love you all.

  1. 1. Upload your pic.

    2. Go to Edit > Crop Image, select “Polygon/Freeform” and trace around yourself and click on “Crop Image”. Then, go to Edit > Copy Image To Clipboard.

    3. Then, go to the main page and upload your picture again. Then, go to Adjust > Blur.

    4. Then, go to Edit > Paste Image From Clipboard and paste yourself right over the blurry self.

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