Hands Apart


A self shot image of my hand with a Photoshop dispersion/ erosion effect. Final completed version.

A self shot image of my hand with a Photoshop dispersion/ erosion effect. Final completed version .

I am moving along in learning some more advanced Photoshop techniques and this is my latest project in it’s final version. I was shooting some images for this very project and one of them was a test shot of my hand that I had made to test out my flash lighting. As It turned out this was one of only a few that  I picked out to use in future projects with a few tweaks of course! Without getting into a lengthy Photoshop tutorial I am presenting several images here as this project progressed with the final version showing above.

The hand image itself was cut out and placed in a vertical orientation on the canvas. I tweaked this image with some filters to give it a more painterly, hand drawn feel and away I went with the various layers, textures and brushes! The brushes I used were free ones from the internet however I am moving towards using my own brushes exclusively and a few I have made are visible in this image. In addition to learning brush creation I also learned using the pen tool to create curved lines which are also visible here as well.

This post is not meant to be a tutorial but more of a look into my process for this piece. There are several awesome tuts online which explain this process better and you have to remember that each brush stroke and paint spatter was well thought out in placement. It’s easy to be heavy handed in using the effect which is why this one took me a few weeks to complete. I am trying to marry my passion for photography with my passion for abstract painting and surrealism. Here are several images with this work in various states and I added a bit of commentary under each one….Enjoy and happy new year to you all!

The original image I shot of my hand and used as the basis for this work. Simple edits here on this one.

The original image I shot of my hand and used as the basis for this work. Simple edits here on this one. As you can see I shot this in the horizontal orientation so I had to cut this out and place it onto a new canvas.

The hand image placed on a new canvas and with it's initial break apart effect. The effect was created by using the color range tool and another image I had shot   in December 2012 of a tree. I felt the veiny effect of the tree branches was a good fit for this project.

The hand image placed on a new canvas and with it’s initial break apart effect. The effect was created by using the color range tool and another image I had shot in December 2012 of a tree. I felt the veiny effect of the tree branches was a good fit for this project.

The hand image on a textured background which I later rejected. The background is made up of several layers and originally I had the concept of an antique look but in the end I decided that the plain white background looked best. Sometimes less is more!

The hand image on a textured background which I later rejected. The background is made up of several layers and originally I had the concept of an antique look but in the end I decided that the plain white background looked best. Several other layers were used to create the break apart effect on the hand using the color range tool and some free textures.  Sometimes less is more!

The hand image with the start of the paint spatter effect. I copied the hand layer and changed it to black to add a bit of color and to give the hand more of a three dimensional effect.

The hand image with the start of the paint spatter effect. I copied the hand layer, changed it to black and added it in behind the top hand layer to add a bit of color and to give the hand more of a three dimensional effect.

The break apart effect is more pronounced here as I work on both the normal and black hand layer to achieve it. I usd a combination of the brush tool and the eraser tool along with many brushes of various sizes.

The break apart effect is more pronounced here as I work on both the normal and black hand layer to achieve it. I used a combination of the brush tool and the eraser tool along with many brushes of various sizes.

Here I accidentally placed a white fill layer in the wrong position in my layers stack and I ended up liking this much more than the textured background.

Here I accidentally placed a white fill layer in the wrong position in my layers stack and I ended up liking this much more than the textured background.

The hand project at 95% completion.

The hand project at 95% completion.

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4 thoughts on “Hands Apart

  1. Wow! Andy, great insight into how you created this. Just when I start to get happy with my (rather basic) photoshop skills you have to up the bar. Really impressed with the end result and the walkthrough is amazing.

  2. That is one of the most imaginative images I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for that background info too. That final result is a real stand-out image, Andy. And I would think highly marketable.

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