Self-confessed ‘Mac monkey’ Neil Duerden lives near Manchester. He creates pieces that combine photography and complex vectors for an impressive portfolio of international clients – including Nike and Virgin.

Jazzing up straightforward model shots using Photoshop and Illustrator is a time-honoured technique – creatives have been doing it since the software was invented. Some vector interventions and lighting effects can transform the most run-of-the-mill photo into something verging on a work of art. However, doing this well takes flair, skill, and lots of practice.

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In this tutorial, leading illustrator Neil Duerden shows how he got stuck into creating one of his stylish images, starting from a basic model shot. He shares his tips on tricky cut-outs, seamless compositing, and blending of vector images so that they complement, rather than clash with, your composition.

Duerden says that he feels that the key to success in this discipline is going with an instinctual flow, saying: “Get into this on a passionate level: you can’t go wrong. You want this to become your baby, something you will be proud to show your loved ones and blow their minds.”


Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop

Time to complete

5 hours

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