Psychedelic artworks are built by harmoniously composing contrasting elements. For illustrator Igor Šcekic, they rely on the contrast between digital and hand-crafted elements; mixing graphics and representational elements, and applying traditional compositional techniques to abstract elements.

Here, Igor reveals his creative process from a sketch to final artwork – how he combines vector, 3D and scanned elements in order to create a mixed media character illustration.

Igor concentrates on his use of gradients to add both vibrancy and to pull elements together into a cohesive whole. You’ll learn how to use the Mesh tool with gradients to manipulate how they flow – for example, to wrap them around the contours of a face for a 3D look. You’ll also learn many other techniques to make a montage of unusual elements look right together.

Igor has kindly provided many of the elements of this composition in this tutorial’s project files, as well as his initial sketch. These should only be used to follow along with his process, and shouldn’t be used in any of your other creative projects. 

Time to complete

8-12 hours


Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6, Cinema 4D (optional)


Files for this tutorial are downloadable from here

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