Photoshop tutorial: Create an abstract figure from circles

A stock image gets a vibrant makeover courtesy of Mart Biemans and some clever use of Photoshop’s Ellipse tool

In this tutorial, young artist Mart Biemans reveals how to create an eye-catching illustration with just a few simple techniques and tricks involving the Ellipse tool. Follow his instructions and you will produce a detailed illustration that appears built up from circles or sequins. We will start off by building up the image using basic blob-like shading, before adding effects in shades of gold and brown.

Step 1 Create a portrait A3 document in Photoshop, and place 26251860.jpg from the Download Zone into it. This stock photo is part of the collection of images provided for Digital Arts readers by Photos To Go.

You won’t need to cut out the model because we’re going to apply effects on top, but ensure your document colour matches the background of the stock image.

Step 2 Create a new layer above the model and select the Ellipse tool (U), which is what we will be using most of the time. Set your foreground colour to black and background colour to white. You’ll be working initially in monochrome. Change the opacity to 10% and start shading over the model in the new layer, making fairly big circles. The image above has the stock photo hidden so you can see how the circles should be positioned.

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