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Create a Deer Abstraction with Photoshop

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a deer abstraction with Photoshop. You’ll’ learn how to combine abstract elements, work with textures and create lighting effect.

The Final Image


Required Resources:


Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with the settings below:

Step 2

Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer. Hit G to active the Gradient Tool and choose Radial Gradient with the colors #a3a3a3 and #f0f0f0. Drag a line from the top center to the bottom:
Click the second button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a basic, soft brush with black color with the opacity about 20-30% to erase on the parts below:

Step 3

Cut out the deer and choose the head part to place in our main canvas:

Add a mask to this layer and erase some of the hard edges at the lower part of the deer using a black brush:

Step 4

I used an adjustment layer with Clipping Mask to desaturate the deer. Go to Layer > Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation:


Step 5

Open the render image. Use the Move Tool to drag it onto the deer:


I used Hue/Saturation to change the render color:


Step 6

Open up Illustrator. Create a new document with the following settings:


Choose the Spiral Tool from the main menu and paint a spiral on the white canvas:


Go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel:


We have this result:


Save it as EPS file for the future use.

Step 7

Come back to Photoshop. Browse this EPS file and rasterize it with the settings below:( feel free to choose the size you want):


We now have this wireframe on a transparent layer. Drag it above the deer head, between his horns and transform it a little using the Cmd/Ctrl+T key. Place this layer under the deer one:


Step 8

Open the abstract shapes image. Choose the left one and place it in the center of the wireframe:


I used Curves to brighten this shape:


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Jenny Le

Self-taught artist from Vietnam who loves drawing and doing photo manipulation. See more of my work at