Vivid colour effects

In this tutorial you'll be shown how to combine different mediums - abstract art and photography - to create visually appealing effects. You'll take a simple black and white photo of a girl and add colour, textures and lighting effects to create a vibrant and lucid piece of artwork.

The image featured here is inspired by the concept of lucid dreaming, a phenomenon that has fascinated me since I first discovered it, in which the conscious perception of one's state while dreaming enables a more cogent ('lucid') control over the content and quality of the experience.

Lucid dreaming is very different from normal dreaming; the person becomes aware that they're dreaming during the experience, and the scenes within the dream often expand suddenly and dramatically in richness and colour as the dreamer becomes aware that the world being experienced, although appearing believable, is imaginary.

Among the techniques we'll look at here are how you can use gradients to create a palette of colours, and how these colours can be manipulated using Blending Modes such as Soft Light, Overlay and Colour Dodge to create the illusion of depth and vibrancy. As always, the best way to get the results you want is to experiment.

You'll also use Blending Modes to add light and highlight effects, which will create focal points within the image and further enhance the dreamy feel of the piece. I'll also show you how to create a particle effect, which is great for adding detail and really easy to create, and we'll also look at how to give an illusion of depth by using blurs and transforming certain elements. Let's get down to it.

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