Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Glowing Cyberpunk Portrait with Light Streaks

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Glowing Cyberpunk Portrait with Light Streaks

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Glowing Cyberpunk Portrait with Light Streaks

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a colorful woman portrait using abstract elements and variety of photo manipulation techniques. First we'll create a dark background and import the model. After that, we'll add the flowers, paint some light effect and make a colorful hair with light streaks. We'll use several adjustment layers to complete the final effect.

Preview of Final Result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1


Create a new 2000x2000 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white (feel free to make your own dimension and name the file whatever you want). Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Color Fill and  pick the color #00050f or any similar dark colors you like. 

Step 2


Make another color fill layer and change the color to a purple one (I've chosen #561d82). 
On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color. Use this brush with a lowered opacity (about 20-30%) to paint on the middle section to reveal some lightness there, leave the dark shadow visible on the both sides.

Step 3


Create a Curves adjustment layer and increase the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to paint on the middle area so it won't be affected by this adjustment layer. 

Step 4



Open the model image. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) or any method you're familiar with to isolate the model from the background . Drag the model into our main canvas using the Move Tool (V) and place her in the middle section. Use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to resize the model to be smaller like the screenshot below:

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add the mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to paint on the neck and top of the head to soften these parts and make them fade into the background. 

Step 5

Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask.  Bring the Saturation values down to -68 to desaturate the model's color.

Step 6


Add a Curves adjustment layer to reduce the lightness. On the layer mask, paint on the front of the model to reveal the light there.

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