An abstract process.
This is my latest piece. Done in Ps CS5, it uses a variety of elements to achieve the finished appearance. In its first stages, I drew some abstract designs thinking I would make some organic looking graffiti. I wasn’t trying to spell anything, just basically continuing the flow of the design until i had a pleasing composition. What i had looked good, but not much better than my doodles in class; there was some nice shading and i had the luxury of being able to erase.
As it evolved, the potential for an intricate, alex grey-esque, design became clear to me. (Any abstract image i draw is at some point duplicated and interwoven with the original, even if i don’t keep it for the finished product. I cant help myself.) I reflected the image several times, each time building up on the perevious design.
I recommend that any abstract digital artist at least try this technique. You can get some pretty substantial images, with little or no limit to its intricacy. You can think of it as creating a sort of 2D fractal.
After i had some crazy designs i used a radial gradient of color and set it as my background. Then i went back to my designs and played around with their blending modes. I lost my breath when i experimented with the Difference mode. This caused some amazing color to shine through the negative space which was contrasted beautifully with the line work. The originally black lines were now analogous to the colors they outlined.
I put another object over all of this and again tried different blending modes. I got a nice glow/light effect and decided to keep it. Finally, a drop shadow and a low extrude gave the piece some depth and after fine tuning some details and signing my initials, i was done for the night. 😛
Here are some more examples where the same technique was used.
These last two were made using vector graphics for the base design. Its a little less taxing on your processor, especially with large images.