Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    written by Nikola Lazarevic

    Follow this step by step design process for my recent digital art work, High Voltage. The design process involves photo manipulation, creating patterns, mixing images, textures and blend modes to to create a vintage and grunge theme.
    Learn how a range of Photoshop techniques pull together the various elements to create the final design.

    Preview

    Preview

    Tutorial Resources

    Step 1

    Open up your chosen image in Photoshop. Here I’ve picked out a nice Pylons near wheat field shot from DepositPhotos.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Make small Levels adjustments to increase the contrast slightly.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    If you are planning to use your work for poster printing, use a high DPI (between 150-300dpi) and CMYK Color Mode.

    Step 2

    Add Curves Adjustment Layer (go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) and change the drop down menu to select the Red channel and make adjustments.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Change the drop down to the Green channel and make adjustments to the tones controlled by this channel,

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    and finally adjust the Blue channel.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to add an adjustment layer above all the other layers. Create a gradient going from #270052 to #e78f05, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light, and lower the Opacity of the adjustment layer to 60%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Step 3

    Press Cmd/Ctrl + A to select all, then go to Edit > Copy Merged and then paste this duplicate on a new layer (Edit > Paste). Apply Gaussian Blur.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Add a Layer Mask to the blur layer and with large soft brush erase blurring, leaving spots of blurring only on the edges of the photo. This will give nice depth to our photo.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Create new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) and with large soft brush dub couple of red spots (#af2100).

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Change the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and Opacity to 50%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Step 4

    In this step we are going to add vignette. Cmd/Ctrl+A to select all, create new layer, then go to Edit > Stroke to add a 100px black stroke inside the document.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Apply Gaussian Blur with maximum Radius of 250px,

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    and lower the Opacity to 20%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    With soft white brush dub a large spot and change Blend Mode to Soft Light.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Add Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and adjust Hue and Saturation to get faded colors look.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Step 5

    Using Ellipse Tool (U) create red circle (#731f0b) and set Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 50%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Duplicate this layer twice (Cmd/Ctrl + J), move duplicated layers below the original circle layer, and then move duplicated circles one to the right and up a bit, and other to the left and down a bit.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Step 6

    Create new document using 10 pixels for the width and 10 pixels for the height, with transparent background. Set the Foreground color to #000000 and with Line Tool (U) draw diagonal line.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop
    3200% zoom

    Go to Edit -> Define Pattern. Name the new pattern the way you want it, and you will have a very cool diagonal pattern.

    Back to our design. It’s time to add some text to our design. Download and install League Gothic font in case you don’t have it already and add text.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Open the Layer Style dialog window by double-clicking on the layer, set Fill to 0%, add Pattern Overlay effect using the pattern we created and set Opacity to 85%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Duplicate text layer and set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Next duplicate layer again and lower the Opacity to 75%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Again duplicate our last duplicated layer, lower the Opacity to 55%, and using arrow keys on keyboard move this layer down and left a bit.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Finally duplicate last layer, move it to the right and up few pixels (use arrow keys) and set Opacity of this layer to 35%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Step 7

    This is the last step in the tutorial. We will use texture to give our entire composition the grunge look we are going for.

    Import Film Texture into design and resize it fit our canvas,

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    then set Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 45%.

    Create Vintage and Grungy Digital Art Work in Photoshop

    Learn from this free photoshop tutorial and an example on how to use grunge brushes.

    Your Turn To Talk

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for following along with me!

    Authored by

    Web Designer, Blogger, M.Sc in Electronic Engineering from Nis, Serbia. Founder of webexpedition18.com. You can find me on Twitter.

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7 Comments
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  • Federica Sibella says:

    June 7, 2011

    Hi Nikola, it’s always nice to learn how to design some wonderful retro piece from your tutorials: keep it up!

  • Gonzo the Great says:

    June 7, 2011

    Hi Nikola,

    .. lovely tutorial! As mentioned on Forrst, I love how you did manipulate the color of the background picture (also a nice Tilt-Shift effect BTW)! Nice work man ..

    Thanks for sharing this, Cheers & Ciao Amigo ..

  • rajasegar says:

    June 8, 2011

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing., Bookmarked!

  • Web Design Company Mumbai says:

    June 8, 2011

    Nice tutorial.

  • Limetree says:

    June 8, 2011

    Very well written and descriptive tutorial of digital art work. Even we are into a similar field and we do a lot of web designing for out clients. If you have any Web Design Quote then you can contact us anytime.

  • Mark Armstrong says:

    June 8, 2011

    Absolutely beautiful, Nikola, many thanks. I’m particularly interested in techniques that give a photo an illustrated look. Some wonderful tips here. The idea of using Curves to adjust separate color channels was new to me– very simple, very powerful. Great step-by-step images, and everything was clearly explained. Thanks
    so much for sharing!

  • eugeneK says:

    June 14, 2011

    Very nice tutorial, will fit any progressive house music CD cover… Simple and beautiful. Raw image by itself is pretty cool though.