We all love living in visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing spaces. Photos and paintings add life to a house. Custom portraits or artworks add grace to transform and light up any setting.

While there are many types of artwork, abstract art brings a modern touch to your home. Abstract art offers its viewers the freedom of interpretation, and it analyzes things beyond physical reality.

Now, how can I turn a photo into an abstract art? There are multiple ways of transforming an ordinary image into abstract art. But before exploring these innovative ways, let us understand the meaning of abstract art.

What is Abstract Art?

Abstract art is a unique technique of making a non-representational and non-objective composition. The artist uses random shapes, colors, forms, lines, patterns, textures, brush strokes, or paint splashes to form this art piece. It is an independent composition free from any narratives.

Abstract paintings are not based on any subject or recognizable object, allowing the viewer to interpret and make an opinion on the picture. It does not want to portray a specific meaning and is free from any explanation, narrative, or story.

Abstract artwork explores colors and gestural marks to create a visual and emotional experience for the viewers. Making such art requires an open mind and vast imagination, and it awakens interest and a sense of expression.

Abstract photos act as an exciting element in home decor. Check out this step-by-step guide if you also wish to alter your favourite pictures into personalized abstract art.


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Credit: Pexels

Using Photoshop App to Make Your Photos Abstract

While there are several ways of converting pictures to abstract digital art, Photoshop is the best among them to do so digitally. Photoshop app is a photo editing and graphic design software developed by experts for image creation and editing. With style transfer AI, tools, features, and creative filters, photoshop offers the best ways of enhancing a picture.

Udemy Blog

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Using Photoshop, one can quickly turn pictures into digital art These steps will guide you through making abstract art:

Step-1: Choose the Photos you Want to Turn into Abstract Art

  1. Open Adobe Photoshop and then go to ‘File’. The ‘File’ option is in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  2. As you click on ‘File’, a drop-down menu will appear.
  3. Choose the ‘Open’ option and select the picture you want to convert.

Step-2: Cut out the Subject

  1. After uploading the photo, click ‘Select' on the top menu bar.
  2. Click the ‘Select and Mask’ option from the top menu bar. The ‘Select and Mask’ tool helps precisely cut out the subject's edges from the existing layer. An advanced mask refinement tool, ‘Select and Mask’, gives the user complete control over the layers.
  3. Now, select the ‘Brush’ tool present in the left sidebar.
  4. Click the ‘Add to Selection’ (+) icon.
  5. Zoom in and out using a hand tool to see any missing spaces in the subject. Use the mouse to select the missing pieces.
  6. Note that it is ok if the selection is inaccurate, as the portrait will change dramatically after all alterations.
  7. Now, change the output to ‘New Layer’ with ‘Layer Mask’ and click ‘OK’.

Step-3: Choose the Background Texture

  1. Choose the background texture you want to mix your subject with.
  2. Upload the picture of the background in a new layer.
  3. After uploading, you may rotate the image to align it vertically with the portrait.
  4. Go to ‘Image’ on the top menu bar. Click on ‘Image Rotation’ and then select 90 degrees clockwise.

Step-4: Move the Subject to the Background Texture

● Click, drag the subject to the background texture, and paste it. The portrait will appear in front of the background in a layer stack.

Step-5: Change both the Layers to Create Abstract Art

  1. To start transforming, first, we must alter the subject layer into a ‘Smart Object’ to sustain the original image. ‘Smart Object’ helps to apply features, effects, and filters without destroying the original layer. One can undo and make changes to the actual object whenever needed.
  2. Now select the Transform Tool to place the object in the center. Click Ctrl+0 to make use of the transform handles.
  3. Using the transform handles, align and adjust your object on the background layer. Now press ‘Enter’ to make modifications.
  4. Duplicate the subject layer by pressing Ctrl+J. Click on the ‘Eye’ icon to make it transparent.
  5. Now choose the original subject layer and change the blend mode to ‘Color Burn’. Use the ‘Vibrance’ option to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.
  6. Now activate the duplicate background layer and change the blend mode to ‘Multiply’.
  7. Use different options, like wave menu settings, radial filters, brush tools, etc., to experiment and make creative art.
  8. Give final touches to your creation by adding some brightening and quick lighting effects.
  9. That’s it, and you have successfully created abstract art digitally.

You can also experiment and use other ways and filters to create your personalized art. You can even print and frame your creations to gift to someone.

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Using Big Acrylic’s Digital Art Tool Turn Your Photos Abstract

Big Acrylic’s easy-to-use digital art tool converts ordinary images into abstract art using artistic filters. The AI-powdered art tool uses a style transfer technique. This digital tool encourages users to utilize their creativity and experiment with the several available options and features.

The steps to transform your pictures are as follows:

Step- 1: Choose an Image You Want to Transform

First, select a picture you want to convert into abstract art. Upload the chosen photo in Big Acrylic’s digital art tool. You can upload the image from your photo gallery or the internet.

Step-2: Select the Filter of Your Preference

After you have uploaded the photo, select the option ‘Apply’ on ‘Artistic Filters’. As you click on it, several filters will appear in front of you. Click on the different filters to test them.

Step-3: Finalize the Artistic Filters

After trying the multiple options, click ‘Choose Filter’ to finalize your selection. You can even use other effects to modify the image further.

Step-4: Download Your Artwork

To complete the process, download your beautiful creation. You can even print your output in any medium and size you choose.

With Big Acrylic’s digital art tool, enhance your home decor with creativity and innovation. You can even print and gift your friends and loved ones a personalized abstract art frame.

Big Acrylic

Credit: Big Acrylic

Some Key Points to Remember While Digitally Making Your Pictures Abstract

  • Use different shapes like circles, squares, hexagons, triangles, etc.
  • Choose complementary colors or tints and hues of a particular paint.
  • Unleash your creativity and have fun while creating abstract art.
  • Add symbols, signs, dots, strokes, and lines.
  • Blur or erase certain parts of the image.
  • Apply different styles of painting.
  • Leave the sketch incomplete to enhance your abstract look.


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While there are multiple ways to transform photos into abstract art, let's explore how to make an abstract painting manually.

Guide for Making an Abstract Painting From a Photo

Anyone can make a painting, but filling the canvas while keeping an abstract thought in mind is different. Developing a good quality and unique abstract painting can be difficult. The following are some steps that a

beginner can observe while making such artwork:

Step-1: Look for Inspiration and Reference Images

Before starting your painting, finding inspiration or reference images for ideas is essential. Some artists make abstract paintings through their imagination, but exploring something real is very important.

Reference images act as a catalyst for generating better innovative and creative ideas. It pushes the artist in the right direction and fills the knowledge gaps. The artists better understand the subject they are trying to create. Therefore, wisely choose the picture you want to alter into abstract art.

Step-2: Create a Background

While attempting abstract oil painting, one technique is to start by making a background. One can create the background by filling the canvas with plain color, adding shades, forming an ombre effect, or dabbing the brushes to give a specific pattern and texture.

You can also make patterns of irregular shapes as the base. Use different colors or hues of a single paint for the foundation of the painting.

abstract oil painting


Credit: Freepik

Step-3: Add Exciting Elements to Your Paintings

Once you have completed the background, the next step is to add features like geometric shapes, symbols, lines, or strides to your artwork.

Look at your reference photo and choose the elements accordingly. You can add non-linear, irregular elements like flowers, leaves, sticks, circles, etc., to make your painting more abstract. This step raises interest in the image, giving it a new dimension and look.

Step-4: Look for Negative Spaces

Negative spaces refer to the areas between or around objects or parts of things. These spaces give an artist a new perspective to work on and create something abstract. It traces the main subject and outlines it to reveal its form.

Discovering negative spaces and working on them can be challenging for beginners. But, with practice, habit, and time one can quickly view them and use them to enhance the painting.

Step-5: Identify Images that come out of Negative Spaces

After exploring the negative spaces, filling them is vital. Recognize the patterns and shapes surrounding them and fill them. You can use complementary or adjacent colors, dominate a single color, or keep it transparent or opaque. You can even create a texture with brush marks.

Step-6: Making Contours Around the Negative Spaces

Another way to cover negative spaces is to make contours of a specific shape around them. For example, start with a color like yellow, and paint along a form. Then use another color, like orange, and paint around the line of yellow. In the same pattern, continue making contours and use the space.


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Credit: Freepik

Step-7: Experiment with Light and Dark Tones

Colors with tonal range make a painting visually appealing to the viewers. A single color without tones or shades makes the image bland and dull.

The brightness, contrast, and saturation of hues and tints are crucial in designing an attractive abstract. Make some areas darker while the others lighter to add vibrancy to your abstract art.

Step-8: Other Ways of Making Abstract Paintings

Other abstract painting methods focus on the various objects' lines, irregular shapes, and complex forms. Play with brush strokes, marks, and several different colors. Look at the dominant and strong lines of the image and use them accordingly. Use different painting styles and techniques and create a unique abstract painting out of a photo.

The key to mastering converting a picture into an abstract painting is to keep going and practicing different styles. Knowing the colors, shapes, and other forms is also essential. To excel in the abstract on canvas, keep building and creating new and innovative ideas and artwork.

Some examples of hand-painted abstract artwork are


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The Tallenge Store

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Creating abstract art is not easy, whether you want to work digitally on a computer screen or manually on a canvas. Abstract creations convey an unconventional message which can be difficult for the audience to understand. The exploration of formal qualities makes a person comprehend such artwork.

For beginners, the steps above can be constructive and valuable. However, there are other methods of making abstract photos, and one must experiment and discover other procedures as well.

Transform Your Photos into Abstract Masterpieces

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