How can i achieve this effect in photoshop? is it hand drawn in illustrator or can it be done using a couple of filters and gradients in photoshop ?

enter image description here

I found that picture while going through this page. http://www.digitalartserved.com/gallery/Various-Illustrations-2013/10068071

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    That image is not the result of running a few filters.
    – Scott
    Sep 26, 2013 at 11:14
  • So , you think its hand drawn in illustrator ? or can it be done using PS alone ? displacement filter maybe ?
    – Mevin Babu
    Sep 26, 2013 at 11:39
  • It might be multiple copies of an image trace with varying degrees of detail stacked on each other. But that's in Illustrator and I didn't test that theory. Sep 26, 2013 at 12:46
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    Beautiful! I wonder what it would look like with normal coloring. Perhaps it was some kind of live trace mixed with some kind of coloring algorithm? Or maybe it was just a lot of hard, manual work!
    – Brendan
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


I would think he probably starts with a basic portrait (drawn or live-traced), and then applies the color layers manually.

It's hard to tell, and there's no reason why you can't ask the author himself, but I'm guessing it's manual work because of these two pictures in his website's profile page:

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And you can also see the same amount of hand-crafted detail in this other piece from his portfolio:

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