How would I go about recreating this using Adobe Photoshop?

I have attempted to use paths then apply a stroke to them but cannot achieve a similar affect with my knowledge of brushes

The only other thing I could think of is making custom shapes using the Pen tool and then filling them with various gradients etc.

I know all the features of Photoshop but am a fairly new user to graphic design so I would appreciate any time in a more detailed answer when using more detailed features.

Abstract Background

  • 1
    Sounds to me like you're on the right path. Make your shapes, then play around with gradient fills, glows, and blending modes
    – Manly
    Jul 12, 2016 at 15:39
  • That what i was thinking, it just seemed a lot of work. Ill continue playing around and see if i can get there. Thanks
    – Ben_jamin
    Jul 13, 2016 at 8:10
  • A similar question
    – Joonas
    Jul 13, 2016 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


From what I see there are few different techniques so I will try to cover three of them. First of all, you are right with using pen tool and then applying the stroke. This give you the basic line. You can multiply it and rotate it a little and then apply some outer glow and blend mode. Those are my settings stroke

Now let's add some curves with a fin. Again, stroke a path, but this time choose bigger brush. Now, as you can see I added much more styles. With gradient overlay you need to remember to uncheck "align with layer". Play with options and then try different blend modes. Remember that blend modes in the styles are applied for the effects while the layer mode apply to whole object. stroke2

Now, for the fun part. Here I created a shape because it will be much easier to show what we can do. stroke First we can change blend to "linear dodge" and with eraser with "hardness" set to 0% just remove some of the shape. On the left you see some of the layers copied one on another and on the left the shape is treated with burn and dodge tools. strok4

Another way is to create a selections from the shape and then painting/brushing inside of him with soft brush. You can paint with any color, just try to get this aurora borealis effect. The just apply gradient overlay to the layer. strok5 strok6

Then to those things many times, stoke he layers and you should get something similar to your picture.

In the end I decided to play with some smudge tool to give the stroke more windy, natural wavy feeling.

Hope this will help.


  • Thank you so much for this. Brilliant answer. I will get playing around with it immediately. When applying the stroke, i have been applying the current brush setting. What is he best brush setting to achieve a stroke that comes to a point. All the brushes i have tried end in more of a blot. Thank you
    – Ben_jamin
    Jul 14, 2016 at 9:57
  • Every brush is fine, you just need to remember to tick "apply pressure" so the brush start from size "0" at the final points. Also (in some photoshops) the brush you are using need to have "shape dynamics" checked. Jul 14, 2016 at 10:25

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