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Create a digital graphic effect in Photoshop

Step 1

The process of creating digital graphics begins with a sketch, this is a real picture, drawn from scratch. The artist uses brushes, a sample image, and many techniques to complete the illustration. This requires skills, specific training and much more. Below is the image with my first digital graphics. You can easily spot a lot of mistakes on it. It seems incomplete, but I like the result, But Photoshop can reproduce a digital oil painting in minutes:
Step 2
In this guide, I use a city image. Open the city image in Photoshop: File> Open. Here’s what it looks like in Photoshop:
Creating the effect of digital graphics
Step 3

Before applying the “Application” filter, we need to duplicate the image layer of the city, since later we will need parts of the original image. To do this, press CTRL + J and duplicate the layer:
Now go to Filter> Filter Gallery> Application and set the filter to the following values. Remember that you should apply the filter to the duplicated layer, and not to the original one. The image below shows the Photoshop settings for digital painting:

After applying the filter, reduce the opacity of the duplicated layer to 80%. This will reveal some parts of the original layer, which is under the duplicated one. In the image below, we can see that we got the effect of digital graphics. If you zoom in or out, you’ll notice that all elements, such as cars, people, and homes, look like someone has applied brush strokes to them. I really like this effect, but you can improve it:
Step 4
Click on the third icon at the bottom of the layers palette to create the Curves adjustment layer. I used red and blue to add yellow tones to the image. The figure below shows the settings of both channels for digital oil painting:

Step 5
We continue to process the image. Use the “Color balance” adjustment layer. You can also change colors to suit your preference. I want to use blue and magenta:

Step 6
Due to color correction in digital painting, there are fewer saturated bright lights, and I want to fix it. Create a new layer and name it “light“. Using the color indicated on the image and a soft round brush, draw light areas, as I did. Basically, you need to apply bright areas on cars and streetlights:
Set this layer to Blending Foundation.
Step 7
Now we will draw glare, the reflected lights of buildings, cars and street lamps. Create another layer and name it “highlights“. With a soft white round brush, draw glare in the places indicated by the arrows: I painted them on a woman, a car, people on the street:
Change the layer blending mode to “Overlap”.
Final adjustments
Step 8

It’s time for the final adjustment of silhouettes in digital painting. Create a “Color Search” adjustment layer (on top of all layers) and select the Crisp_Winter file:



Step 9
And in the end, I increased the contrast using the Curves adjustment layer. Just create S-shaped curves that always brighten the image:
The final result:

I hope you enjoyed recreating the effect of digital painting. Thank you for your time. Let me know if you have any questions.

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