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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book


Realistic effects are not considered in this variation. Experimentation is encouraged. The practice you did with the checkerboard image will come in handy here. You'll twist and twirl, blob and curl, freeze and thaw. Go ahead—have some fun!

  1. Open the Liquified image you saved earlier, after Step 2. If you didn't save it, use SURREAL.tif from the source folder on the accompanying CD-ROM.

  2. Apply Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels.

  3. Figure 6.17. Apply Auto Levels for dramatic results.

    It increases the value range dramatically, creating some spectacular highlights. It also enhances hue variation.

  4. For an even more intriguing effect, use Edit > Fade Auto Levels using Pin Light mode, keeping the slider at 100%.

  5. Figure 6.18. Fade Auto Levels using Pin Light mode.

    Pin Light is one of Photoshop's new Blending modes.

  6. Return to Liquify and create several spirals with the Twirl tools. Change the brush size frequently and use different lengths of time for variety in the twirl's curliness.

  7. Figure 6.19. Get curly with the Twirl tools.

  8. Examine the image. Is there an area that is especially promising? Paint over it with the Freeze tool so that it will be protected while you continue working.

  9. Figure 6.20. Freeze any areas that you want to protect.

    Use the Freeze and Thaw tools throughout the development of your image. It's another way to control the chaos a bit.

  10. Switch to the Reflection tool and continue working. Use roughly circular strokes and attempt to make some globular shapes.

    Figure 6.21. Add globules with the Reflection tool.


Globules can be made by applying circular strokes on an area where different colors or values meet. Take another look at the Reflection tool effects on the checkerboard practice file you made earlier. When you drag the Reflection tool around on the border between two different colors, one of the colors can jump across the border.

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