photoshop creative

Create low-poly art (part 2)

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
August 2, 2015

Part two of our gorgeous lion tutorial!


9. Fill in the face


Continue to select and fill the triangles of the face. When sampling the colour, the eyedropper sample size can be changed. Use a larger size to get a more average colour tone for an area and a smaller sample size for smaller polys.

10. Add details


Once the basic facial features are complete, begin adding additional triangles to create more detail and further refine the shape of the features. The colour can be enhanced by adding a Vibrance adjustment layer set to 75 and Saturation to 17.

11. Focus on the eyes


Create a polygonal selection around the irises and add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer with the Brightness set to 95. Then add an Inner Shadow Layer Style to the adjustment layer with a Distance of 5px and a Size of 21px.

12. Form the mane


Use the same triangle generation technique to form the mane. The mane should have more visual chaos, so limit the number of perfectly shaped borders. Layer the triangles so the shapes close to the head overlap the outer ones.

13. Work on hair styles


Group all the shapes of the mane together, then add a Gradient Overlay Layer Style to the group. Set the blend mode to Overlay, the Opacity to 42%, the gradient as Black to White and Angle to 121. This gives a subtle lighting effect to the mane.

14. Tweak the colour


Select the Face group and hold down the Opt/Alt key while going going to Layer>Merge Group. This places a merged copy of the group as a single layer above it. Select that layer and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Reduct Opacity to 20%.

15. Adjust the lighting


Add a layer to the very top of the stack called Face Shading. Set the blend mode to Overlay and then use a large soft brush with black paint to add subtle shadow areas. Switch to white paint to add highlights and then adjust the layer’s Opacity as needed.

16. Add a poly background


Finish off the piece by adding some large triangular elements into the background. Approximate a gradient by adjusting the poly colours to progress from dark to light.