xshock tutorial_02 - Quick Abstracts

Creating abstract forms and effects can be done easily in Photoshop with different techniques. In this tutorial I'm using 3 tools to get the desired result. In order to create some high-contrast forms you can use the gradient-tool with a special setting.
Use the linear gradient with the standard black/white-colors and set the mode to difference. Now you can create contrasty forms by clicking and dragging the gradient-cursor in your document. You'll see how it works in the videos below.

The second tool I'm using is the simple brush-tool with a softened brush and a size of about 50px. You don't have to paint abstracts - just create some simple lines or points with the brush-tool.

tutorial At last I'm using the liquify-tool (Photoshop CS and higher) to get some interesting forms. The liquify-effect is applied to the brush-layer which still contains simple brush-lines.

These techniques are used in the videos below. The result is a good basis for abstract backgrounds and graphics.

Just start with dragging some gradients until you're satisfied with the result. Then paint a simple shape with the softened brush and liquify it.
After that duplicate the liquified layer and erase some parts with a softened eraser as you can see it in the video. That's it for the first abstract!
This is another variation which uses the same techniques as above. There's one more special shortcut I'm using which is CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-T - this shortcut relatively repeats and applies the last made transformation to the current layer (the layer is duplicated with the applied transformation). So you're able to create an interesting effect.
In this example I'm adding more points with the brush-tool so I'm getting more details in my liquified layer.

As you can see you can do a lot with the basic tools of Photoshop. Just play around with the settings and be creative with the use of transformations.