Using Adobe Photoshop to add elements to, or remove them from, an image is a fundamental image editing skill — but the results can be anything but basic. See how visual artist Gabriel Isak creates abstract and surreal images by adding, moving, and deleting elements in his photos.

Based in Sweden, Gabriel Isak is a visual artist who focuses on themes related to psychology and dreams in his work. He received his BFA in photography from San Francisco’s Academy of Art and has since exhibited his work around the world.

Isak wanted to add mystery to this photo by removing the footprints. To do this, he drew around a set of footprints with the Patch tool, making sure Source was selected in the Options bar. He then moved that selection to an area where he could sample replacement sand and repeated this step until all footprints were gone.

Three men in sand with footprints. Patch tool set to Source selects prints to remove. Selection moved to sand with no prints.

Make space

To balance the composition, Isak chose the Crop tool, set it to Unconstrained in the Options bar, and dragged to extend the canvas to the right. He then used the Rectangular Marquee tool to select the newly created empty canvas.

To correct unbalanced appearance of original artwork, Crop tool used to extend canvas, Rectangular Marquee selects empty area

Fill the void

Isak chose Edit > Content-Aware Fill to fill the void, making sure the Sampling area highlighted the original image area. When you do this step, check the preview to make sure the empty space will fill correctly before you click OK.

Empty area of canvas will be filled using Content-Aware Fill. Show Sampling Area box checked, Original artwork is highlighted

Add more

Next, Isak added another figure to the composition. To do this, he opened the Photoshop document with the solitary figure and chose Select > Color Range. He selected the Add To Sample eyedropper icon and clicked on the figure and its shadow to select them both. He used the Move tool to add the selection on the original image, dragging the selection over the other file tab, holding it for a few seconds until that file came to the forefront, and moving the selection into position.

Select > Color Range > Sampled Colors used to select figure and shadow. Selection moved to new position using Move tool.

Join the group

Isak dragged the figure into position and used the transform tools to scale it to the perspective of the scene.

Figure with shadow is placed into original image and scaled using handles to match perspective of scene

Assemble your crew

Try removing and adding objects to your images to play with balance and perspective.

Artwork of five men in black bodysuits walking on sand hangs on wood wall. The sky is light blue and shadows appear on sand.

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

With Adobe Stock, you have access to more than 100 million high-quality, royalty-free images including photos, graphics, videos, and templates to jump-start your creative projects. Try Adobe Stock and get 10 free images.


Artist: Gabriel Isak

Adobe Stock contributor: peshkov

¿Le ha servido de ayuda esta página?