I was in the Halloween mood and I had a shot of the neighbor's cat I'd taken while doing a 'shoot' with the neighbor's children.
So here is the starting photograph.
Next I put it in Photoshop 7.0, yes, I have an ancient version, but it still works wonderfully!
I use my preset in Adjust that I call Spooky Adjust.
Next I duplicate the layer and rename it Simplify and it looks like this:
I still want to do something with the fur to make it a bit more abstract looking so I use Clean, again one of my own presets that I've come up while doing animals. The difference is not much to most people, but to me, it gives a slightly more pleasing effect.
I duplicate this layer and use ReMask to pull just the head of the cat out.
This layer's opacity was reduced because I added Layer 3 with pumkins and Dry Times by Smoko Stock from DeviantArt for texture, along with Layer 4 which are Grunge Frame Brushes from Shadowhouse Creations and then blended it together.
It took quite a bit of experimentation. At one point I realized that I really wanted the eyes to stand out more and not be covered by the texture or the pumpkins. So I used the lasso tool to select the eyes from Layer 1, brightened them, and added them back into my 'clean my preset' layer.
This looked pretty cool and I was very tempted to just stop here. But I brought back in the other layers.
Here is what all the layers looked like before the finish.
I added some cracks with Obsidian Dawn Brushes [free!] for a bit more texture. I erased out the Dry Times Texture in spots with a irregular brush with rough edges at about 35%.
And the before and after !