Create a mystical grunge effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create an unusual mystical collage using stock images and brushes. The work is not very difficult, you just need your skills in Photoshop and fantasy. Let’s start!


Step 1. Create a new document sized 1300x800px with a black background. Create an auxiliary line using Rules (Guides) (CTRL + R).

Step 2. We import the photo with the face in Photoshop and place it on the working document.

Delete the extra parts of the photo, as shown below.

Create an adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – GradientMap (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map). Create a clipping mask for the layer. ALT + CTRL + G. Set the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) and decrease opacity (opacity) up to 79%.

Create the adjustment layer again. Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map), then Clipping Mask for It ALT + CTRL + G. Set the layer blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) and reduce the opacity (opacity) to 79%.

We get the following result:

Then create a selection using Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L) around the eye and click DELETE on both gradient layers to remove the selected area. We get:

Now, without removing the selection around the eye, create a correction layer. Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast). Thanks to the selection, we will only correct the eye.

The selection is still active. Create a new adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation).

We get beautiful green eyes:

Step 3. We will try to give our work a vintage style to make it look more mystical. Add a mask on the face of the model. For this we will use this image:

Via Pen tool (Pen) (P) cut out the necessary part of the mask.

Then move to the working document and adjust the size (CTRL + T).

Remove the extra area near the fingers using a layer mask. For more realism, draw a shadow with the tool. Burn tool (Dimmer) (O).

Our mask is too light. To fix this, use again. Burn tool (Dimmer) (O).

Then create a correction layer. Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map) and Clipping Mask for It ALT + CTRL + G. Blend mode Multiply (Multiplication) and opacity (opacity) 100%.

We also draw a shadow under the mask, creating a new layer under the mask layer and using black brush (B).

Step 4. At this stage, we have created a nice face with a vintage mask. It’s time to work on the background. For this we will use only one brush. But first, we need to configure it. Select the desired brush and press F5 to bring up the parameters of the brushes.

Well, our brush is ready, so let’s get started! To begin, create a new layer under all the previous ones and paint over part of the background, as shown below. Use color # b2ff79.

Now create a new layer above all the previous ones, select the black color and continue to work with the brush.

We continue to draw until we get the following result (to create a sharp transition, I duplicated the layer):

Next, increase brush up to about 300px, choose a color # 121212 and draw as below:

We carry out similar manipulations on the green part of the image, only this time we take the color # 98e063.

Step 5. Activate Vertical Type Tool (Vertical text) (T) and write the word MAS using the Benny Blanco font.

Create a new layer above all others and brush Debris create a splash effect.

Now we need beautiful gold ornaments. We will use these two images:

Cut out the necessary details of the ornament.

Also for ornaments I created a correction layer. Gradient map (Gradient map) with clipping mask to make them a little darker, as we did for the vintage mask and face. Under the ornament write a small letter K (size: 40px; color: # 37300f).

Step 6. Create a new layer above all previous ones and change the blending mode to Screen (Lightening). Choosing color # 01de6f and soft round brush 100-300px draw light spots as shown below.

Create a new layer and paint a brush with Debris as we did before. Color use # d1ff9f.

Now we’ll make the light brighter. Create a new layer above all previous ones. Take soft brush (B) 450px, color – # cfffd2. And draw a spot at the top, as shown below.

Activate Horizontal type tool (Horizontal font) and write the text “I AM WATCHING YOU”. Use the Blair Caps.

Step 7. Our work is almost complete. In the menu of the layers panel, select Flatten image (Merge layers). Then go Layer – Duplicate Layer (Layer – Duplicate Layer); Select – All (Allocation – All) and Edit – Copy (Editing – Copy). Now we have one layer with all the work done. If you did something wrong, click CTRL + ALT + Z, to undo the last action. Now, activating the topmost layer, go to Edit – Paste (Edit – Paste). Next, apply the filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 3.5px. Set the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap) with an opacity of 45%.

After the done manipulations, the colors in our work became more lively. Repeat this step by copying the main layer. Since the stock images that we used are not of the best quality, we will apply the filter Topaz clean, so it was not so noticeable.

I also deleted some background details and patterns. You should have something like this:

Our work is finished! I also added a bit of contrast and corrected the levels, in the end I got the final result, which you see below.

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