Create a collage of Christmas tale in Photoshop

New Year’s holidays are not far off, so today I offer you a new lesson on New Year’s theme. We will create a magical winter illustration, turning the girl into the Snow Queen. The wonderful spirit of Christmas is hovering over our planet, and everyone is looking forward to the arrival of wonderful holidays! Hope you enjoy this Christmas lesson.

Final result:

Step 1

We begin our lesson with the preparation of the background. Create a new document in Photoshop (Ctrl + N) and paste into it a ready-made background, which can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson. If the background is small and there are empty spaces, fill it with # 020339.

Step 2

Since we are creating a fabulous photo manipulation, I decided to use a sorceress in the story. Open the photo of the girl and instrument Pen (Pen Tool) (P) Draw a contour around the edges of her body to separate the girl from the background.

Step 3

Convert the contour into a selection (Ctrl + Enter) and drag the girl into the main document.

Step 4

After placing the girl, the difference between the background color and the color / saturation / brightness of the layer with the girl became visible. We need to correct this deficiency by adding a few adjustment layers. Let’s start with the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Do not forget to turn this layer into a clipping mask by clicking on the appropriate button, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5

Now add an adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance). Set preferences for shadows (Shadows) and mid tones (Midtones), as shown in the screenshot below. Remember to turn this layer into a clipping mask.

Step 6

Add an adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) with the following settings:

On the Brightness / Contrast adjustment mask using the tool Brush (Brush Tool) paint over the girl’s face and shoulders. Use a soft round black brush with varying degrees. opacity (Opacity).

Step 7

Apply style to the girl layer. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) to darken the image. Mode – Multiplication (Multiply) Gradient colors are # 5c5cc6 and white.

Step 8

Select the layer with the girl and all adjustment layers, create their copies and merge into one layer (Ctrl + E). Place the original layers in one group (Ctrl + G) and turn it off. From now on, we will work with the merged layer. Call him the “Winter Queen” (Winter Goddess).

Step 9

Now with the help of drawing tools we will combine the dress with the snow. Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool) and in the settings enable Sample from all layers (Sample All Layers) to achieve a better result. Spread the girl’s dress so that it smoothly turns into the snow. Of course, this is easier to do with a drawing tablet, but it is also possible to achieve a smooth transition using a mouse.

Step 10

Now we will further soften the transition from dress to snow. Create a new layer and soft round brush paint over the dress. Pick a snow color with Pipette (Eyedropper Tool) (i). Decrease opacity (Opacity) brush up to 50%.

Step 11

Create a new layer and tool Stamp (Clone Stamp Tool) (S) duplicate the trees, as shown in the screenshot. Place copies of the trees on the girl’s dress.

Step 12

Now we need to use the image of a deer, which you can download from the link at the beginning of the lesson. Separate the deer from the background with the tool. Pen (Pen Tool) and transfer to the main document.

Step 13

Reduce the deer and place it to the right of the girl. Name the layer “Reindeer” (Reindeer) and create a copy of it under the name Shadow Effect. For the “Reindeer” layer, create adjustment layers. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) as a clipping mask to combine color tones.

Step 14

Apply the following styles to the “Reindeer” layer to add chiaroscuro: Inner shadow (Inner Shadow): Mode – Overlap (Overlay) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay): Mode – Normal (Normal), Style – Linear (Linear).

Step 15

Go to the “Shadow Effect” layer. Decrease fill (Fill) layer to 0% and apply style Inner shadow (Inner Shadow), as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 16

Create a new layer and name it “Cast Shadow”. Draw a deer shadow using the tool. Brush (Brush Tool) with varying degrees opacity (Opacity), brush color – black.

Step 17

Create a new layer and insert a Christmas tree. Since the background with the Christmas tree is initially transparent, you do not need to specifically separate the Christmas tree from the background. Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask for the Christmas tree layer with the following settings:

Translator’s Note: Christmas tree image can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson

Step 18

Apply style to the tree Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay): Mode – Multiplication (Multiply), Gradient Colors: # 1e204f and White

Step 19

Transform a layer with a Christmas tree into a smart object. Create 3 copies of the layer, reduce them and place on your hands, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 20

For each tree you need to add a shadow that it casts. You can draw shadows with the tool. Brush (Brush Tool) or use other equipment at your discretion.

Step 21

In this step I will add the moon. Paste the image of the moon to a new layer in our document and set the blending mode Lightening (Screen). Also create a correction layer for the moon. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to combine color tones. Do not forget to tick the checkbox Tint (Colorize)

Translator’s Note: the image of the moon can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson

Step 22

Let’s add some icicles to the moon. Insert the icicles in our document and place them under the moon. Remove the background, reduce the icicles and change their color using the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Be sure to add an adjustment layer as a clipping mask to the icicle layer.

Translator’s Note: an image of icicles can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson or use your own version

Step 23

Download the space image from the link at the beginning of the lesson and paste it into our document on top of the girl. Set the blending mode Lightening (Screen). Add a mask and wipe the stars off the girl’s face with the tool. Brush (Brush Tool), brush color – black.

Step 24

Download the image of the Christmas tree toy at the link at the beginning of the lesson, insert it into our document and hang it on the girl’s ear, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 25

Apply styles to the Christmas tree layer. Casting a shadow (Drop Shadow): Mode – Multiplication (Multiply) and Inner shadow (Inner Shadow): Mode – Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 26

Make a copy of the Christmas tree toy and hang it on the other girl’s ear. Now Christmas decorations have become decorations for the Snow Queen.

Step 27

Now I will add some light effects to create light and shadow. Above the layer with the girl, create two layers “Bright areas” (Highlights) and set for them the blending mode Overlap (Overlay). Choose a soft brush with opacity (Opacity) 60%, the color of the brush is white and add light to the hands, as shown in the screenshot below. Light should not be too intense. Then select the color # e40000 and draw red spots on the shoulders with a low opacity brush.

Step 28

Create a new layer on top of the others and name it “Vignette” (Vignette). Decrease fill (Fill) to 0% and apply style Internal glow (Outer Glow): Mode – Multiplication (Multiply), Method – Soft (Softer).

Step 29

Insert luminous particles in our document and set the blending mode Lightening (Screen). With the tool Stamp (Clone Stamp Tool) (S) Create glowing particles around the girl. Using a mask and a black brush, wipe off any excess particles.

Translator’s Note: glowing particles can be downloaded from the link at the beginning of the lesson

Step 30

For luminous particles, create a correction layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) with the following settings:

Step 31

Download the image of the galaxy and paste it into our document. Set the blending mode Lightening (Screen). You may have to resize the galaxy, rotate it and use the tool Stamp (Clone Tool) to create an interesting lighting effect.

For the galaxy layer, create a correction layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) with the following settings:

Step 32

Insert the bokeh effect, set the blending mode Lightening (Screen) and place it on the Christmas trees to add bright lights.

Step 33

Create a new layer above all layers, change the blending mode to Chromaticity (Color) and using a soft round brush, add red color to the following areas, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 34

For the final retouching on top of all layers, create adjustment layers. Photo filter (Photo Filter) and Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast).

Step 35

If necessary, you can apply a filter at the end Colour contrast (High Pass) to enhance overall image sharpness.

Final result:

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