Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.
In this tutorial, I will tell you how to create a dark gothic collage with a girl and the crows. You will learn to combine several different stock photos using standard blending methods, retouching, adjusting color, creating a dark atmosphere and much more.
1. Create a background
Create a new 2000 x 1333 px document with the following settings.
Open image Landscape. Move it to our white canvas using the tool. Move Tool (Move) (V).
Create a new layer above the landscape layer in the clipping mask mode. Take the tool Clone tool (Stamp) (S) and remove unwanted parts – see the image below.
Create an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and decrease the value Saturation (Saturation) to -75.
Create an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and darken the landscape a bit. On the layer mask of the adjustment layer, use a soft black brush with a slight opacity (15-20%) to make the landscape brighter in the middle.
Place image Sky in our document using the tool Move Tool (Move) (V).
Click the second icon at the bottom of the layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Using a black soft brush, erase the lower boundary of the sky to make a soft transition between heaven and earth.
Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and lower the brightness. On the adjustment layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase some parts in the center of the sky in order to display some light.
Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and lower the value Saturation (Saturation) at -94.
2. Add a model
Separate the model from the background and place it in our document.
Using a layer mask, make a more realistic transition between the hem of the dress and the ground. For best results, use the tablet and install a small brush.
Create a new layer and using a soft brush of color # e8cbbd with Opacity (Opacity) and Flow (Press) 20-25%, make the skin on the face of the model lighter so that it looks smoother.
Create a new layer, choose a blend mode. Overlay (Overlap) with 100% opacity and fill it with 50% gray.
Take the tools Dodge (Clarifier) and Burn tool (Dimmer) (O), set Range (Range): Midtones (Midtones), and the value Exposure (Exposure) by 15-20% to improve the colors on the face, hands and body. You can see how I did it in mode Normal (Normal) and result mode Overlay (Overlap).
To make a developing dress, return to the original image with the model. Using the tool Polygonal Lasso Tool (Polygonal lasso) (L), highlight the bottom of the dress, and add it to our document to the already existing dress. Using the free transform mode Warp (Warp), distort the dress.
Using a layer mask, make a smooth transition between the two parts of the dress and the bottom where it lies on the ground.
Duplicate the dress layer and make it more evolving.
On the bottom of the dress there are some unwanted blades of grass. To remove them, create a new layer and, choosing a black brush of medium hardness, paint over these details.
Create a new layer and, using a brush of medium hardness of color # 2d1e1a, paint the developing hair.
Select all layers associated with the model, and group them into one group (Ctrl + G). Change the blending mode for the group to Normal (Normal) with 100% opacity. Add a new adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and decrease the value Saturation (Saturation) at -21.
Create a new adjustment layer. Photo filter (Photo Filter) and select the color # 949e9c.
Create a new adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and reduce the brightness. On the mask of the adjustment layer, using a black soft brush, reduce the effect on the dress, body and face.
3. Add wings
Open the image with the wings and separate the bird from the background. Select the left wing and position it on the left side of the model’s head. Using the free transform in warp mode, distort the wing a bit.
Using a layer mask, make a smooth transition between the hair and the wing and remove any unwanted details.
Select the right wing and add on the other side of the model. Do not forget to make it a little shorter and sloping to fit in the perspective of the head.
Create a group for the wings. Create a new adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and set the value Saturation (Saturation) -82.
Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and slightly increase the brightness of the wings. On the mask of the adjustment layer, walk along the bottom of the wings to make them darker than the upper ones.
Create another adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to darken the bottom. Paint over the upper part of the wings with a brush on the mask of the correction layer to leave them lighter than the lower ones.
4. Add a raven
Open image Crow 1. Separate it from the background and place it in our document, located on the right side, opposite the model’s face.
Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and make the crow darker with it. Using a black soft brush, paint over the areas of the head and rear wing on the mask of the adjustment layer – thereby making them lighter.
Place the second raven from the image Crow 2, pre-separating it from the background. Place it in the area of the waving dress. Go to menu Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and set the blur radius 6 px.
Using an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) make it darker. Brush the layer mask over the dark wing to leave contrast and detail.
Add an image Crow 3 on the scene from the left side above and apply a filter Gaussian Blur (Gaussian Blur) with a blur radius of 6 px.
5. Add feathers
Create a new layer above all layers and change the foreground color to black. Change the brush to the brush and set the number to 464. Press the F5 key and set the following settings for the brush.
Draw some feathers around the model and a raven and apply a filter. Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss) with a blur radius of 3 px.
Draw more feathers on another layer and apply a filter. Gaussian blur (Blur according to Gauss) with a blur radius of 6 px. Changing the blur radius value will give a depth effect.
6. Final Correction
Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map), set the colors to # e10019 and # 00601b, respectively. Lower value Opacity (Opacity) up to 20%.
Create an adjustment layer Solid color (Color) and select color # 250806. Change the blending mode for the layer to Exclusion (Exception) with opacity 100%.
Create a new adjustment layer. Color balance (Color balance) and change the values Midtones (Mid Tones) and Highlights (Sveta).
Add adjustment layer Photo filter (Photo Filter) and select the color # 5cb49e.
Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and improve the color, contrast and mood of the whole scene.
Congratulations, you have completed the lesson!
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and learned something new. Feel free to share your results or leave comments below – I would like to see them. Enjoy Photoshop!