Create a mysterious landscape in the style of Mat Paint in Photoshop

?In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a mysterious landscape with a mat paint-style castle. We will create a mystical scene among the mountains with a mysterious light in the distance. Basically, we will work with adjustment layers, masks, and also apply brushes. In this lesson you will also learn about the basics of contrast, distance and saturation!

Final result

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with the following settings:

Step 2

Open the original image with the sky. Using tool Move (Move Tool (V)), move the sky image to our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T)), increase the size of the image, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 3

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to darken the sky. For this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves):

Step 4

Open the original image with mountains 1. Move this image with mountains to our working paper. Arrange the mountains as shown in the screenshot below:

To the layer with mountains 1 add a layer mask by clicking on the second icon at the bottom of the layers panel. Further, using the standard soft brush of black color, hide the sky on the image, as well as part of the mountain, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 5

Now to the layer with the mountains, add an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to slightly reduce the saturation of the image with the mountains:

Step 6

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to a layer with mountains to darken the mountains:

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush with a very low opacity (Opacity) (10-15%) reduce the effect of curves over the mountains, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 7

Open the original image with mountains 2. Separate the mountains from the background by moving the selected image of the mountains to our working paper. Place these mountains in the foreground:

To the layer with mountains 2 add a layer mask and using a soft black brush with a very low opacity (Opacity) (10-15%) hide the upper parts of the mountains, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 8

Next, to the layer with mountains 2, add an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to slightly reduce the saturation of the image with the mountains:

Step 9

Next, to the layer with mountains 2, add an adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) as a clipping mask to add blue / blue hues to the mountains:

Step 10

As you can see, the contrast of the mountains does not match the dark background. Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to fix this:

Step 11

Create a new layer, set the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%, and also put a tick in the box Fill in the neutral color of the Overlap mode(50% gray) (fill with 50% gray):

Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn Tool (O)). In the settings of this tool, set Range (Range) on Mid tones (Midtones), and the value Exposure (Exposure) approximately 15-20%. Darken the top of the mountains. In the screenshot below you can see where I darkened the mountains under the overlay mode. Normal (Normal) and result in mode Overlap (Overlay):

Step 12

Open the original image with mountains 3. Add an image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below:

With the help of layer masks, spend the combination with other mountains, we need to create multi-level mountains on the left side of the scene:

Step 13

Next, to the layer with mountains 3, add an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Step 14

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to darken the mountains:

Step 15

Next, add an image with mountains 4 to our scene:

Process separate areas of the image on the layer mask to get the result, as in the screenshot below:

Step 16

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) to enhance the contrast of these mountains:

Step 17

Next, add a correction layer to the mountain 4 layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) so that the color of the mountains matches the background:

Step 18

Next, we will add a fog effect to add depth to our scene. Open the original image with the sky. Using tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee Tool (M)), select the part of the image with the sky:

Place the selected part of the image on the right side of the scene. In the layers palette, place this layer between mountains 1 and 2:

Next, add a layer mask and use a soft black brush to process the hard edges of the image, leaving only the image of fog / smoke between the mountains.

Step 19

Create a duplicate layer, move the duplicate to the left side of the scene. Using a layer mask, reduce the opacity of the clouds so that the fog effect is more subtle:

Step 20

Duplicate the layer again. Place a duplicate layer between the layers with mountains 2 and 3. Using the layer mask, create a fog effect between the two layers:

Step 21

Once again, open the image with the sky. Select another part of the sky. Move the selected sky image to our working paper, placing it in the foreground. In the layers palette, place this layer on top of all other layers with mountains:

To this layer with the sky, add a layer mask and use a soft black brush to create a subtle mist effect in the foreground:

Step 22

Open the original image with the lock. Separate the image of the castle from the background. Place the castle on top of the mountain almost in the center of the image.

To the layer with the lock, add a layer mask and use a soft black brush to process the edges of the image to combine the lock with the background:

Step 23

Next, to the layer with the lock, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation):

Step 24

Next, to the layer with the lock, add an adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) to add a soft blue tint to the image of the castle:

Step 25

The lock looks too light, so add a correction layer. Curves (Curves) to reduce the brightness of the image of the castle:

Step 26

The castle is not sufficiently combined with misty mountains, so add Fill layer (Color fill) to fix it. To do this, go Layer – New Fill Layer – Color (Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color), set a dark brown shade as the fill color (# 343c45):

Decrease opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 70%:

Step 27

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using tool Rectangular area (Retangular Marquee Tool), create a selection resembling a castle window. Set the radius Feathering (feather) 2:

Fill the active selection (Shift + F5) with red (ff0000):

Duplicate the red-filled layer several times and randomly position them around the castle, creating the sensation of windows, if necessary, apply a transformation:

Step 28

For each layer with a red fill, apply a layer style External glow (Outer Glow):

Step 29

Create two new layers on top of all other layers. Using the Birds brush, brush color # 010b15, paint the birds around the mountains above the castle.

Step 30

It’s time to make a general color correction of the entire scene. Add a new adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) on top of all other layers:

Step 31

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) to enhance the contrast a bit:

Now, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer Curves (Curves) and using a soft black brush with opacity (Opacity) of about 20-30%, loosen the blackout effect in the middle of the scene:

Step 32

Final step: Add an adjustment layer Vibration (Vibrance) to enhance the color of the whole picture:

We have completed the lesson! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Final result

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