Create a scene with an angel in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create an emotional scene with a sad angel in Photoshop. I’ll show you how to create an angel with wings, using the usual source images, how to retouch and sharpen chiaroscuro, how to create a rain scene and add gentle rays of light. The technique that we use in the lesson will help you in creating photo manipulations.

Stages of the lesson

In this lesson we will create a dark scene filled with a cold atmosphere. We use the technique of working with masks, brushes, apply filters and textures, we will carry out color correction. To complete this lesson, you will need Photoshop CC, as Some of the filters used in this tutorial are missing from Photoshop CS. Do not forget about a cup of coffee. So are you ready ..?

The final result:

Note: The source of the lesson is missing some images. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the materials for the lesson.

Step 1

In the first steps of the lesson we will create an angel figure. First, open the original image with the model in Photoshop. We will remove the background in this image. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)). With this tool, create a contour around the model image, as shown in the screenshot below, where the contour is outlined in orange.

Separate the model image from the background.

Step 2

Create a new document (Ctrl + N). Name the new document, let’s say “Fallen Angel”. In this document we will create an angel figure.

Next, add the selected model image to the created document. Choose a tool Free transformation (free transform tool (Ctrl + T)). Apply scaling to the model image to fit the size of the working document.

Step 3

Next, open the image with the bird, we use the wings of the bird as the wings of the angel. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)) to separate the wings from the bird.

Move the selected wing image to the Fallen Angel working paper. Place this wing layer above the angel layer. Using tool Free transformation (free transform tool (Ctrl + T)), apply scaling to the wing to the desired size, and then using the tool Move (move (V)), position the wing as shown in the screenshot below.

Then add the second wing. Place this wing layer below the angel layer.

Step 4

Now we will make a small correction at the edges of the wings. To do this, select the tool Finger (smudge tool). Install a soft round brush stiffness (hardness) 0%, brush size approximately 4 px, Intensity (strength) brush about 70%.

Go to the wing layer 1. Now brush the edges of the wing with a brush to create a delicate feathering effect.

Do the same with the second wing.

Step 5

Next, we will add shading on wing 2 next to the angel image. The shading area is highlighted in orange.

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the layer with wing 2 as a clipping mask. Choose a soft round brush stiffness (hardness) 0% and opacity (opacity) approximately 12-15%, brush color is black. Now with strokes create shading.

Step 6

In this step, we will add a fragment of the hood to the angel’s cape to cover the wing contact area 1. To do this, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) over the wing layer 1. Select the tool Pen (pen tool (P)). While on a new layer, create a shape, as shown in the screenshot below, and then fill the created shape (Shift + F5) with any color shade at your discretion. I used dark blue as an example.

Cut a fragment of the angel’s cape on a new layer. We use this snippet as the texture for the shape we just created. Place the cut fragment of the cape over the layer with the created shape, and then convert this layer into a clipping mask, this will close the area of ​​the shape. Using tool Move (Move (V)), you can choose the best position to create this effect.

Step 7

Next, we add light and shade to an additional fragment of the cape to recreate the folds in the hood. To do this, create a new layer on top of the caped texture layer. Fill (Shift + F5) this layer 50% gray (50% gray) (# 808080). Choose a tool Clarifier (dodge tool (o)), install a soft round brush with Exposure (exposure) about 10% and Range (range) Sveta (highlight). Being on a new layer, paint over the cape, adding light highlights.

Now select the tool Dimmer (burn tool), set a soft round brush with Exposure (exposure) about 10% and Range (range) Mid tones (midtones). Cover the cape with strokes, adding shadows.

Continue to combine the tool. Clarifier / Dimmer (dodge and burn tool), adding chiaroscuro and adding more folds.

Step 8

Next, we will recreate the missing lower part of the angel’s cape. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) below the angel layer. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)). While on a new layer, create a shape, as shown in the screenshot below, and then fill the created shape (Shift + F5) with any color shade at your discretion. I used dark blue as an example.

Now cut the fragment from the bottom of the angel’s cape to a new layer. Place this fragment with a cape texture over the layer with the created figure as a clipping mask to give the figure the texture of the clothing.

Finally, go to the angel layer. Next, we will add a layer mask to the angel layer, for this we go Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (layer> layer mask> reveal all). Choose a soft round brush. Paint over the lower edges of the cape to combine it with the additional piece of clothing that we have created.

Select all the layers related to the angel, and then press the keys (Ctrl + E) to merge them into one layer.

Step 9

Now we come to the second phase of the lesson. In the next steps we will create the main scene, to do this, create a new document (Ctrl + N).

Open the source image with clouds in Photoshop. Move this image to our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (free transform tool), flip the image horizontally to change the direction of the clouds. Apply scaling to make the clouds completely cover the workspace.

Move the created angel image to our working paper. Position the angel in the center of the image. Next, convert the layer with the angel into a smart object, for this we go Layer – Smart Object – Convert to Smart Object (layer> smart object> convert to smart object).

Step 10

Go to the cloud layer. On the cloud layer, apply a Camera raw filter. Press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + A) to display the filter window. Set the parameters for the tabs Basic and Detail, which are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 11

Next, we will change the color of the clouds using the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast), let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (layer> new adjustment layers> brightness / contrast). Do not forget to place this layer between the cloud layer and the angel layer.

Using a soft round brush with very low opacity, about 15%, hide the correction on the mask of the correction layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). The brush processing area is highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Step 12

Add another adjustment layer. Selective color correction (selective color). Go again Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color Correction (layer> new adjustment layer> selective color).

Step 13

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of two adjustment layers. Fill (Shift + F5) a new layer with the color shade # 0c0301.

Change the blending mode for the filled layer to Soft light (soft light) and install Opacity (opacity) layer, about 60%.

Add a layer mask to the filled layer, for this we go Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (layer> layer mask> reveal all). Hide the fill effect around the clouds on the layer mask. The brush processing area is highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Step 14

In this step, we apply the Camera raw filter to the angel layer. Go to the angel layer. Press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + A) to display the filter window. Set the parameters for the tabs Basic, Tone Curve and Detail, which are shown in the screenshot below.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 15

Create a new layer below the angel layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (color dodge), Opacity (opacity) layer 100%. Name this layer, say, “Color”. Choose a soft round brush Opacity (opacity) is about 60% or higher, the color of the brush is # 067fee and # fc6500. Paint over the brush as shown in the screenshot below. Can we use other color shades? Of course, yes, you can try to apply other colors at your discretion.

Step 16

Create a new layer on top of the “Color” layer. Fill this layer 50% gray (50% gray). Set the blending mode for the gray fill layer to Overlap (Overlay). Choose a tool Clarifier (dodge tool (O)), install a soft round brush. Now paint over the image of the angel, adding light highlights. The result of brushing with the blending mode Normal (normal) and Opacity (opacity) layer 100%.

After adding light highlights, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 17

Next, we will add a more vibrant light behind the image of the angel. Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the previous layer with light highlights (created in Step 16). Fill (Shift + F5) this layer with black color. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (color dodge). Choose a soft round brush Opacity (opacity) about 5%, brush color is white. Paint over the angel.

After enhancing the colors, the result should be as in the screenshot below:

Step 18

Next, we apply a small correction to the angel. Go to the angel layer. Let’s go Layer – Style layer – Internal shadow (layer> layer style> inner shadow).

Next, we transform the layer style. Inner shadow (inner shadow) in a separate layer, to do this, right-click on the layer style in the layers panel and in the appeared menu of layer style commands select the option Form a layer (create layer). The option Create a layer converts the layer style to a separate layer as a clipping mask, which will be located on top of the layer with the angel, the name of the layer will be Angel’s inner shadow (angel’s Inner Shadow). Using a soft round brush stiffness (hardness) 0% and low opacity (opacity) approximately 15%, hide the effect of the inner shadow on the layer mask. The brush processing area is highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Inner shadow will soften the edges of the image.

Step 19

Next, add an adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast) on top of the inner shadow layer as a clipping mask. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (layer> new adjustment layer> brightness / contrast).

Add another adjustment layer. Selective color correction (selective color) as a clipping mask. This adjustment layer will add some blue tones to the angel’s clothes.

Add another adjustment layer. Vibration (vibrance) as a clipping mask.

Step 20

Create a new layer on top of the adjustment layer. Vibration (vibrance) as a clipping mask. Choose a tool Brush (brush tool (B)), install a soft round brush with a low Opacity (opacity) 10%, brush color is white. While on a new layer, add soft, subtle highlights to the image of an angel.

Step 21

Select all the layers related to the angel, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them into one group. Name the new group, say, “Angel”. To the layer with the group “Angel”, add a layer mask, for this we go Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (layer> layer mask> reveal all). Brush separate parts of the image on the mask of the layer with the group. The brush processing area is highlighted in red.

With the help of mask correction, we will improve the combination of the angel with the background.

Step 22

To make the scene more dramatic, we will add rays of light appearing behind the image of an angel. To do this, create a new layer on top of the layer with the “Angel” group. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)). While on a new layer, draw the outline of the shape, as shown in the screenshot below. Right-click on the created contour and in the appeared window select the option To form a selected area (make selection). Install Shading radius (feather radius) 5 px.

Fill the selected area Gradient (gradient (G)). Install Linear (linier) gradient, color gradient from foreground color to transparent. Click outside the outline of the selected area, and then hold the mouse button + drag the gradient in the direction of the orange arrow, as shown in the screenshot below.

Reduce value Fillings (fill) for a layer with a gradient of up to about 59%.

(let’s call the gradient layer, say, “Ray”) Duplicate the gradient layer three times (Ctrl + J). Arrange duplicate layers with rays, as shown in the screenshot below.

To layers with rays of light, add a layer mask and using a soft black brush, remove the effect of the rays where the rays overlap the image of the angel.

Select all layers with rays of light, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group them into one group. Name the new group, say, “Rays”. Change the blending mode for this layer with the group to Overlap (overlay) as well as install Opacity (opacity) layer 70%. Finally, duplicate the Rays group. Set the blending mode for duplicate layer to Overlap (overlay) and also reduce Opacity (opacity) layer to about 25%.

Step 23

Next, create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of two layers with groups of “Rays”. Fill (Shift + F5) this layer with the color shade # 01010c.

Set the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light) and also reduce Opacity (opacity) layer to about 60%. Slightly hide the fill effect around the angel’s face, wings, and clouds on the left side of the scene on the layer mask of the layer. The brush processing area is highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Duplicate this filled layer, and then change the blending mode to duplicate the layer to An exception (exclusion), Opacity (opacity) 100%.

Step 24

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. In this step, we will add an element of magic to the image of an angel, by adding light highlights. Choose a tool Pen (pen tool (P)). On the new layer, create an outline, as shown in the screenshot below. Stroke the outline with a white brush about 1-3 px in size and stiffness (hardness) about 80%.

On the same layer, add more contours with the tool Pen (pen tool). Brush the contour. Try to vary the size of the brush about 1-4 px depending on the width of the light flare you want to create. And also vary the stiffness and opacity of the brush to get the desired result.

Do the same with the wings and with the lower part of the angel’s clothing.

Step 25

Add a new adjustment layer Selective color correction (selective color) over a layer with light highlights, let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color Correction (layer> new adjustment layer> selective color).

Hide the correction on the mask of the adjustment layer Selective color correction (selective color) in areas that are highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Step 26

Now let’s add an element of sadness to our scene. For this, it may just come rain, therefore, we will add a rain effect to the scene. Create a new layer on top of the adjustment layer. Selective color correction (selective color). Select the “rain7” brush from the Rain brush set. Set the brush size to about 1600 px, opacity (Opacity) brush about 20-30%, brush color is white. Draw a rain effect. Name this layer with a rain effect, say, “Rain”.

Duplicate the rain layer (Ctrl + J). Create a new layer between the original rain layer and the duplicate rain layer, fill this layer with black color. Select the new layer with black fill, which is designated as Layer 1 (layer 1) and duplicate rain layer. Press the keys (Ctrl + E) to combine them. Thus, we will create a single layer that will include a rain effect and a black background. Name the merged layer, say, “Extra rain”.

Change the blending mode for this merged layer to Lightening basics (color dodge), opacity (Opacity) layer 100%. We can duplicate this layer once or twice to get lighter raindrops in areas where raindrops reflect the incident light, for example, behind the image of an angel, where the light is more pronounced. Select all the layers with the effect of rain, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to group the layers into one group. Name the new group, say, “Extra rain”.

Next, go to the “Rain” layer. Add a layer mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to process the upper and lower parts of the image so that the raindrops are barely visible in these areas. Also process the left and right side of the scene. The processing areas with a brush are highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Finally, add a layer mask to the layer with the “Additional Rain” group. Slightly hide the rain effect on the areas that are highlighted in red in the screenshot below.

Result:

Step 27

Create a new layer, fill this layer with black color. Position this layer below the adjustment layer. Selective color correction 2 (selective color 2) that we created in Step 25. Apply a filter to the created layer. Noise (noise), for this we go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (filter> noise> add noise). Change the blending mode for this noise layer to Lightening basics (color dodge), Opacity (opacity) layer 100%.

Hide the effect of noise on the layer mask on top of almost the entire scene, keeping the effect in the areas behind the angel image. This noise effect creates splashes in areas where raindrops fall.

Step 28

Finally, we will add an adjustment layer. Curves (curves) on top of all other layers to correct the entire scene. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (layer> new adjustment layer> curves).

Hide the correction on the mask of the adjustment layer Curves (curves). Correction areas are highlighted in red.

The result of the lesson at the moment ….

Step 29

Next, we add a moisture effect to the angel’s skin. Go to the layer with the Angel group, and then press the keys (Ctrl + E) to create a merged layer from the layer with the group. Next, go Layer – Smart Object – Convert to Smart Object (layer> smart object> convert to smart object). Now on the layer with the smart object, apply the filter Cellophane packaging (plastic wrap), let’s go Filter – Filter Gallery – Imitation – Cellophane Packaging (filter> filter gallery> artistic> plastic wrap).

Hide the effect on the mask smart filter Cellophane packaging (plastic wrap). Correction areas are highlighted in red.

Result:

Step 30

To add a sense of despair in our scene, we add feathers all over the picture.

For feathers, add motion blur, for this we go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (filter> blur> motion blur).

Step 31

We can reduce the opacity of the “Color” layer to 30%, which we previously created in Step 15. To reduce the color or not, this action is selective. Next, to add a bit of sharpness to the whole scene, we can apply the filter Contour sharpness (unsharp mask filter), for this we go Filter – Sharpness – Contour Sharpness (filter> sharpen> unsharp mask). But before applying the filter, we need to merge all the visible layers. Make sure you are on the topmost layer in the layers palette, and then press the keys (Shift + Ctrl + Alt + E) to create a merged layer from all visible layers.

The result after reducing the color.

Or an alternative result without reducing the color.

And the lesson is complete …

Thank you for being with me. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new today. I wish you all good luck in future projects!

PSD lesson

The final result:

Alternative result:

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