Create a stunning sunset in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to create a spectacular surreal landscape in a few simple steps. We apply the technique of combining images, use blur to create a distance between objects and much more.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1. Create a new document.

So let’s create a new document. Let’s go File – New (File -> New). 1311 px in width and 1000 px in height. Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2. Fill the background with a gradient

Before we start creating our scene, fill the background with a gradient.

Step 3. Place

To put an image on our working paper, let’s go File- Place (File – Place).

Step 4. River

Select a stock image Mountain Lake. Apply scaling to this image in accordance with the size of the working document.

Step 5. Reduce the layer opacity

Reduce the opacity of the mountain lake layer to 80%, and then add a layer mask.

Step 6. Hide the clouds

While on the layer layer mask, brush the clouds with a black brush to hide them. Brush opacity 50%.

Step 7

Place the following stock image with the mountains in the background on our working paper, just like you did it before. Apply scaling by dragging the corner anchor point while holding down the shift key to keep the image proportions.

Step 8. Change the color

Double-click on the layer thumbnail, then the following window will appear, click OK.

You can also duplicate the layer so that you have a working duplicate of the layer and the original layer.

Next, press the keys (Ctrl + U), in the settings put a tick in the box Toning (colorize), and also reduce the value Saturation (saturation) to 12. Now save the image (Ctrl + S), now the color of our mountains will change.

Step 9. Layer Mask

Add a layer mask to the mountain layer. And on the layer mask, apply a soft black brush to the bottom of the image to create a smooth transition with the image of a mountain lake. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 70%, so you can see the background image.

Step 10. Layers

Now change the order of the layers in the layers palette. Move the bottom layer with the mountain lake to the top, placing it on top of the layer with the mountains, so that the result is as in the screenshot below:

Step 11 Details

Now do the same with other details of the composition, for example, with a lock. Place the image with the lock on our working paper, applying scaling, and also adding a layer mask to hide extra parts of the image. When creating a selection, you can use the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand tool) or any other tool of your choice.

In the screenshot below, you can see that if you use the tool Magic wand (Magic Wand tool), it will highlight the blue areas of the image.

Next, go black brush on the active selection to remove it. The result should be as in the screenshot below:

After applying the scale to the image of the castle.

Step 12. Layer Opacity

Reduce the opacity of the layer with the lock to 25%, hide some parts of the image of the castle to combine with the landscape of the mountains.

Step 13. Tower

Repeat the same with the image of the Tower. Reduce the opacity of the layer with the image of the tower to 30%

Step 14. Mountains

Next, we will add more mountains. Place the image of the mountain on the right in our working paper.

Step 15. Layer Mask

For our composition, we need only a big mountain on the right, so, using the layer mask, hide the extra areas of the image, leaving only the image of the mountain.

Step 16. Scaling

Using the free transformation tool (Ctrl + T), reduce the size of the mountain image, as shown in the screenshot below. Using a layer mask and a black brush, hide the extra details of the image.

Do the same with the other mountain on the left side of our scene, but this time lower the opacity of the mountain layer to 80%

Step 17. Place the sky

Place the following stock image with the sky on our working paper.

Step 18. Hard light

Change the blending mode for this layer with sky to Hard light (hard light), reduce the layer opacity to 75%. Also using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the image.

Step 19: Orange Tint

To add to the saturation of the sunset, using a soft round orange brush, paint over the sky area. Set the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light). You can set the degree of opacity depending on the saturation mode of your tablet, and if you do not have a tablet, the opacity for this layer can be set to 30%.

Step 20. Model

Place the image with the model on our working paper. Using a layer mask, separate the model image from the original background.

Step 21. Hair

Create a selection only around the model’s hair, then press the keys (Ctrl + J) to duplicate the selected area to a new layer.

Step 22. Change hair color

Press the keys (Ctrl + U) to change the hair color. In the settings window that appears, put a tick in the box Toning (Colorize). Apply the following settings:
Color tone (Hue) 9
Saturation (Saturation) 25
Brightness (Lightness) -30.

Step 23. Hair Curls

To draw curls of hair, you will need a tablet to get the best results, but this does not mean that you cannot do this with the mouse. First choose a color shade from the hair area with the tool Pipette (eyedropper tool), then draw curls of hair so that they are not so long and not so short. Use a soft round brush of 2px.

Finish more hair curls.

Step 24. White strokes

Paint the hair with white strokes to add light highlights to the hair:

Add a bit of light brown:

Step 25. Shadows

To create a shadow on the model’s hair, paint over the hair with a soft round brush, as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

Step 26. Chiaroscuro

Paint a new layer with a gray tint, as shown in the screenshot below.

Using tools Clarifier and dimmer (dodge burn tool), create light and shade on the created layer with gray fill. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light).

Step 27. Lighting Effects

Create a new layer. On a new layer, apply an orange soft round brush to create lighting effects over the image of the mountains. Do not forget about the direction of the light, where the light source comes from.

Reduce the layer opacity to 40%.

Step 28. River

Let’s go back to the background. Place a picture of the river on our working paper.

Using a layer mask, hide the extra areas of the image, leaving only the image of the river. Reduce the layer opacity to 70%

Step 29. Shadows

Choose a large soft round brush. Paint over the mountain where the girl is standing to create the girl’s shadow. The color of the brush is black, the opacity of the brush is 35%.

Step 30. Light highlights

Create a new layer. Choose a round brush of 2 or 4px. With the help of strokes, paint over the image of mountains and objects, the color of the brush should be orange.

In the screenshot below, you can see the areas painted with white brush.

Step 31. Blur

Let’s blur the background a bit. Turn off the visibility of all layers, leaving only those that are relevant to the background, press the keys (Ctrl + A) and then (Ctrl + Shift + C) to copy the current image, not the current layer, then press the keys (Ctrl + V), so you get a duplicate image of the background.

Adding blur to the background creates a feeling that the mountains and all other objects are at a distance from the model.

Next, convert the duplicate layer with the background into a smart object, and then apply Gaussian Blur Filter (filter Gaussian blur), blur radius 2px:

Step 32. Blackout

Create a new layer. Paint it with a soft black brush, as shown in the screenshot below. Brush opacity 20%.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light).

Step 33. Add colors

Paint the sky with an orange brush. Yellow brush and brush with a light shade of blue, add intensity to the lighting. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light).

With overlay mode Soft light (soft light).

Step 34. Gradient Fill

In the bottom toolbar, click Create a new adjustment or fill layer (Create New Fill or adjustment layer), and in the window that appears, select the option Gradient (Gradient).

Set the gradient colors to Black and Yellow.

Step 35. Blend Mode

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (soft light), layer opacity 20%.

Step 36. Final Touch

Create a new layer, fill it with black. Next we go Filter – Rendering – Blick (Filter – Render – Lens Flare)

Click OK and you will get the following result:

Change the blending mode for the layer with the light flare to Lightening (screen) reduce Opacity (opacity) layer up to 50%, and the value Fillings (fill) up to 70%

Everything, we have completed the lesson!

Final result

Author: Andrea Garcia

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