Create a surreal picture in Photoshop

In this lesson we will create a surrealistic picture. In this lesson, you will learn how to create the mood of the whole scene using textures, as well as how to combine several images into one composition.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

First of all, create a new document in Photoshop, 1326 px in width and 984 px in height. Choose a tool Gradient (gradient tool) by pressing G. Select Radial Gradient (radial gradient). Set the foreground color to # f0f0f3 and the background color to # a6abfb. Fill our working paper with a radial gradient by pulling the gradient in the direction of the arrow, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2

Download and install Brushes Clouds, add clouds to our scene. Select one of the brushes, then create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). While on a new layer, draw clouds in white:

Step 3

Next, select a different Clouds brush, this time, paint the clouds on the left side of the document:

Step 4

In this step, we will add objects to our scene. First, open the image with tennis balls. Choose a tool Oval area (elliptical marquee tool) to create a selection on the ball.

Using tool Oval area (elliptical marquee tool), create a selection around the largest ball. While selecting, hold down Shift + Alt. After you have created a selection, press Ctrl + J to duplicate the selected image to a new layer.

Step 5

Next, move the selected ball image to our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (free transform tool), apply scaling to the desired size. Blend mode for a layer with a ball Normal (Normal), opacity is 35%. Place this ball layer below the cloud layer.

Step 6

Next, duplicate the layer with the ball, placing the duplicate layer where you wish. Try to position the duplicate of the ball in such a way that it is facing the light side of the light source, the red arrows indicate the direction of the light:

Step 7

Next, duplicate the layer with the ball as many times as necessary, vary the size of the duplicate balls. Blend Mode for Ball Duplicate Layers Normal (Normal), the opacity of duplicate layers vary between 30-60%.

Step 8

Now, create a new layer on top of the layers with the balls and select the brush tool. Set a soft round brush with an opacity of 10%. Being on a new layer, using this brush, create a smooth transition of a dark shade at the edges of the image.

Step 9

Next, we will add a texture to our document. Open the texture, then move this texture to our document, placing the texture layer below the clouds layer. Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Hard light (hard light), layer opacity is 32%.

Step 10

Add a layer mask to the texture layer, which can be activated through the bottom toolbar. Using a black brush, hide some areas of the texture that are marked in red in the screenshot below.

Step 11

Add another texture to our document. Change the blending mode for this texture layer to Soft light (soft light), 40% layer opacity:

Step 12

In this step, we will add additional objects to our scene. I used the same object, this is an aircraft that I previously created and used in my previous lesson. here. This technique step is the same as the previous steps 5-7 for adding balls.

Step 13

Next, we will create a ladder that we add to our scene. How I created the stairs: create a new document with dimensions of 1000 x 1000 px. On the new document, draw two stair supports. For the color of the stair supports, use a light gray tint. The brush for creating stair supports should be round hard, brush size 3 px. Finally, draw the steps between the stair supports.

Step 14

Using tools Clarifier and dimmer (dodge and burn tool), add light highlights to the created staircase image. Set the range to Mid tones (midtones), Exposition (exposure) 30-40%:

Step 15

Next, move the painted image of the stairs to our working paper. Apply scaling to the image of the stairs, arranging the image in accordance with the composition. Duplicate the image with the ladder by applying the option to the duplicate layer. Flip horizontally (flip it horizontally). Move the duplicate layer to the position where the top of the duplicate ladder will connect to the top of the original ladder. Next, hide the bottom of the ladder on the layer mask of the duplicate layer. Reduce the opacity of the duplicate layer to 5%:

Step 16

Now, open the picture of the child. Separate the image of the child from the background. For selection, I used the tool Pen( pen tool).

Step 17

Move the selected child image to our working paper. Apply scaling to the image of the child, putting him on the stairs, as if he was sitting there. Next, being on the layer with the child, we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (layer> new adjustment layer> hue / saturation). Do not forget to convert this adjustment layer to a clipping mask for the layer with the child.

Step 18

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) on top of the adjustment layer as a clipping mask. Choose a soft round brush with an opacity of 10%. While on a new layer, using a white brush, paint over some areas on the child to create light highlights (the areas are marked with red arrows in the screenshot below).

Step 19

In conclusion, we will make a color correction of the entire scene. Let’s go Layer – New corrective layer – A photo Filter(layer> new adjustment layers> photo filter).

Add another adjustment layer: Curves (curves). The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal), layer opacity 60-70%.

Step 21

Add another adjustment layer: Vibration (vibrance). The blend mode for this adjustment layer Normal (normal), layer opacity 82%.

Translator’s Notes: Those who have an earlier version of Photoshop, instead of a correction layer Vibration (Vibrance), you can use an adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and try reducing the saturation value.

Step 22

Finally, add the last adjustment layer: Gradient Map (gradient map). Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Multiplication (multiply), layer opacity 50%.

Step 23


Final result

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