Create a surreal tree in Photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a surrealistic scene with a flying tree over the ocean in Photoshop. We will mix various natural elements to form this composition. Well, let’s try!

Note: Lesson done in PhotoshopCC, therefore, some screenshots may differ from other versions. Photoshop. Some brushes used in the lesson are for PhotoshopCS6

Download materials for the lesson

Final image:

Step 1

Create a new 800 x 1140px document with a white background. Open the image of the ocean and select the following area:

Copy and paste the selection into our document, change its dimensions to fit the width of our canvas:

Apply soft Eraser (Eraser) to erase the top edge of the window.

Add the following two adjustment layers as a clipping mask for the layer Ocean:

Levels (Levels)

Curves (Curves)

This is what should happen.

Step 2

Now add some fish to the ocean. Upload the image of aquarium fish in Photoshop and select several fish using Magic wand (Magic Wand) or Quick Selection (Quick Allocation)

Insert the fish into the working paper and place them above the previous layers. Change the blending mode of each fish to Overlay (Overlap), that’s what should turn out

Step 3

Now let’s add the sky to our composition. Load the sky image into Photoshop and select the specified area.

Copy and paste the selection into our document, resize it to fit the canvas, and apply the following adjustment layers to the sky as a clipping mask:

Levels (Levels)

Curves (Curves)

Apply soft Eraser (Eraser) to erase the lower edge of the sky and smoothly connect it with the ocean

This is what should happen.

Step 4

In this step, we will work with the earth that will hold our tree. Upload a land image, highlight a region as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection into our document. Resize and place it over the ocean. Brush the edges with a soft eraser until it takes the following shape:

Take Burn tool (Dimmer), darken the bottom of the ground, as shown below:

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to layer Land:

This is what should happen.

Step 5

In this step, add a tree. Download the tree image in Photoshop and add it to our document, changing its size to the width of the ground.

Add adjustment layer Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask to layer Tree:

Apply a layer mask to the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves):

This is what should happen.

Step 6

Create a new layer and using the cloud Brush (Brush) Draw a few clouds around the earth and the tree:

If you wish, you can add flying particles around the tree to add the effect of movement to our composition:

Take abstract brushes, draw abstract lines around the tree: (Use blending mode Overlay (Overlap) to create some fancy light effect)

Upload an image Birds and select some birds

Arrange the birds around the tree and the ground, give them different sizes.

Step 7

We are almost done! As a final touch, we will smooth the image and use Burn tool (Dimmer) to add a shadow under the tree – this will allow to better connect the tree and the ground:

Above all layers add a correction layer. Curves (Curves) to adjust the contrast

And here is the end result!

Download materials for the lesson

Author: James Qu

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