Create in Photoshop mystical scene in the forest

In this lesson, I will show you how to create a mystical scene in an enchanted forest. We will consider the technique of combining various images, including their appropriate combination, color correction, model retouching, working with light and shadows and much more.

Final result

Step 1

Create a new document, fill it with white color or any color shade at your discretion. Open the stock image ‘Earth’. Select only part of the image, move it to our working paper and drag it out.

Step 2

I want to remove the little stone that lies on the ground. To do this, create a new layer and use the tool Stamp (Clone Tool), hide the image of the stone:

Step 3

Create a new layer. Using tool Blur (Blur Tool), set the value Intensity (Strength) about 60%, blur the upper part of the image, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 4

Next, go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue / Saturation) to change the color of the earth:

Step 5

Open the stock image ‘Forests’. Using tool Move (Move Tool (V)), move the image of the forest to our working paper. Apply scaling:

Add a layer mask to the forest layer and use a soft black brush to process the hard edge of the image to create a smooth transition:

Being on a layer with the forest, we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur), set a blur radius of 3 px:

This action aims to add depth to our picture.

Step 6

Being on a layer with the forest, we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue / Saturation). Add this adjustment layer as a clipping mask to the forest layer:

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask for the forest layer. Switch to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use the soft black brush to hide the correction effect in the upper part of the forest:

Step 7

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the forest layer. Using a soft black brush, paint over the right side of the forest. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 50%:

Step 8

Add adjustment layer Photo Filter (Photo Filter) on top of all other layers:

Step 9

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft black brush, paint over the ground and the bottom edge of the forest. Change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 60%.

Step 10

Open stock image with model. Separate the model image from the background by copying / pasting the selected model image onto a new layer:

Create multiple layers. Set the foreground color to # 8c501a (use the Eyedropper tool to select a color tone sample from the model’s hair). On each layer, using a Hair brush, brush number # 1000 and # 928 (you can choose a brush as you like), draw hair locks to the model image, as shown in the screenshot below, do not forget to use the layer mask, transformation tools (Ctrl + T) including tool Deformation (Warp tool) so that the shape of the curls matches the hair of the model:

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the model’s hair layer. Change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay), with opacity (Opacity) 100%, including 50% gray fill:

Choose a tool Clarifier / Dimmer(Dodge and Burn Tool), set the value Range (range) to Mid tones (Midtones), and the value Exposure (Exposure) approximately 20-30% to create light and shade on the hair model:

On a separate layer, I drew small strands of hair on the model’s head using a Wacom tablet to make the hair look more natural:

Step 11

Merge all the layers related to the image of the model (selected image of the model, a layer with strands of drawn hair), then move the combined layer to our working paper, placing the model on the ground, as shown in the screenshot below. Apply scaling:

Create a new layer below the model layer. Using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 60%, draw the shadows under the bottom edge of the dress:

Step 12

In this step we will create a shadow from the model on the ground. I plan to create a main light source in the upper center of our scene, so the shadow of the model should fall to the foreground. Create a new layer below the shadow layer under the hem of the dress. Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the thumbnail of the model layer to load the active selection around the model image:

Fill the active selection with black, then go Editing – Transform – Flip Vertical (Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical). Move the shadow down, placing it at the bottom of the model image:

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 50%, and then apply a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 3 px. Next, using a mask, slightly blur the upper part of the shadow:

Step 13

Next, we will retouch the model. At first, I want to correct the corners of the model’s lips in order to create a more pleasant facial expression:

Let’s go Filter – Plastic (Filter-Liquify). Set the following settings:

Raise the corner of the lips. You can see my retouching result in the screenshot below:

Step 14

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the model layer to reduce the saturation of the model image:

Step 15

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the model layer. Next, using a soft brush, brush color # cba595, opacity (opacity) and pressure (flow) brush about 22-25%, paint over the face of the model to lighten and soften the skin of the model, as well as to hide the hard features:

Next, I used the tool Clarifier / Dimmer (Dodge and Burn tool) with the same settings as in Step 10 (on a separate layer) to lighten the skin, as well as darken the eyes and eyebrows to emphasize facial features. You can see the difference before and after this step in the screenshot below:

Step 16

Add adjustment layer Selective color correction (Selective Color) as a clipping mask for the model layer to change the color of the dress:

Step 17

To make the model’s face look more complete, create a new layer on top of all other layers (Not as a clipping mask). Choose a tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a selection on the model’s good cheek, and then fill the selected area with the color shade # d2987b (use a pipette to select the color shade from the model’s skin):

Using tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), darken the edge of the painted surface:

Step 18

Create again a new layer on top of all other layers. Set the foreground color to black. Using the Eyelash brush, brush number 920 (or choose a brush at your discretion), paint your eyes to make them more expressive, do not forget to use a layer mask to correct or remove extra details:

Step 19

Separate the image of the pumpkin from the background, and then move the selected image of the pumpkin to our working document, placing it to the left of the model:

Note: To perform this step, you must open the stock image “Pumpkin”

Add shadows to the image of a pumpkin using the same technique as when adding shadows to the model:

Step 20

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the pumpkin layer to reduce the saturation and brightness of the pumpkin:

Step 21

Open stock image with books. Create a selection around the books that are highlighted in the screenshot below. Next, move the selected image of the books to our working paper, placing it to the right of the model:

Add shadows to books:

Step 22

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the book layer to reduce image saturation:

Step 23

The side of the books that is facing the observer should be darkened, because It is hidden from the main light source. To do this, create a new layer and, using a brush, brush color # 8f877a, paint over the specified area. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

Step 24

Cut out the image of the skull. (You can use any other image of the skull). Move the selected skull image to our working paper by placing the skull on the books:

Note: to perform this step, you must open the stock image “Skull”

To change the light and shade on the skull, create a new layer, and then, using the tool Radial Gradient (Radiant Gradient Tool (G)), default gradient colors (black and white), draw a gradient on a new layer:

Change the blending mode for the gradient layer to Soft light (Soft Light), layer opacity 100%:

Step 25

Create two new layers with blend mode Soft light (Soft Light), 100%. On the first layer, using a soft black brush, paint over the upper right part of the skull:

On the second layer, apply a soft white brush to lighten the left side of the skull:

Step 26

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) as a clipping mask to the skull layer:

Step 27

Create a new layer (NOT as a clipping mask), select a soft brush, brush color # 83f6ed. Paint over the eye sockets of the skull:

Create another new layer, reduce the size of the brush, select a brush color brighter # c7f4ed. Click the brush in the center of the eye sockets. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

Create a new layer and using a brush, brush color # 83f6ed, paint over the area to the left of the books, the ground and the dress of the model from the side of the skull. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

Step 28

Cut out the image of the cap, move the selected image of the cap to our working paper, placing the cap on the model’s head:

Note: to perform this step, you must open the stock image “Cap”

Create a new layer below the cap layer. Using a soft black brush with an opacity of about 40-50%, add shadows to the cap on the model’s head:

Step 29

Create a new layer as a clipping mask for the cap layer. Select brush, brush color # 877872. Paint over the left side of the cap to darken it. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

Step 30

Next, we will add light effects to the pumpkin. Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Create a selection around the cut areas on the pumpkin, and then fill the active selection with a color tint # 877872:

Next, paint over with a soft white brush inside the cut areas on the pumpkin on a separate layer. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), opacity layer (Opacity) 50%:

Create a new layer. Select brush, brush color # 854a15. Paint around the cut areas on the pumpkin, the ground, and also the part of the model’s dress that faces the glowing pumpkin. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

Create two new layers. Blend mode for the first layer Soft light (Soft Light), 100%, change the brush color to # e9cc2e. Paint over specified areas
(translator’s note: paint over the edges of the cut areas to enhance the light effects). For the second layer, save the blending mode. Normal (Normal), 100%. Paint the folds of the model’s dress with a small-diameter brush to enhance the lighting effects:

Step 31

Separate the image of the sphere from the background, and then move the selected image of the sphere to our working document, placing the sphere on the model’s right hand:

Using a layer mask and a soft black brush with an opacity of about 50-60%, paint the central part of the sphere so that this part of the ball looks almost transparent:

Step 32

Add adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance) as a clipping mask to a layer with a sphere with the parameters specified below:

Step 33

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Next, use the Lightning brush, brush white color, brush number 920, draw a lightning bolt, then flip horizontally, and also deform the lightning to create a feeling as if the lightning is pulled out of the left hand and reaches the right hand. Using a layer mask, hide the extra lightning areas:

Right-click on the layer with lightning and in the window that appears, select the option Overlay options (Blending Options). Next, select the option External glow (Outer Glow) with default settings:

Step 34

Open the Light Glow box. Select the first flare, then move this flare to our working paper. Apply scaling, transformation, as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Lightening (Screen), 100%. Using a layer mask, hide the hard edges in the image to create a smooth transition:

Add adjustment layer Photo Filter (Photo Filter) as a clipping mask to the layer with the light flare and change the color of the flare:

Step 35

Select the 9th highlight from the set. Place this highlight in the center of the sphere. Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen), 100%. Hide the extra glow with a layer mask:

Add adjustment layer Photo Filter (Photo Filter) as a clipping mask to the layer with the given highlight. The settings are the same as in the previous step:

Step 36

Select the 6th highlight from the set. Do the same that you did in the previous steps. Add sparks to the sphere image:

Step 37

Create a new layer. Using the brush, brush color # ecb08f, paint over the sphere. Change the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light), layer opacity 50%:

Step 38

In this and the next steps, we will add the reflecting light emanating from the magical sphere to the environment and surrounding objects. Create several layers below the sphere layer. On the first layer, using a brush, brush color # 854a15, paint under the sphere, separate parts of the right hand, model’s face, left hand, cap, hair, following the rule: the farther the distance from the light source, the less saturation. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), opacity Layer (Opacity) 100%:

On the second layer, apply brush color # ecb08f. Paint over the right hand of the model. Change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color) 80% layer opacity:

Step 39

Add adjustment layer Selective color correction (Selective Color), placing below the layer with the sphere to enhance the light shades:

Step 40

To add light focus, create a new layer on top of all other layers. Apply the tool Radial Gradient ( Radiant Gradient Tool), gradient color black and white:

Change the blending mode for the radial gradient layer to Soft light (Soft Light), opacity layer (Opacity) 100%. Using a layer mask, hide the gradient effect on areas that are shown in the screenshot below:

Step 41

We return to the layer with the model. Add light to the model image using Layer stylesInner shadow (Layer Styles – Inner Shadow) to match the light source we created:

Result:

Step 42

In my opinion, the land near the forest should be slightly darker, so create a new layer below the forest layer. Set the brush color to # a4acaf. Paint the edges of the earth closer to the forest. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), 100%:

Step 43

Create several adjustment layers on top of all other layers.

Gradient Map (Gradient Map):

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) on Soft light (Soft Light), the opacity of the layer is 70%.

Color Balance (Color Balance):

Photo Filter 1 (Photo Filter 1):

Photo Filter 2 (Photo Filter 2):

Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and using a soft black brush, hide the bright effect at the top of the picture, as well as on the skull and pumpkin:

Step 44

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using tool Clarifier / Dimmer (Dodge and Burn tool), correct the details on the model’s face, and also lighten her right hand:

Step 45

Create a new layer. Using a brush, brush color # d0c2ae, paint over the model’s cheek to make the model’s face look full and more natural. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), 50% layer opacity:

Step 46

The final step: intensify the orange shades with a correction layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation layer):

Switch to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation layer) and using a soft black brush, reduce the saturation on the model’s face, as well as on the hands:

Final result

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