In this tutorial, I will show you how you can create a beautiful artwork in Photoshop from several stock images. We will use different methods of photo manipulation and filters for various effects.
We will need materials:
Step 1. Open a model photo in Photoshop and separate the girl from the background. I used a tool for this PenTool (Pen) and instead of erasing the background, created a layer mask. After cutting, reduce the image size to 1200 × 616 pixels.
Step 2. After you have removed the background in the layer mask mode, add a new layer with a photo of the sky below the girl layer and adjust its size to fit your image. Using layer mask, erase the bottom half of the sky image as shown below.
Step 3. Now duplicate the sky layer (or paste it again) and apply the filter GaussianBlur (Gaussian blur). Try to get the result as shown below. Use a soft brush to connect the boundaries of the two parts of the sky.
Step 4. Use the following adjustment layers for the girl image: Levels (Levels) to lighten the girl, Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to enhance saturation and ColorBalance(Color balance) to add blue and blue tones to the lights and middle tones of the image (move the corresponding sliders).
Translator’s Note: here and hereinafter, in order for the adjustment layers to affect only the desired layer, create clipping masks (Alt + click between the layers).
Step 5. Now you will learn how to create reflections for complex objects, such as a girl’s dress. Duplicate the girl layer and flip it vertically. Place it below the original girl layer. Open up Filter>Liquify (Filter-Plastic). Using brushes of different sizes in this filter, move the reflection of the dress until it touches the original (make sure you have the “View backdrop to see other layers” option enabled — use all layers).
After you create the reflection, add a mask to this layer. While in mask mode, grab the tool. GradientTool (Gradient) or soft brush and erase the bottom of the reflection. Also make sure that the reflection does not show the head of the girl, as it should be in reality. Change the layer’s overlay mode to LinearLight (Linear light), blur it according to Gauss (Gaussian Blur) 1.5 pixels and lower the layer opacity to 50%.
Step 6. Using soft brush with 20% opacity, draw small shadows under the girl.
Step 7. Go to the layer with the sky that you added in step 2 and use adjustment layers Levels (Levels) –Increase the average tones (middle slider) by 1.68i Hue/Saturation (Hue / Saturation) – increase the saturation value to +37. These corrections will make the sky brighter.
Step 8. Open the sea image and paste it below the layer with the girl and her shadow, but above the blurred sky layer that you created in step 3. Using a soft brush of large diameter, paint over the image in the layer mask mode as in the screenshot below. I called this layer water ripples.
Step 9. The water is too dark, so I created several adjustment layers to make it bluer and lighter. I added a layer of water in order to get a natural ripple. I could have made the ripples by hand, but this was too long and I chose an easier way.
Add adjustment layer Levels (Levels) to layer water ripples and change its blending mode to Screen (Clarification). Also add an adjustment layer. ColorBalance(Color balance) (Normal blend mode is normal) and use the settings shown below. Now I got what I need – clear blue water.
Step 10. Open the swan image and separate it from the background. I used a soft brush where there is water to get a nice transition to the bottom layer with water. I created an adjustment layer Levels (Levels), in the same way as I did with the image of a girl – brightened the image, and ColorBalance(Color balance) to give a blue tint.
Step 11. Add a pigeon, reduce its size to about 20% and reuse Levels (Levels) to adjust the contrast. This time I created a new blue layer and set it to blend mode. Hue (Color tone), fill 21% to give the pigeon a blue outflow.
Step 12. Open the png file with rose petals and drag a few different petals to work. Paste them above the water layer, duplicate each one of them and move them a few pixels down to create reflections. Change the blending mode for each layer with reflection to SoftLight (Soft light) and lower the opacity to 50%. You need to adjust the saturation and contrast with Curves (Curves) or Levels(Levels). I also painted small, subtle shadows under each petal.
I wanted to add more rain to the work, but it didn’t look very good, and I abandoned the idea.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!