Magic Forest in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a magical forest with a beautiful angel reading a book. You will learn how to turn a photo with a forest into a night scene with rays of light, how to create an angel by adding wings to a girl, and also how to complete the picture with a few final touches.

Final result

Baseline materials

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with the following sizes: Width (Width) 1600, Height (Height) 1200. Place the ‘Dark Forest’ image on our working paper, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 2

Add a new adjustment layer Color Balance (Color Balance).

Step 3

Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Step 4

Add another adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Switch to the layer mask of this adjustment layer and use a soft black brush to hide the correction as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 5

Next, we will prepare the shadow that the angel will create. Using a soft black brush, brush size 65px, draw the shadow where the arrow is drawn:

Next, we need to blur the shadow! Let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur). Set the blur radius to 37.4px:

Change the blending mode for the layer with the shadow on Multiplication (Multiply), and then lower the layer opacity to 60%:

Step 6

Create a new layer. Using a soft round brush, brush color # 373737, brush size 123px, paint a spot:

Next, using the same brush, brush size 23px, brush color # 898989, paint it as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 7

Create a new layer. Using the same brush, the brush size is 35 px, the brush color is black, paint it as shown in the screenshot below:

Blur this part of the shadow. Let’s go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur). Set a blur radius of 9.7 px:

Step 8

Create a new layer. Using the same brush, the brush size is still the same 35 px., Paint over the red dots below:

Blur this part of the shadow. Apply the settings you last applied. To do this, go to the top panel Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Gaussian blur):

Step 9

Keep calm, the only layer left is to create a shadow. Now we draw shadows under the wings. Using a soft round brush, brush size 65px, brush opacity 60%, draw a line as shown in the screenshot below:

Apply a blur, possibly using the previous technique:

Step 10

Paste the image of the model on our working paper, placing in the center of the scene. Using a layer mask, separate it from the background. Do not worry about the grass when allocating a girl, we will take care of this in the following steps. :)

Hair can be treated with a soft brush, and the shape of the body with a hard brush. The result of processing with a brush on the layer mask can be seen in the screenshot below:

Step 11

We have a dark forest all around the night, so we need to add shadows to our model. Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast) and using a soft black brush, hide the correction, as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 12

Add a new adjustment layer to the model layer. Color Balance (color balance):

Step 13

Next, add a new adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Step 14

Now let’s add a shadow to the model image:

Light comes in from the top right corner. To make the picture look natural, we need to hide the shadow on the layer mask of the adjustment layer:

As I said, the light comes from the top right. We have to show it. Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast). Apply the settings below:

Next, hide the correction on the layer mask of this adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast).

Step 15

We start by creating shadows. Paint over the brush as shown in the screenshot below. Please be careful:

Step 16

Move the Wing image to our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below. Experiment with the deformation to find the best position:

Step 17

The wing is located behind the girl’s back, so it should be darker and with the least contrast. However, now we will add night shades. To do this, add a new adjustment layer. Color Balance (color balance):

Next, add a new adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Add another adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Next, hide the correction on the layer mask of the adjustment layer.

For beauty, add another adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Step 18

Next, paste the second wing onto our working paper.

Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Next, add a new adjustment layer. Color Balance (color balance):

To create a realistic look, add another adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Next, hide the correction on the layer mask of the adjustment layer.

Now the lighting effects. Add another adjustment layer. Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Next, hide the correction on the layer mask of the adjustment layer.

Step 19

Bored enough? But now the magic begins! Select the Grass brush, set the color shades # 0a100d and # 101518. Create a new layer and then paint over the edge of the model image:

Step 20

Create a new layer. Now using a large soft white brush, paint the light highlights on the ground. Opacity of the layer with light highlights of 40%. Repeat the brush movement behind the red lines. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light):

Step 21

Next, we draw the hair on the model’s head. Create a new layer. Choose a brush, brush size (about 2-4px) and with the selected brush, draw hair, repeating the movement behind the red lines. To select color shades, my “scheme” in the screenshot below will help you:

Step 22

Now we need to add a small blue reflection on the model. Create a new layer. Choose a soft brush, brush size 1px, brush color # 83b8e4 and using the selected brush, paint over the brush, repeating the movements of the red arrows. Paint with a brush gently :):

Step 23

The next step is to add light highlights to the trees. To do this, create a new layer. Using a soft round brush, brush color # 83b8e4, paint over the trees. But! Only from one side of the trees. The light comes from the upper right corner, therefore, the light will fall on the trees on the right side;

Reduce the opacity of this layer to 30%.

Step 24

Create a new layer. Choose a soft round brush, brush size 23 px, brush opacity 45%. Paint over the edges of the stones and trees. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (screen). Reduce the layer opacity to 65%:

Step 25

Create another new layer. Using a soft round brush, brush size 2-4px, paint strokes on the branches, creating light highlights:

Red arrows will guide you. Do not forget about the light source!

Step 26

For depth of field, open the image ‘Grass 01png’. Paste this image on our working paper, placing it as shown in the screenshot below:

Next, apply a blur. For this we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur):

Step 27

Next, open the stock image ‘Foliage’. Paste this image on our working paper, placing, as shown in the screenshot below. Apply blur, for this we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur), you can apply the filter through the top panel:

Now back to the corrective layers :). Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Add a new adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (hue / saturation):

Next, add a new adjustment layer. Color Balance (color balance):

Step 28

Create a new layer. Fill it with color # 7da7d9. Reduce the opacity of the layer to 60%, and then change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light):

Add a new adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (brightness / contrast):

Step 29

We need to combine the wings with the model. Create a new layer. Using a soft round brush, brush size 20px, brush color # 73686d, put a spot where the skin turns into wings. Next, change the color of the brush to the color tint # 3e536e, and then paint over the edge of the wing:

Step 30

Next, we draw feathers. Create a new layer. Choose a soft round brush. Brush color # 87acca, brush size (max. 2px). Paint over the brush as shown in the screenshot below:

Step 31

Now we have to draw the light source. Create a new layer. Choose soft round brush, brush color # 7da6d7, brush size 22 px. Imagine, but in moderation!

Right-click on the layer with lighting effects and in the window that appears, select the option Convert to Smart Object (Convert it to smart object). Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian blur):

Step 32

Create a new layer. Choose a large white round brush. Reduce the opacity of the brush to 35% and using this brush, draw a reflection of light:

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

Step 33

Create a new layer. Fill it with color # 00497e. Reduce the opacity of the layer to 70%, and then change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply):

Choose a tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool). Set the value Feathering (feather) at 120px or more, this is your choice. Apply this tool in the upper right corner of our scene. Delete the selected area (by pressing the Delete key):

Result:

Step 34

Next, we add pollen. Create a new layer. Choose a brush ‘Small particles’, the color of the brush is white, the default settings of the brush. Paint brush on the wings, on the hair of the model, on the legs, and also on the book:

Right-click on the layer with drawn particles and in the window that appears, select the option Overlay options (Blending options):

Select an option External glow (Outer glow). Set the color to # 0096ff. So, our picture is ready for display!

Thank you for being with me until the end of the lesson! I hope that this lesson was not so boring.

Final result

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