In this tutorial we will combine several photos, adjust the colors and use the retouching techniques to create a dark portrait with a girl in a mystical style.
Resources the lesson:
Step 1. Open the background image in Photoshop. We need only the selected part:
You need to replace the background, add contrast and blur to create a focus on the girl. Select a background layer and go to the menu. Filter – Blur – Blur Gaussian (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur):
Make a copy of the background layer and set it Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Multiplication (Multiply).
With the help of correction Curves (Curves) we will add contrast and weaken the light, especially on the right side of the background. Create Curves Correction Layer (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves) and adjust as shown below:
Step 2. Open the photo of the girl, remove it and insert it into our document. I did it with a tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool) (L).
You need to retouch the face of the girl, before moving on to the next step. Use tools Stamp (Clone Stamp Tool) (S), Healing Brush (Healing Brush Tool) (J), Sharpness (Sharpen Tool), Blur (Blur Tool) and others. Just do not overdo it with retouching, the skin should look natural, and not like plastic.
It is necessary to correct the dark area under the eye and in the upper part of the nose (I noted its selection).
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) and select the tool Pipette (Eyedropper Tool) (i). Click on the light area of the skin.
The fill color should be # f4cdbc. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) with soft edges and set its opacity and pressure – 20-25%. Draw a dark area to make it brighter. Do not do many strokes in the same place, as you risk losing face details.
Step 3. Open the Butterfly 1 image and extract the butterfly into our document. Resize the image and position as shown below.
Name the layer “butterfly mask” and tool Free transform (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T) stretch the butterfly and change the shape to fit the shape of the girl’s face. Add a layer mask (click on the mask icon at the bottom of the palette of the slle) and use a soft black brush to erase the butterfly to get this result:
Install Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Overlap (Overlay) and Opacity – 30%.
Step 4. In this step we will make the girl’s eyes even more beautiful. Create a new document with the size of 100×100 pixels with a transparent background. Tool Pen (Pen Tool) (P) Draw a curve (in shape, like an eyelash). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B), set the size – 2 pixels, stiffness – 100%, color – black. Tool Pen (Pen Tool) (P) right-click on the contour and select Stroke Path (Stroke Path) and in the appeared window select Brush, set the value Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure).
Go to menu Editing – Define a brush (Edit – Define Brush Preset):
Return to the main document and create a new layer above the butterfly layer. Select a saved brush.
Set the fill color to # 00a9eb and go to the brushes palette (F5), adjust as shown below:
By adjusting the angle, you can change the curvature of the eyelashes.
Make a smear along the eyes of the girl.
Tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) or Eraser (Eraser Tool) (E) Erase the top and bottom of the eyelashes.
Eyelash should not go to the eye area.
Step 5. In the next two steps, we will create a base color for the image. We’ll fill everything in blue and create some glows.
Create Curves Correction Layer (Layer – New adjustment layer – Curves) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves) and select the blue color:
You can choose not only blue, but also any other color.
Set up the channels individually:
To enhance the light, tune the RGB channel:
On the question of setting blue as the default color, answer NO.
Create a layer Channel Mixing (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Channel Mixing) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Channel Mixer):
Step 6. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) under the layer with the curves and channel mixes from step 5. Fill it with 50% gray.
We need tools Clarifier (Dodge Tool) (O) and Dimmer (Burn Tool) (O) in the range – mid-tones (midtones) and an exposure of 25-40%. They will help us highlight facial features.
Lighten the following areas: the forehead, the area under the eyes, the central part of the nose, the area under the nose, the lips, the chin, the cheekbones, the eyes and the eyelashes. Then add the shadows on the sides of the cheeks, sides of the nose, pupils. Use the image below as a sample.
Remember that shadows and glows depend on the location of the light source. Therefore, work with lightening and darkening tools neatly.
Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Overlap (Overlay):
Step 7. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) above the layers. Curves and Channel Mixing (from step 5). Make a selection of lips and nails and fill it with color # 422231. Install Blend mode (Blending Mode) of this layer – Color (Color).
Step 8. Create the following adjustment layers to weaken the blue tone and add contrast:
Brightness / Contrast (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast)
Levels (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels):
Step 9. It is necessary to create the illusion that the light source is located behind. To do this, create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), select the tool Brush (Brush Tool) (B) with soft edges and paint in white the area highlighted in the image below. Install Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Overlap (Overlay) and Opacity – 70%.
Step 10. Create another layer and paint the area near the cheek with a white brush. Install the same Blend mode (Blending Mode), as in the previous step.
Step 11. To make the lips more visible, create a new layer on top of the rest. Choose soft brush white with opacity 50-60%. Outline the lips and nails area highlighted in the image below. Install Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Overlap (Overlay) and Opacity – 70%.
Step 12. In this step, we will do what we did in step 11, just for the nose and chin. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), set it Blend mode (Blending Mode) – Overlap (Overlay) and Opacity – 70%. Select soft brush white with an opacity of 40% and create a couple of spots on selected areas:
Step 13. In this step we will add a blur at the bottom of the image. Press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E, to merge all layers into one separate. With any selection tool, create a selection with 40 pixels feathering, as shown below:
Apply filter Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur Gaussian) (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a value of 3 pixels. Lower the Opacity of the layer to 50%.
Step 14. Open the Butterfly 2 image. Since the image has a transparent background, make a selection of any butterfly and drag it to our document. Resize the image and position as shown below:
Now change the color of the butterfly. Create two adjustment layers and create a clipping mask for each (Ctrl + Alt + G):
Selective color correction (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color Correction) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color):
Channel Mixing (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Channel Mixing) (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Channel Mixer):
Apply the following layer styles to the butterfly layer:
The opacity (Opacity) of the butterfly layer is 80%.
Step 15. Now add a spark under the butterfly. Create a new layer on top of the rest, select hard brush 2px white and set it up in the brushes palette (F5):
Outline the area under the butterfly and a little on it.
Apply a style to the sparks layer. External glow (Outer Glow):
Select the sparks layer and press Ctrl + G to place it in the group. Install Blend mode (Blending Mode) groups – Lightening basics (Color Dodge). If you don’t put a layer in a group, change Blend mode (Blending Mode) layer, you will get a completely different result. Below you can see the difference between finding a layer outside the group and inside it:
Make a copy of the layer with the group and lower its Opacity to 50%. Apply Horizontal reflection (Editing – Transforming – Flip Horizontal) (Edit – Transform – Flip Horizontal) and position as shown below.
Step 16. In this step, we will again use the dimming and brightening tools. Merge all layers, create a new one and set its Blending Mode – Overlap (Overlay). Fill it with 50% gray (Shift + F5). Customize tools Clarifier (Dodge Tool) (O) and Dimmer (Burn Tool) (O), as in step 6. Add contrast to the girl’s face and highlight the sparkles of the butterfly.
Author: Jenny Le