We are inspired by nature with Photoshop

With all sites providing stock images, we forget that we can actually do everything ourselves. The problem with stock images is that two different pictures based on the same image will look like each other, no matter what you do with them.

In this lesson we are not going to take any random photo from the Internet, we will make it for ourselves. I teamed up with my friend photographer to shoot and turn the photo into a natural-style illustration.

Final image

Source materials:

Step 1

I am going to create my own illustration from a photo taken by a photographer – my friend from Borza Lucian College of Art. Many thanks to him for providing the photo. I chose this one, but to see the rest of the pictures, you can scroll through it. portrait section down to the end. The best part of collaboration is taking part in taking photos for your project, or the ability to choose one photo from many (as in this case). It is also nice to know that you can always contact the photographer and model if you need. This is something that you cannot do with stock images from the online market. All you need to shoot is a low quality DSRL, model and park at sunset.

To begin, open your own photo and make a proper crop. In this tutorial, I will use the photo that my friend gave me, but I suggest you make it your own with friends. You will be surprised at how fun it will be and how much you can learn about the organization of such a project from beginning to end.

Step 2

Now we will slightly correct the model. I’m not going to make her look ultra-glossy, but I will smooth her forehead with a little Healing brush (J) (Healing Brush). Since the lighting is from the outside, the skin texture appears rougher.

Step 3

Now it’s time to add a little contrast to the left side, as it is slightly below the right. Alternate BurnTool (Dimmer) and SpongeTool (Sponge) to add contrast, but at the same time remove excessive saturation. Switch to Shadow (Shadows) and Midtone (Mid Tones).

The big difference between the two sides of the face makes the left eye a little darker. Just use the tool. CloneStamp (S) (Stamp) to stamp the other eye. Be careful to focus on the position.

Step 5

Throughout the process we are going to darken the hair and draw it in the same place. So create a gradient from black to transparent to darken the sides. Change the opacity to get the same result.

Step 6

Now the hardest part begins. You need a tablet to continue. Make sure pressure sensitivity is enabled, select 4px size, lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 25% Flow (Push) up to 30%. Before you start drawing, pay attention to the second screenshot of this step. Double-click on a layer to access layer styles. Add a Color overlay (Overlay color), use color # f4b474.

Then start to draw hair lines along the direction of real hair, but use it as a guide. Do not be afraid to go beyond until the result looks like real hair.

Step 7

Continue adding hair by applying medium and strong pressure. Following the direction of the hair, highlight the blond hair.

Step 8

Since then you draw more hair, you can gradually darken the sides until the color turns into solid black. To do this, use a very large brush this time to create a similar fill. In the screenshot, I painted the area in red so that you can see exactly where.

Step 9

After darkening, your image should look similar to the one shown below. When darkening, imagine the image of a triangle turned upside down.

Step 10

Using the same hair color, keep adding much thinner hair using a 2px brush.

Step 11

Start drawing on the left side of the image. In the original image there is a dark place next to the ear (on the left side) that bothers me. Over time, I will try to hide it with hair, as shown in the image below. From now on, whether or not you want to follow the original direction of her hair, but you have to create your own direction of hair.

Step 12

By this point you should have several strands of hair on the sides of the image. Again, some of the new areas should be blacked out. Take a large soft black brush and darken them.

Step 13

We are going to create some pretty sharp filters. Why am I doing this? Then, it is very easy to get carried away with colors when drawing in an image. Using filters, you can match a common color palette. First of all, go to the menu Layer-> NewAdjustmentLayer-> Curves (Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves). Drag all the channels as shown in the pictures below.

Step 14

In the next correction, we need to remove the yellow color. Create an adjustment layer Selective color (Selective color correction) and reduce yellow tones, respectively.

Step 15

Now we are going to change the color of the sweater. Create an adjustment layer Hue/Saturation (Hue / saturation) and drag the sliders as shown below

Step 16

Take a black brush and go through it in areas where there will be no green except a sweater.

Step 17

Be sure to follow the lines, use a half-soft brush to circle the sweater.

Step 18

Now we are going to increase the contrast and change the shade of the green sweater. Add adjustment layer GradientMap (Gradient Map) in clipping mask mode so that it only affects the layer. Create a gradient from black to yellow (# fff000) and set the blending mode Overlay (Overlap)

Step 19

Now it’s time to change the color of the eyes so that they match the sweater. Create an adjustment layer Hue/Saturation (Hue / saturation) and invert the mask (Ctrl + I). Paint white eyes to change only her eyes.

Step 20

Open the image with the jungle and paste it into the scene. You need to place this image in all four corners, each with a view of the center of the image. Let’s start with the first one.

Step 21

Go to menu Layer-> LayerMask-> HideAll (Layer -> Layer Mask -> Hide All). Then in the layers palette, select the layer mask icon. Take Brush (Brush) and draw white, invert the image back. Change Opacity (opacity) and Flow (Push) 30%. Start drawing again on the image, taking into account the direction of the hair, as if they were matted.

Step 22

Continue to draw along the direction of the hair, at the same time change the size of the brush. Use a small brush of only 2-5px for detailed areas, as well as larger ones, where you just want to fill the color.

Step 23

Now we will stop for a while on the painted foliage to change its color. Create an adjustment layer GradientMap (Gradient map) with the following colors (from left to right) # aabb9d, # 6b7c0c, # 90a03a, # dde251. Create a layer mask for the foliage layer.

Step 24

Duplicate the foliage layer (Ctrl / Ctrl + J). Turn off the mask on the first layer and drag it as a clipping mask for the newly duplicated layer. Go to menu Filter -> Other -> Highpass (Filter -> Other -> Color Contrast) and set the blending mode Overlay (Overlap). This will make the image of the foliage clearer.

Step 25

It’s time to resume drawing hair. Using the new hair color, continue the process on the right side: f17b39. Start applying more pressure with this new shade.

Step 26

Change Opacity (Opacity) up to 100% and start creating rare strands with a third shade: f8be5d.

Step 27

Use this color combination across the board. In the upper right corner, I made it so that this part contains more hair than usual, you do not want to completely cover the hair with hair.

Step 28

You can simply add hair, then draw foliage. In fact, this is a “back and forth” technique, so you can resume adding foliage on the right side. To begin, add hair over the foliage, then add more foliage over the green hair. This is necessary to ensure a smooth and natural transition.

Step 29

The green color, as I mentioned in the previous step, is # d0e017, Use this shade to add light leaves and blend them together.

Step 30

Continue to draw over the foliage using this color. This will add depth and thickness.

Step 31

Use the same color to add whole strands. This will ease the transition.

Step 32

Also repeat on the right side. Add thin, but opaque hair lines using a triple color palette.

Step 33

It’s time to add foliage to the top of the image. Use dark space to fill.

Step 34

After you have added foliage, start drawing the hairline from above, as you have done so far.

Step 35

Draw light strands on the foliage and on the hair, use the color of lime.

Step 36

For the center of the image, repeat the whole process to get the same result. Again, use the dark space to fill the foliage.

Step 37

As a final touch in this part, I am going to add a few tiny flowers breaking through the foliage. Use plain white color and Flow (Push) 30% to draw them.

Step 38

Work out the outline, constantly watching the light fall as you draw.

Step 39

Create little flowers wherever foliage is most

Step 40

We’re going to darken the color of these colors a bit by adding an adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient map) and create a clipping mask for the layer with colors. Change Opacity (Opacity) layer up to about 10%.

Step 41

Use Blur (Blur) and Smudge tool (R) (Finger) to soften the look and texture of the flower. Then draw the stems using a light green color to connect them with the foliage in the hair.

Step 42

Create a new adjustment layer. Selective color (Selective Color Correction) on top of all other layers and change the color of the black tones, as shown below.

Step 43

Then darken the areas shown in the second screenshot below.

Step 44

Add a correction layer as the last color correction for the scene. Gradient map (Gradient map) with the following colors #2989cc, # f6ff00. Change Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 7%.


And here we are completing the transformation of our model Patricia. Once again, I thank Patricia and Lucien for their participation, and I hope that this lesson at least encourages you to become less dependent on Internet resources. Take the time to make your own.

Author: Alex Beltechi

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