Witch in the forest

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a beautiful fairy forest in Photoshop. You will learn how to create a dark fairy tale background, how to create lighting effects, including fire effects.

Final result

Source materials:

Step 1

Open stock image with forest. Using tool Frame(Crop Tool (C), select the part of the image:

Press the (Enter) key to complete the action.

Step 2

Duplicate the forest layer (Ctrl + J). Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur), blur radius 3 px:

To duplicate a layer with a forest, add a layer mask and use a soft black large brush (300-400 px, depending on the size of your document), hide the blur effect on the layer mask:

This action will add depth of field to our scene.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to change the color of the forest. Let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue / Saturation):

Step 4

Dim the forest, it will also help create the main light source (top middle), create a new layer and use a soft brush, color brush # 4b5e6e, paint the sides of the image, while painting some trees slightly, because they are already dark. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), 100%:

Step 5

I selected this model image from the entire image set. Cut out the model image and then transfer it to our working paper. Place the model in the middle of our scene:

Create a new layer below the model layer. Using a soft black brush of small size (12-15 px), approximately 50% opacity, paint under the girl’s legs to create shadows. Shadows should not be too saturated, because the girl is standing on dark ground and the main source of light is not too bright.

Step 6

You may notice that the light on the model does not match the background lighting. To fix this, I used several layers, which I used as a clipping mask for the model layer. From the model layer, press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + N) to create a new layer:

Change the brush color to # 887255. Using a brush, paint over the left side of the model (because it is lighter than the right). Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), layer opacity 60%:

Step 7

Create a new layer, change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay), check the box Fill 50% gray (50% gray):

Choose a tool Dimmer (Burn Tool), install Range (Ranges) on Mid tones (Midtones), Exposition (Exposure) about 35-40%, use this tool to darken the left side of the model, the dress. In the screenshot below, you can see the areas that I darkened under the mode Normal (Normal):

Mode Overlap (Overlay):

Step 8

Since The main light source is located in the upper middle part of the scene, I added a reflective light to the model, by adding an effect Inner shadow (Inner Shadow). Double-click on the model layer to display the window. Overlay options (Blending Options):

Step 9

Open the set of curls of hair. I chose the following hair locks with which we will work:

Using tool Lasso ( Lasso Tool (L), select the specified hair locks, moving them to our working paper. Position the hair locks on the model’s head on the left side, after scaling and transformation (Ctrl + T):

Using a layer mask, hide the excess part of the hair:

Duplicate a layer with curls of hair, move the duplicate curls of hair to the right, flip horizontally, go Editing – Transformation – Flip Horizontal (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal), also shorten these hair locks (because the model slightly tilted her head back and to the left – if viewed from the observer’s side, therefore, the hair locks on the right should be shorter and the hair locks on the left should be longer) :

Step 10

Group the layers with the hair curls (first select the layers with the hair curls, then press the keys (Ctrl + G), name the hair curly layers “hair 1 ″,“ hair 2 ″). Change the blending mode for the layer with the group from the mode Skip (Pass Through (overlay mode for default group) per mode Normal (Normal), 100%.

To change the hair color so that they fit the model, being on the 2 hair 2 ’layer inside the group, let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Hue / Saturation (Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue / Saturation):

Since we changed the blending mode for the group layer to mode Normal (Normal), 100%, then adjustment layers will affect only the layers that are within this group (layers with curls of hair).

Step 11

Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft white brush, paint over the top middle of the scene where the main light source is located. Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 40%:

Step 12

Create another new layer. Apply Radial gradient (Radiant Gradient), default gradient colors (black and white gradient):

Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light), 100% and with the help of a layer mask, hide the bright gradient effect on the model image, and also blur the effect of darkening in the foreground. In the screenshot below, you can see the result of my processing with a black brush on the layer mask of the layer:

Result on the image:

Step 13

Create a new layer. Using a soft brush, brush color # b3c7cd, paint over the model’s legs to further darken them. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply), 100%:

Step 14

Open the stock image with the flame. Place the flame to the right of the model’s legs, and zoom out the image with the flame:

Change the blending mode for the flame layer to Lightening (Screen), 100%. Using a layer mask, hide the hard edges of the image:

The effect of fire looks great on a dark background. If your original image has a light background, then you should use other blending modes, for example, Soft light (Soft Light), Lightening basics (Color Dodge) etc … Next, duplicate the flame layer several times to make a big bonfire. I used 15 layers to create this effect, all layers with blending mode Lightening (Screen):

Group all the layers with the flame, name the new group “fire”.

Step 15

Using the same technique that you used in the previous step, add a flame to the model’s right hand, creating the feeling that she is holding a fire in her hands. I used 3 layers to create this effect:

Step 16

Group all the flame layers that are on the right hand on Lightening (Screen), 100% (it is very important to keep the effect after the group is created). Inside the created group, add a new adjustment layer. Photo Filter (Photo Filter) to add more vibrant shades of yellow to the fire.

Step 17

In this step, we will add lighting effects to the ground from the fire. Create a new layer below the layers with groups of fire. Change the brush color to # 644e13 (you can choose any dark shade of yellow-orange color that fits your picture) and with a brush, paint over the lower part of the fire, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), 100%:

Step 18

Create two new layers. Using a soft brush, brush the color of # da9441, paint over the area that you already painted in the previous step, and then change the blending mode for the first layer to Chromaticity (Color), 100%, and for the second layer on Lightening basics (Color Dodge), 100%:

I called these layers in order “lighting effects 1” by “lighting effects 3”.

Step 19

Create a new layer. Using a soft brush, brush color # da6541, paint over the model (on the legs, on the dress) where the light from the fire falls. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), 100%:

Step 20

Create a new layer. Change the brush color to # da9441, reduce opacity (opacity) and pressure (flow) brush up to 40-45%, but increase the size of the brush (400-450 px). Paint over the fire to add a glowing effect to the fire:

Step 21

Create a new layer. Using the same brush color (# da9441), paint over the model’s dress, the model’s legs, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:

Step 22

Create a new layer. Using a very small brush, the color of the brush is # cb6c20, paint over the folds of the model’s dress to add light highlights to them. I saved the blending mode for this layer to mode Normal (Normal), 100%:

Step 23

Create a new layer on top of the layers with groups of fire. Using the same brush color as in the previous step (# cb6c20), brush size is about 3 px, draw sparks around the fire:

Step 24

Next, we will work with the flame, which is in the model’s hand. Create a new layer on top of all other layers. Using a soft brush, brush color # da9441, paint around the flame, then change the blending mode to Lightening basics (Color Dodge), 100%. Duplicate this layer, and then change the blending mode to duplicate the layer to Overlap (Overlay), 100%:

Step 25

Create a new layer. Using a soft brush, brush color # da6541, paint over the flame to add a glow effect to the flame, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen), 100%:

Step 26

Create a new layer. Using the same brush, paint over the face of the model, over the hand where the light from the flame falls. Blend mode for this layer Lightening basics (Color Dodge), 100%:

Step 27

Create a new layer. Using a brush, brush color # cb6c20, add light highlights to the model’s hair, as well as to the model’s hand:

Step 28

The face of the model and the hand of the model look a bit dark, so, using a soft white brush (to do this, create a new layer), lighten the specified areas. Change the blending mode for this layer. Overlap (Overlay), 30%:

Step 29

So, it’s time for color correction of the whole picture. Add a few adjustment layers on top of all other layers.

Gradient Map (Gradient Map):

Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer. Gradient Map (Gradient Map) on Soft light (Soft Light), 100%.

Color Balance (Color Balance):

Final result

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