advanced photoshop

Expert Compositing: Part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Follow Photoshop methods and techniques for designing fashion-based illustration

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Step 9 – Create arrows

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Make the body of your arrows, applying a selection with your Rectangular Marquee Tool and filling this with a #404040 colour (Shift+F5). Add an Inner Glow Layer Style and set Blend Mode to Screen, Color to #c3a87c, Technique to Softer, Source to Center, Choke to18 ad Size at 29. Use the Pen Shape tool to create arrowheads, adding a #3f3f3f to #5e5341 colour gradient overlay. Download the 107167 branches file from and change it to red using colour adjustments. These are added as the fletching. Now merge your arrow layers and duplicate, placing them in your model’s hand.

Step 10 – Create a mask

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Use the Pen tool and draw a path that follows the contour of the face with horned extensions. After closing your path make a selection of it (Cmd/Ctrtl click layer thumbnail), add a new layer and fill it with white (Shift+F5). Apply shadows to edges, created a 3D effect, using a #b7b7b7 coloured soft brush, with Always use Pressure for Opacity option activated. Before we start painting shadow, we need to load a selection of the mask then make a new layer above. Paint to this with a soft brush, creating shadow. Apply Gaussian Blur at a 4 pixel radius, while your selection of mask is still active.

Step 11 – Horns

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Creating your horns is a similar process to your mask. First draw these out using the Pen tool. Then make a selection of the horns and fill this in with white, in a new layer. Add a Bevel & Emboss Layer Style and set Style to Inner Bevel, Technique to Smooth, Depth at 276%, Size at13, Soften at13, Shadow mode to Multiply, Color to #77979e and Opacity at 38%. Everything else is set to default. Open the Flowers.psd supplied on disc and drag this into our working image. Place and transform to build the best look.

Step 12 – White parts

Expert Compositing: Part 2

We’ll continue to add what looks like bits of porcelain to the model’s skin. First make use the Pen tool too make a selection, as before then press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate a skin section. Then with this duplicated layer selected go to Image>Adjustment>Desaturate. Load a selection of this shape and apply Gaussian Blur set at a10 pixel radius. Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D) your selection, duplicate this layer twice then merge all three layers. Go to Levels and input the following values: 15, 1.18 and 228. Apply shadow below objects using a #926958 coloured brush applied to a new layer set to a Multiply blending mode.

Step 13 – Trees

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Trunks for these can be made with a #c9c9c9 coloured hard brush. A #767676 coloured soft brush is then added to create shadow, in the middle of the trunk. Change your brush group to Dry Media in the Brush Preset fly-out options. Pick a Soft Oil Pastel brush with a #767676 colour and add lines of varying sizes to the trunk. Download the image 55089 trees image from and select only the treetop, dragging it into your working image. Apply Levels set to 0, 1.88 and 245. Now add Hue/Saturation, setting Saturation at -25. Finally add Color balance, setting values at 100, 0, +100.

Step 14 – Glowing effects

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Open the Bird.psd file from the disc and drag it into your working image. Create a glow effect behind your model, using the Elliptical Marquee tool. Before making your selection set Feather at 200px. Apply to your background layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate. Add Levels, settings values at 0, 2.08 and 255. Add Color Balance setting values to 0,0 and 100. Duplicate your pearls and arrange them at different sizes, floating at the top of the image.

Step 15 – Improve the mood

Expert Compositing: Part 2

For improving general mood and connecting elements together, apply textures and adjustment layers. Open Texture.jpg supplied on disc and drag it into your working image. This layer needs to be above all other layers. Set its blending mode to Soft Light. Add more contrast using Layers>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Select the Green curves channel and add a slight upwards curves to affect the image colour. See the exact position in the screenshot for this step.

Step 16 – Settings

Expert Compositing: Part 2

After changing the overall colour and mood, it’s time to polish your image and finally review all image elements. You need to make the model’s hair brighter. Use the Dodge tool with Exposure set at 70% and pass over this area a few times and darker parts of the dress. To make the model closer to the environment, apply Levels with input values set to 0, 1.18 and 255. The grass also looks too dark so apply Levels with input values set to 0, 1.35, 241. Set output values of 11, 231.

Step 17 – Shadows

Expert Compositing: Part 2

Adding shadow defines our main light source much better. The most important shadows exist in the grass layer. Choose a #979842 colour and create a new layer. Select a soft brush set to Always use Pressure for Opacity option activated and paint in shadows beneath your model, pearls and trees with varying brush sizes. The model’s shoes also need to be darker, so use the Eyedropper tool to choose darker tone from these. With same brush settings, make the lower part of the shoes darker.

Step 18 – Sun rays

Expert Compositing: Part 2

These illustrated sunrays are made in Adobe Illustrator. In a new file, make one straight line with stroke of 1pt. Select Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform. Change Scale/Vertical to 109%, make 40 copies and set Angle at 124°. Turn colour to white and drag objects into your working image. Resize this new vector layer then Rasterize it (Ctrl+click layer>Rasterize layer). To avoid sharp ends in your lines, apply a soft brush Erase tool and erase tops of these with one click.

  • sabir shah

    wow.. great tutorial. I am very impressed after see it.This post will be very helpful to learn more.. Always I shall take this instruction.Thanks to share it.

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