This image was a collaboration with fellow artist Richard Roberts , who produced the letters in Illustrator. They were then heavily corrected by Cirpici in Photoshop, who also changed the perspective. She says: “This was quite difficult. The rest was all Photoshop, stock photos, painting, lots of sleepless nights and blood, sweat and tears.” Cirpici used a lot of her own stock, but explains: “A photo alone is never complete. It needs manual lighting, shadow and some painted elements to make it look authentic. The moss you see on the letter G is applied from stock photos I took with my iPhone.”
Make the glass On a new layer draw glass shapes with the Selection tool, fill with white and lower the Opacity to 5%. Make an active selection of the shape and, on a new layer, brush with white around the edges, slightly lowering the opacity.
Use your stock photos When working with lots of photo textures it’s beneficial to take your own stock. For this image I photographed moss from a local garden with my iPhone. I blended these textures using a simple layer mask and black brushes.
Lighting and shadow Get in close and paint with black and white brushes set to Soft Light blending mode with a lower opacity. This creates shadow and lighting so contour pops and looks realistic. I also painted additional moss on top of the stock photo.