advanced photoshop

How I Made: Locus Amoenus

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Tips & Tutorials, by Rebecca Greig

Explore how Photoshop was applied to find a balance between light and darkness in this stunning piece of art

How I Made: Locus Amoenus

This image was originally created for the art collective SlashTHREE. The theme centres on subjects such as temptation, vice and virtue and displays biblical undertones. “I want people to discover things in this piece and decide what it means to them,” reveals artist Giacomino.

Many photo elements were pasted, changed drastically with adjustment layers and manual painting techniques. The lighting was mostly generated in Photoshop. “Screen and Overlay blending modes were helpful. The light source is essentially a beam. I sampled tone, analysed elements in the scene and tried to adjust everything appropriately,” Giacomino explains.

The artist admits the image sets a dark mood, but distinct areas of colour and vibrancy make it aesthetically pleasing. He tells us: “I picked a colour scheme I fancied and then experimented with Radial Gradient layers, and attached blending modes, clipped to the model. Eventually the image colours and contrast started to shine through.”

How I Made: Locus AmoenusLayout and ideas

This barren image shows the original stock photo of the female model. The pose is dynamic and offers plenty of potential. Her hair style motivated me to try something more surreal.

 Add environment

I decided to use a dark background, making the lighting and touches of colour the eye-candy in this piece. The vines and colouring are essentially the main focus of the image. Other natural features were added as secondary How I Made: Locus Amoenuselements.

Details and blending

I detailed the left side of the piece, which is the focal point. The composition was unbalanced so I clipped out the man and used a blend to fix this. Paying attention to detail and working on each new element individually helped ensure better-quality effects.