In this tutorial you will learn how to blend a beautiful lady inside of a kind of abstract background that we are going to create.
- Female model: http://kahinaspirit.deviantart.com/art/Crimson-Rose-XIV-283236546
- Background: http://lady-symphonia-stock.deviantart.com/art/Nowhere-Premade-II-116676243
- Texture: http://stocks-for-you.deviantart.com/art/Sparkle-Texture-91501997
- Texture: http://enchantedgal-stock.deviantart.com/art/Watercolor-Painting-Texture-62947888
- Clouds: http://shadowed-light-waves.deviantart.com/art/Between-the-Clouds-74684709
Open the Female Stock and extract the Lady from it. Everyone has their own method to do it. I usually use the Quick Selection Tool with Refine Edges. Below you can see the settings I often use for Refine Edges but be aware that they change from image to image.
As you can see Refine Edges helps to have a better selection. We don’t need to have a perfect one for hair because we’ll fix it later.
Now we have to refine Hair and Skin. Download any dots brush and install it (http://para-vine.deviantart.com/art/Hair-brush-set-145384302?q=boost:popular hair brush&qo=0 > this is an example, but you can use the one you want).
Now you have to use the Smudge Tool with a Strength between 85% and 95%. Use the dot brush smudging the hair like if you are combing it. Don’t abuse it or the result will be a fake hair.
To have a smooth Skin select once again the Smudge Tool and a soft round brush this time. Strength about 12%. Choose a medium size and smudge the skin doing circles movements like you see in the image below. When you are happy with the result you have finished with the Lady.
Open the Background image and place it below the Lady layer. Transform it (CTRL + T) to fix the scene.
Now we want to enhance the background. So duplicate it twice and change the blend for the first to Multiply and the second to Screen (Opacity 80%).
Create a layer below the one with the lady. Choose a soft brush and White color. Paint some light around the lady. Then set the layer to Soft Light.
We’re going to add some adjustments layers to fix color and blend the images together.
1. Black & White: Click the ‘Auto’ Button. Set Opacity and Fill at 80%.
2. Hue/Saturation: Master (Saturation -12); Red (Saturation +28).
3. Color Balance: Shadows (-4 0 +9) Midtones (-16 0 13) Highlights (-5 0 +9)
We need to add some light. I did using 3 layers that I am going to show you below. The black background is only to make you see what I did so don’t reproduce it!
1. I painted the light setting the layer to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill at 80%. (White Color).
2. I painted the light setting the layer to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill at 70% (#ced4e6 color).
3. Another Soft Light layer but at 100%. As you can see colors vary from white to #bfc4da.
Create a new layer and put there the Watercolor Texture. Desaturate it and set it to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill at 70%. We don’t want the texture effect on the lady. So let’s add a mask to this layer. With a low opacity brush and black color paint over the lady to hide the texture (being sure you are on the mask layer and not over the one with the lady).
Create a new layer above the three background layers and put there the Clouds texture. Then set it to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill at 80%.
As you can see above there’s a line we have to delete. Like we did in the previous steps add a mask to this layer and with a soft brush paint over the mask. Below you can see where I painted with Black color and the result so far.
I made now some other adjustments. (Above everything).
1. Vibrance: Vibrance +85; Saturation -7
2. Curves: I lessen the green a bit
3. Hue/Saturation to give contrast: Saturation to -100 and blend mode to Soft Light. Then duplicate this adjustment (CTRL + J) and set the Opacity at 50%. Below the result.
Let’s add a bit of make-up.
Create a new layer and set it to Soft Light. Pick the color #314270 and paint make-up on the eyes.
Create a new layer and set it to Overlay with Opacity 75%. Pick the color #314270 and paint some other make-up in the upper part of the eyes.
Create a new layer set to Soft Light to do the blushes with #314270 color.
Create a new layer and put there the Sparkle texture as you see below. I added a mask to this layer and deleted some parts I didn’t want.
Set the Texture to Soft Light with Opacity 80% and Fill 75%.
Two other adjustments layer.
This is the result:
An important step now: Dodge and Burn.
Create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray (Edit > Fill > 50% Gray). Set the layer to Overlay. Now you are ready to add lights and shadows. Below you can see where I painted.
For shadows I usually use the Burn Tool with Range Midtones, Exposure between 10% and 20%. For the lights I use the Dodge Tool with same settings as for the Burn Tool. Where you see whiter parts it means I created highlights. I used the Dodge Tool with Range Highlights, exposure between 6% and 15%. Brush size varies, it depends on the areas you will paint.
You can see that this step can change a lot the image so be careful!
Add a Curves Adjustments Layer choosing the Linear from the presets.
Last step. Create a new layer and set it to Soft Light with Opacity 85%. Take a big soft brush and paint a vignette around the image. Here you can see where I painted it. (White background is only to show you where).