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In this Photoshop manipulation tutorial I will show you how using only a few stock images you can make a nice artwork. We will use several manipulation techniques and filters to make all kinds of effects. This is actually a daily deviation on deviantART but I can’t find the original artwork to give credit. I made it a bit different here because I don’t like to copy other people’s work.
Final result preview
For this tutorial we are using another stock image from mjranum-stock. Open the model image in photoshop and start extracting the woman from the background. I used the Pen Tool (P) and instead of erasing the background I used a layer mask. After masking the background I reduced the size of the image to 1200×616 pixels.
Once you have the background masked, add the sky on a new layer below the girl and adjust its size to fit your canvas. Use a soft brush and erase or mask the lower half like in the image below.
Now duplicate the sky or paste it again and apply Gaussian Blur. Try to get something like in the image below. Use a soft brush to blend the edges with the other half of the sky.
Use a Levels adjustment layers to increase the woman’s highlights, also increase Saturation and with the help of a Color Balance adjustment layer add blue and cyan (using the sliders) to the highlights and mid-tones.
Now you will learn a photoshop technique to make reflections on uneven objects like the dress of this woman. Duplicate the woman layer and flip it vertically. Position it below the original layer and open the Liquify filter from Filter>Liquify…
Use different size brushes inside the filter and drag the dress until it meets the original (make sure you activate the option “View backdrop to see the other layers). After you make the reflection, create a layer mas and use the Gradient Tool (G) or a soft brush to hide the bottom part of the reflection. Also make sure you hide the head on the reflection because in the real world it would not be visible.
Change the layer’s blending mode to Linear Light apply a 1,5px Gaussian Blur and reduce the opacity to about 50%.
Use a soft edge brush and 20% Opacity and paint some shadows under the woman.
Go to the sky layer added on step 2 and and add a Levels and Hue Saturation adjustment layers. On the levels, increase the mid tones (middle slider) to 1,68 and increase the Saturation to +37. These two adjustments will make the sky brighter.
Open the sea image in photoshop and paste it below the girl and her shadow layers but above the blurred sky that you made on Step 3. Use a big soft brush and mask out the image like in the screenshot below. I named this layer pond ripples.
The water is way too dark to leave it as it is so I added some adjustment layers to turn it blue and also lighter. The main reason why I added the water is that I wanted to have some natural ripples. I could have done that manually but it would take too long so I went for the easy option.
Add a Levels adjustment layer to the pond ripples and change the blending mode (of the adjustment layer) to Screen. Also add a color adjustment layer (blending mode normal this time) and use the settings shown below. Now I had exactly what I wanted, clear blue water.
Open the swan image and subtract it from the background. I used a soft edge brush on the part of the water to blend it nicely. I used a Levels adjustment layers just like I did with the woman to increase the highlights and Color Balance to apply a blue cast.
Add the pigeon, decrease its size to about 20% and again use levels to adjust the contrast. This time I used a solid color and blending mode Hue to create the blue color cast on the pigeon.
Open the rose petals png in photoshop and grab a few different petals. Paste them over the water, duplicate each one of them and move them down a few pixels to create reflections. Change the duplicated petals blending mode to Soft Light and reduce their Opacity to 50%.You will have to increase the saturation and also increase the contrast using Curves or Levels. I also painted some subtle shadows under each petal.
I also wanted to add some rain but it didn’t look very good so I discarded it for this tutorial. You can see how I made all the effects and shadows in the PSD file which you can download below.
I hope you liked the tutorial.