Create an Artistic Photo Manipulation of a Girl in a Red Field
Open file “Horse” and make a selection of the horse. Copy and paste the horse into our document. Place it below the “Girl” layer but above the “Ground” layer. To make our horse look integrated into the scene let’s paint some shadow. Make a new layer and place it below the horse layer. Select a round soft brush tool at 80% Opacity and paint some shadows. As the light is coming from the top-right corner the shadow should be projected toward the left side.
Above the “Horse” layer I added some clipped Adjustment layers to make it look more veridic. First a Curves Adjustment layer to make the horse darker overall. Next a Color Balance Adjustment layer to change it’s hue to a dark blue. Because the light is coming from the right side of the scene I added a Curves Adjustment Layer and dragged the curve upward to lighten the scene. Than I filled the layer mask with black to hide the effect and with a round soft white brush at 80% opacity I painted only the right side of the horse. Following the same principle I added a Curves Adjustment Layer to darken the bottom of the horse.
Open file “Lion” and make a rough selection of the Lion. Copy the selection and paste it into our document. Resize it like shown below than place this layer below the “Horse” layer. Add a clipped Curves Adjustment layer to lower the overall lightness of the lion.
Import the “Birds” brush and make a new layer. Place this layer below the “Lion” layer. Using black as foreground color paint some birds like shown below. Try to paint more birds at the left side of the scene. Lower the layer Opacity to 75%.
Because the horizon line looks to empty let’s paint some black random forms using a small (6px) soft, round brush tool. Place this layer below the “Birds” layer.
Our composition is done, time to add some post production effects .
Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with the settings shown below than in the layer mask use the Linear Gradient Tool with black and white as default colors (press D to set default colors) drag from the top margin towards the bottom margin. With a round soft brush tool paint with black over the girl in the layer mask. Lower the layer opacity to 80%.
Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer with the settings shown below than in the layer mask drag with the Linear Gradient tool to limit the effects only to the left side of the scene. Adding a light complementary warm orange to the scene makes it look better.
Make a new layer and using a round, soft white brush at 5% Opacity paint some haze at the horizon line.
Add a Curves Adjustment Layer and drag the curve upwards to lighten. Fill the layer mask with black then with a round, soft white brush at 80% Opacity paint around the girl and the horse to make them more light. Add another Curves Adjustment Layer and drag the curve downwards to darken. Select the Radial Gradient Tool and with black and white a default colors drag like shown below. This step will add a subtle Vignette effect to our scene.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to make a new layer from all visible than choose Filter > Other > High Pass. Change the layer blend mode to Overlay. In the layer mask paint with black the horizon and the sky, leaving the girl and the flames alone. This is called selective sharpening and it is used to add more emphasis to certain foreground elements.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E again to make a new layer from all visible then apply a 4px Gaussian Blur. Change the layer blend mode to Soft Light and fill the layer mask with black. Using a soft round brush paint with white to reveal the girl. Lower the opacity to 60%.