Composite a Modern Matte Portrait in Photoshop

Composite a Modern Matte Portrait in Photoshop
In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a mixed media artwork using Photoshop and Illustrator. You'll learn how to combine different stocks together, work with abstract subjects, create your own design elements and more. We'll start this tutorial by adding the landscape, model and deer, then blending them together using adjustment layers, masking and brush. After that we'll create some abstract effects for the model using Illustrator and stock images. Finally we'll use several adjustment layers to finish this tutorial. You'll need Photoshop CS3 and Illustrator CS or newer to follow the process.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with the following settings:

Step 2

Open the landscape image. Use the Move Tool (V) to drag it into our white canvas and use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to resize it as shown below:

Step 3

Open the paper texture pack. Choose the one you like and place it over the landscape, change the mode to Soft Light 100%:

Step 4

I used some adjustment layers to change the contrast and mood of the whole image. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation:
I used Curves to darken the scene:

Step 5

Place the woman image in the middle of the canvas and remove the background using a layer mask:

Step 6

I used an adjustment layer with Clipping Mask to reduce the model saturation:
I used Photo Filter to change the model color a little:

Step 7

I used Curves to darken the model and on its layer mask, used a soft black brush to remove the dark on the brighter part of her:

Step 8

Place the deer behind the model and remove the background part using a layer mask, also set this layer under the model one:
Duplicate this layer and move it to the right, use a soft black brush (on its layer mask )to erase the left part of him:

Step 9

Make a Color Fill layer (Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color) with Clipping Mask for the duplicated deer layer with white:
On this layer mask use a hard black brush to reveal some parts of the horn:

Step 10

Make the deer layers selected then press Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a group for them. Change the group mode from Pass Through to Normal 100%. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer within this group for the deer layers:
I used Color Balance to match the deer colors with the rest:feeling10a

Step 11

It's time for Illustrator. Open it up and create a new document with the settings below:
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a circle with the color #716E72 (remember to make the fill color to None), set the stroke to 8 pt:
Hold down the Alt key and drag this layer up to duplicate it. Use the Free Transform Tool (E) to scale it down a little and place it in the middle. Change the stroke color to a darker one (I chose #3E3D3F):
Duplicate the first circle and resize it to be smaller, put it inside the previous ones: feeling11c Draw a circle with the fill set to black and stroke to None and place it in the center of the previous circles
Select all the layers, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options:
Go to Blend again, choose Make (Alt/Option+Ctrl/Cmd +B) and you should have a similar result below:feeling11f Press F5 to open the brush panel and click the brush panel options, choose Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_Ink, choose Dry Ink 2:

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6 comments on “Composite a Modern Matte Portrait in Photoshop”

    1. The tutorial is fine for the most part but I'm astonished that the author can get away with such laziness. The point of a tutorial is to teach you _how_ not what you did.

      Let me help you:
      Add a Curves layer (from the adjustments panel). Add a point in the middle of the line and drag it down. This will darken it. OR.... add a Brightness/Contrast layer instead of Curves. No reason to use curves for something this basic.

      Click on the layer mask thumbnail in the layers panel. Use the Brush tool (b) and then right-click on the document and pick a round brush with a hardness of 0-50%. Set your foreground color to black and then paint over the areas that you want to brighten back up.

  1. where can i get some of your tutorials, pls am a graphic designer and i want to learn more. pls help

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