Create an Intense Fallen Angel Composition in Photoshop

Create an Intense Fallen Angel Composition in Photoshop
Read this tutorial to learn how to create this dramatic fallen angel scene. This tutorial will cover essential photo manipulation techniques such as painting, complex masking lighting effects, and more!

Preview of Final Results

angel68-final

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document with size of 1000x1000 px and fill it with white (or any color you like). Open desert stock. Use Retangular Marquee Tool to choose the ground part and use Move Tool (V) to drag it into our white canvas. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to resize and rotate it as shown below:
angel1
You can see that I created a lean angle to get more visual impact.
angel1a

Step 2

Click the second button at the bottom of Layer Pallete to add mask to desert layer. Use black brush with hardness about 10-15% to erase the hard edge of the desert. The aim is to achieve a soft edge so it will be blended better with background. You can see how I did it on layer mask and result on picture:
angel2
angel2a

Step 3

To create some depth for the picture choose Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and pick radius as 2 px:
angel3
I just want to blur the foreground so on Smart Filter mask I used soft black brush to reveal the rest:
angel3a
angel3b

Step 4

There is a part which does not look good on the ground so hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer above the desert one with Clipping Mask:
angel4
angel4a
Active Clone Tool (S) and use it to remove the part indicated in a previous screenshot:
angel4b

Step 5

I used an adjustment layer to darken the desert. On clone layer, go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves:
angel5
angel5a
On Curves layer mask I used soft black brush with opacity about 10-15% and 40-45% to reduce the dark effect on the top of the ground (desert):
angel5b
angel5c

Step 6

I made a Hue/Saturation layer (Clipping Mask) to reduce saturation of the ground:
angel6
angel6a

Step 7

Now add a Color Balance layer to change color of the desert:
angel7
angel7a

Step 8

Open sky stock. Use Move Tool to place it on the top of the picture and rotate it as I'm doing below or feel free to transform it to get your desired look
angel8
Remember to position the sky layer under the desert one.

Step 9

To darken some parts of the sky I used a Curves layer with Clipping Mask:
angel9
On Curves layer mask use black brush with varied opacities (mine about 15-20% and 100%) to reduce the dark on some parts of the sky:
angel9a
angel9b

Step 10

Open the stock pack included the pagan symbol. Take it and place it near foreground after transforming:
angel10

Step 11

To make shadow for this symbol, create a new layer under this one. Hold Cmd/Ctrl while clicking the symbol layer to load its selection:
angel11
Go to Edit-Fill (or press Shift+F5) and pick black color. Move the shadow to the right of the symbol a little so we can see it:
angel11a
Convert this shadow layer to Smart Object. Lower opacity to 50%:
angel11b
To soften the shadow, apply Gassian Blur with 5 px:
angel11c
Add layer mask to this one. Use soft black brush to paint on the top of this shadow as it's not necessary.
angel11d

Step 12

I used a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to brighten this symbol.
angel12
On Curves layer mask brush over the right side to keep it a bit darker than the rest:
angel12a
angel12b

Step 13

Add a Hue/Saturation layer to change color of this symbol:
angel13
angel13a

Step 14

Open model stock. First use your familiar method to extract model from background. I placed model after isolating on a new layer and added a new layer between original and extracted one. Fill this layer with any bright colors (mine is #e7ddda) to get a good contrast with the hair (as we'll work on this part in next steps).

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