Create an Underwater Scene of a Mermaid

Create an Underwater Scene of a Mermaid
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Step 14

Add new layer. You'll make bigger sparkles. Change size of sparkles brush to bigger. Draw some strokes from bottom to center. And from top to left side.
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Change blending mode and opacity. Linear dodge (Add), 6%.
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Step 15

It's time for model! :) Place stock to your file and mask it. Use hard round brush for edges of stock. Use soft round brush for making linear gradient between bottom of the stock an background.
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Step 16

Stock photo is very light. Too light for underwater themes. Add new layer. Click on it with RMB and choose "Create clipping mask". Then, pick soft, round brush, around 60px size. Set #65585a color. Draw on overexposed parts of stock.
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Change opacity and blending mode - Multiply, 62%.
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Step 17

Time to fix contrast on your stock. From adjustments menu, choose Brightness/Contrast. Set it as is shown. Then, click on it with RMB. Choose "Create clipping mask".
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Step 18

Now you should add more realistic colors. At first, add Color Balance adjustment layer and make it a clipping mask.
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Step 19

Then, in your color picker set turquoise colors. Add adjustment layer with Gradient Fill. Click on it with RMB and choose "Create clipping mask".
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Change blending mode of created layer to Multiply. Decrease opacity to 25%.
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Step 20

Next, add adjustment layer with Hue/Saturation. Make it a clipping mask! :)
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Step 21

Now you'll make shadows. Add new, clipping layer. Pick soft round, dark-grey brush and draw some shadows on her belly and arms.
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Change blending mode of created layer to Multiply. Decrease opacity to 50%.
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Step 22

There was shadows, so now you should take care of lights. Add new layer, also make it a clipping mask. Pick really light color. Use soft brush and draw lights on her hands, arms and head. Follow the light source.
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For better blending, change blending mode to Screen. It looks more naturally.
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Step 23

Colors are still not good. try to fix that! :) Add adjustment, clipping layer with Gradient fill (set similar gradient fill as in step 19). Set it as is shown, then change blending mode to "Color" and opacity to 50%.
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Step 24

Again, add new clipping layer. Set brush, like from step 22. Use #257775 color, or - if you using other colors, pick shadow of color, which you used in step 22. Draw lights on model - arms, hands, breast, back.
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Then, change blending mode to Screen.
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Step 25

Wow! That was long :). Now you should start working on mermaid tail. Add new layer. With hard round brush (I recommend pressure size), draw base for your tail. Keep calm - it's only shape.
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Step 26

Load "Silky scales" brushes (If you don't know, how to load brushes, go to step 12). Add new layer with clipping mask to tail (RMB > Create clipping mask). Pick dark blue color and let scales flow! :).
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Step 27

Click on created layer with RMB. Go to "Blending options". Then set "Bevel and Emboss" - Scales will be convex! :).
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Step 28

Add new layer. Click on it with RMB and choose "Create clipping mask". On this layer, You will create shadows of tail. Pick big soft brush and gently draw shadows. For making shadows, I prefer brush with pressure opacity.
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Step 29

Now add lights - new, clipping layer and light color. Remember about light source!
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Step 30

This step is totally optional. Repeat step 29. Draw bigger lights on tail. Then, just decrease opacity of this layer to 50%.

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10 comments on “Create an Underwater Scene of a Mermaid”

  1. Next time I am looking at some downtime with photoshop, I will be trying this tutorial out. Thanks for posting the steps so clearly!

  2. That's totally amazing! I want to try to make one tomorrow. If nothing else, I'm going to learn a ton of new stuff about adjustment layers (haven't been using photoshop for many years, and never knew about them). Thanks a lot for your effort in making this tutorial!

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