How to Paint a Surreal Scene in Photoshop

How to Paint a Surreal Scene in Photoshop
fantastic_tree_014[6]
Your painting should now look like this.
fantastic_tree_015[6]
If you like, you can delete parts of the branches so that it looks more realistic. I also created a greater contrast on the tree by adding more dark tones to one side and light tones to the other side.
fantastic_tree_016[6]

Step 13 – Adding grass around the tree

Create another layer labelled “grass_back” under the “tree_colour” layer. Then use the Brush Tool to add some grass behind the tree. Use some greens and yellows. They do not need to be the same colour.
fantastic_tree_017[6]
Create another layer labelled “grass_front” above the “tree_colour” layer but below the first “grass” layer that you created in step 11. Use the Brush Tool to paint some grass in front of the tree. Use some greens and yellows. They do not need to be the same colour.
fantastic_tree_018[6]

Step 14 – Painting Flowers

Create another layer labelled “flowers” and paint a flower among the grass.
fantastic_tree_019[6]
Then warp the flower (Edit > Transform > Warp) like the image below.
fantastic_tree_020[6]
fantastic_tree_021[6]
Copy the flower (left click + right click or Alt Gr) and place it around the grass.
fantastic_tree_022[6]
Select the three flower layers (shift + click) and merge (Layer > Merge Layers or Ctrl+E) the three layers together.
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You should now have only one layer for the flowers.
fantastic_tree_025[6]

Step 15 – Painting clouds

Create a new layer labelled “clouds” above the “sky_colour” layer. Paint some clouds.
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Create another layer labelled “clouds1” to add more depth to the clouds.
fantastic_tree_027[6]

Step 16 – Adding leaves

Select the “tree_colour” layer and draw some leaves on the branches.
fantastic_tree_029[6]
Your painting should now look like this.
fantastic_tree_030[6]

Step 17 – Painting the animal character

If you deleted the “squirrel_sketch” layer and saved it in another file, now is the time to bring it back. Add it to your Layer palette.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_01
Create a new layer labelled “squirrel_colour” and start painting over it. You may need to change colours and delete strokes as you go.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_02

Step 18 – Adding foreground

To make the squirrel appear to be in the midst of the grass, I changed the canvas size again. I increased the height of the canvas by adding extra space to the bottom of the painting. Create a new layer and label it “black.” Give it a dark brown colour.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_03
Use the Brush Tool to add some grass to this layer or copy the “grass” layer and paste it on top of the “squirrel_colour” layer.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_04

Step 19 – Detailing the squirrel

Give the squirrel some more details and paint it white. Use the Smudge Tool to smooth the squirrel out. Use the Burn Tool to add some shadows.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_05
The drawing actually looks more like rabbit, so rename everything that says “squirrel” to “rabbit.” Move the rabbit over to the left, as it looks better in that position. I also repositioned the “sky_colour” layer.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_06
Your painting should now look like this.
fancy_tree_squirrel_painting_07

Step 20 – Backing up a copy

Save a copy of your painting as a psd file. Merge the files and save as another copy.
fantastic_tree_031[6]

Step 21 – Finishing touches

Right click the layer and choose Duplicate Layer.
fantastic_tree_032[6]
fantastic_tree_033[6]
Working on the “copy” layer, blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) and set the Blur Radius to 9.5.
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Now use Fade Gaussian Blur (Edit > Fade Gaussian Blur). Set the Opacity to 47% and the Mode to “Screen.”
fantastic_tree_036[6]
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In the Layers palette, still working on the “copy” layer, use the following settings:
  • Opacity: 57%
  • Fill: 100%
fantastic_tree_039[6]

Final Results

final-results[3]

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3 comments on “How to Paint a Surreal Scene in Photoshop”

  1. Hello There!
    I agree with Jakub. The draw is awesome. But you dont tell anything how you do that, example the tree. The tree awesome realistic but you dont tell what brush or which technique you use for it. Anyway, i read all of it and do my first digital draw and I think it is quite good enought, so THANK YOU!! :)

  2. quite a poor tutorial. don't get me wrong, your art is awesome, but you don't explain anything. all you say is 'set your brush to that' and then you say "paint clouds", "paint highlights". no tips whatsoever how to achieve an effect similar to yours. and then your tree changes dramatically from one step to another without saying how you did that. your highlights suddenly changed to white.

    in one abbreviated word - wtf...

  3. MY FAVORITE STYLE I LOVED IT, I ADORE THIS COLORING STYLE BUT I THINK U USED A GLOWING EFFECT SOMEWHERE IN THE BACKGROUND AND U FORGOT TO SAY SO, U R A REAL ARTIST ,THANX ALOT :)

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