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In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a surreal, fantasy artwork featuring a melting moon. First, we'll build the base scene using two landscape images. After that, we'll add the stars and the moon. Later, we'll paint the splash and liquid falling from the moon. We'll create some additional effects, add the lighting and use several adjustment layers to enhance the final result.
Preview of the Final Result
Create a new 1530x1700 px document and fill it with white. Open the landscape image and drag it into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance and change the Midtones and Highlights settings:
Open the ground image and use the Move Tool to place it onto the existing ground. Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Select a soft round brush with black color to erase the sky and background of this image , leaving the ground visible only.
Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the ground layer and set it as Clipping Mask. Bring the Saturation values down to -24:
Create a Color Balance adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and alter the Midtones and Highlights settings:
Add a Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and decrease the lightness. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush with the opacity about 10% to reduce the dark effect on the midground a little.
Make a new layer on top of the layers and use a soft brush with the color #e3a39a to paint on the main canvas. Change this layer mode to Multiply 100% and add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush with the opacity about 50% to erase the dark effect on the upper of the sky.
Cut out the moon from the original image and place it onto the top middle of the sky. Flip it horizontally by choosing Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) with the Warp mode to tweak the moon as shown below:
Change the mode of the moon layer to Screen 100%:
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to change the moon's color. Bring the Hue values down to -180: