Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

How to Add a Mermaid to a Dark Bleak Landscape

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Step 10 – Painting Hair

In this step you’ll fix hair of the woman. Hair is one of the most challenging things to blend. For me it works best to simply paint some hair after I’ve done some basic blending. In this step you’ll do the same.  It is easier if you can work with graphic tablet but with bit practice and patience you can get great results with your mouse too! Let’s take a look at how hair look before painting.

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Add new empty layer on the top of all layers and name it HAIR. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and set it same as shown on the following picture.

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Press Alt on your keyboard to activate the Eyedropper Tool (I) and select some dark color from woman hair. Paint hair around the bad blending to cover it. After few strokes change the color to get the most realistic result.  On the following image you can see how woman’s hair should look like after this step.

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Step 11 – Changing Light

In this step you’ll focus more on creating interesting, dramatic light.  Add new empty layer on the top of all layers. Name it INTERESTING LIGHT. Grab the Paint Bucket Tool (G), pick mid grey (#808080) and fill the layer with it. To blend it properly with the rest of the image change its Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay.

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Grab the Brush Tool (B), select some soft round brush. Set its Size on about 100px and Opacity on 20%.

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Pick black color and paint over the areas you’d like to make darker. This time pay more attention to details – especially on woman’s face and body. You can see where to paint on the image below.

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After you’re done pick white color and paint over the areas you want to make lighter.

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Let’s compare how your photo manipulation looks like before and after this step.

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Step 12 – Adjusting Contrast

In this step you’ll adjust contrast of the photo manipulation.  Add new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers and set it as shown below. You want to adjust the whole image so don’t create clipping mask from this adjustment.

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There are still some parts of the image that are too dark and distracting. I’ve highlighted them on the following image.

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To lighten them add new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers and set it as shown below.

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You want to adjust only the highlighted parts. To achieve that grab the Paint Bucket Tool (G), pick black color and fill layer mask of this adjustment color with it. After that grab the Brush Tool (B), pick white color and paint over the highlighted areas.  After this step your photo manipulation should be similar to the one below.

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Step 13 – Adjusting the Dress

The bottom part of the dress is too flat which doesn’t look realistic. It should have similar shape as rocks below it. You’ll fix it in this step.  Grab the Marquee Tool (M) and select the bottom part of the skirt. Press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy it merged and then Ctrl + V to paste it. Place this new layer on the top of all layers and name it SKIRT. To adjust its shape go to Edit > Transform > Warp and warp it similarly as on the following image. After you’re done press Enter on your keyboard to apply the changes.

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Step 14 – Darkening

In this step you’ll make midtones of the image darker. To do that add new adjustment layer Curves on the top of all layers and set it as shown below.

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