Create An Emotional Photo Manipulation Of A Sad Angel In Photoshop

Learn how to create a fantasy photo manipulation of a desperate angel in sorrow and bleak rainy scene with Photoshop. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create your winged angel with ordinary stock images, do some retouch and enchantment on the angel with shadows and lighting, then complete it with rain and subtle rays of light . Throughout the tutorial, you’ll learn techniques that will help you create better photo manipulations.

What you’ll be creating

On this tutorial we will create an emotional scene of a sad angel in gloomy and cold atmospheric dreamscape with rain. We will use some essential techniques in doing photo manipulation. We will use masking, brush tool, some filter, color adjustments and textures all through the steps in this tutorial. Use Adobe Photoshop CC to fully follow this tutorial. Some filter used in this tutorial will not be available in photoshop CS. Don’t forget a glass of coffee and optionally a pack of cigarette for your companion. Ready..?

final result

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

In first several step of this tutorial, we are going to create a figure of angel. Start by opening the girl image in photoshop. We will cut out the girl. Take pen tool (P). With the tool, trace the girl to create path as indicated in orange outline.


Cut out the girl from its background.


Step 2

Create a new document (Ctrl+N). Name this new document, say, broken angel. In this document we will create the figure of angel.


Next, add the girls to the document. Take free transform tool (Ctrl+T). Scale its size to fit the size of the document properly.


Step 3

Then open the bird image, we will use the bird’s wings for the angel. Take pen tool (P) and cut out the wings of the bird.


Add the first wing to the broken angel document. Place it above the angel layer. With free transform tool (Ctrl+T), scale its size to the one needed and move (V) to the position where needed.


Finally add the second wing. Place it below the angel layer.


Step 4

Now we will do some refinement on the edges of the wings. To do this, take smudge tool on the tool panel. Choose a very soft round brush (0% hardness) set to about 4pxl size with strength set to about 70%.


Be active on the wing 1. Now stroke the brush on the edges of the wing to create subtle feathers.


Do the same way to the other wing.


Step 5

Next, we will add some shading on the wing 2 on area behind the angel as outlined in orange color.


Create a new layer (Shift +Ctrl+N) with a clipping mask above the wing 2 layer. Take a very soft round brush (0% hardness) set to about 12-15% opacity. With black color, stroke the brush to paint some shading.


Step 6

In this step, we will add cloth addition to the angel’s robe to cover the starting point of the wing 1. To do this, create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N) above the wing 1 layer. Take pen tool (P). On this layer, create shape as the one shown in screenshot and fill (Shift+F5) the shape with any color we want. Dark blue color is the one given as example.

step6a step6b

Cut out the robe of the angel into a single layer. We will use this cut out as the texture for the shape created before. Place the cut out above the shape layer and clip it with a clipping mask. This cut out will cover the shape. Move (V) the cut out to the position needed to get desired result.

14 thoughts on “Create An Emotional Photo Manipulation Of A Sad Angel In Photoshop”

  1. This is great! And for you to have provided steps showing how it’s done….perfect. I’ll give this a try, and once I can perfect it, I’ll make one for my niece with her image. She’s all into angels.

  2. Wow, it amazes me that a person can see a final image and then create it basically from scratch on Photoshop. Nice work.

  3. What am I doing wrong on Step 6. I cannot for the life of me do that step. I create a new layer, use the pen tool to create the shape, shift f5 to fil. Does wonderful, looks nice, but when I do the step to cut out the robe. Nightmare city. I can’t get it done. What am I doing wrong???


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get 57 Photoshop Actions Free from Our Awesome Newsletter!

Subscribe and get the latest Photoshop tutorials, tips, and more via email. As a way of saying thanks, you'll also receive a free copy of AI Double Exposure Photoshop Actions by SparkleStock ($14 retail value).