Photo ManipulationPhotoshop TutorialsUpdated

Create an Portrait Artwork with Autumn Colors

In this tutorial you will learn to create a portrait of a beautiful lady in a warm autumn background using lights, contrast, colors and other adjustments.

Preview of Final Results


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Download the Backgrounds pack and open in Photoshop the background number 5. Double click on the layer to unlock it. Flip the image horizontally (CTRL + T > Flip Horizontally). Crop the part we want to be the base of our work.


Step 2

We want to give to the background some contrast. Duplicate the background twice (CTRL + J). Set the first duplicated background to Screen to enhance the lights. Set the second to Multiply to enhance the shadows. This is what you will have.


Step 3

Extract the Lady from the background (I used the Quick Selection Tool + Refine Edges, but everyone has their own best method). I previously smudged the model skin, but this is not the aim of this tutorial and it doesn’t affect the final result. Put her in a new layer above the backgrounds layers.


Step 4

Now we have to blend the Lady with the Background. I desaturated a bit the lady and removed some of brightness. To do that add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the Lady and set the Saturation to -19 and Lightness to -8.


Step 5

Now we work on the colors. Add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer only to the Lady and put these settings:

  • Shadows > +14 +7 -16
  • Midtones > +11 +7 0
  • Highlights > +10 +5 -5


Step 6

We want to blend more everything. Open the pack containing the bokeh and add the number 2 in a new layer above everything. Rotate it like in the picture below (CTRL + T).


Step 7

Set the Bokeh to Soft Light. Opacity and Fill to 75%.


Step 8

Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer and choose the one you see below from the presets.


Step 9

Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill to 80%.


Step 10

Add another Gradient Map and set it like below.


Step 11

Set the Gradient Map to Soft Light with Opacity and Fill 80%.


Step 12

Let’s work now on shadows and lights. First of all we need to make the background darker. Add a Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer above the 3 backgrounds and put:

  • Brightness -54 and Contrast +48


This is so far what you’ll have.


Step 13

Create a new layer below the Lady and paint with white below her, going out her edges.


Set the layer to Soft Light.


Step 14

Create a layer below the one you have just done. Pick the color #572e07. With the Gradient tool (linear – #572e07 to transparent) make a gradient like the image below.


Set the layer to Multiply with Opacity and Fill at 80%.


Step 15

Create a new layer below the one containing the bokeh texture and add the flying bird.


Step 16

Add a Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer only for the bird. Check ‘Colorize’ and put these settings:


  • Hue 44
  • Saturation 15



Step 17

Create a new layer over the Hue/Sat you edited in the previous step. Pick the color #ffe7ba and with a soft round brush paint something like the image below.


Set the layer to Soft Light with Opacity 81% and Fill 87%.


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