Learn how to create this amazing photo manipulation with a variety of blending techniques, custom brushes, and more. This intermediate-advanced tutorial also comes with its own set of raw ink splatter scans so that you can practice creating your own Photoshop brushes. And of course, the full layered PSD is included as well.

Preview of Final Results

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Tutorial Resources

Step 1

In this step I will show how to create custom brush. For this I used scan of splashes made with ink.

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Use the Crop Tool (C) (by pressing shift key you will select square)

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Add a Black & White Adjustment Layer by going to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White. Set to “High Contrast Red Filter”

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Go to Channels panel and duplicate Red Channel. Right click on Red channel and chose Duplicate channel.

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Go to Image/Adjustments/Levels. Move the sliders so that the splatter was dark and the background white.

Settings

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Load selection

Press Ctrl then click Red channel.

Invert selection

Select/Inverse (Shift+Ctrl+I). Before you come back to Layers panel don’t forget select RGB channel.

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Go to Layers panel select splash layer then press Ctrl+J you will cut your selection.

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Try to use different ways for selection like Color range or even Magic Wand Tool.

Color range (example)

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Now clean up parts which you don’t like. For this you can use Eraser tool (E) Also if you like change splash position.

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Create brush.

I use 2500x2500px 300dpi canvas for my brushes. Go to Edit/Define Brush Preset.

Please see my brush settings.

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Step 2

Create new document (File > New or Ctrl/Cmd+N)

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Add Horse photo.

Folder: Resources/Horse.psd

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Add a black to white gradient map by going to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map.

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Right click on your layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object”. Now we are ready to add some Shadow/Highlights (Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlights).

Settings:

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Click on the “Add layer mask” icon on the bottom of your Layers palette.

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Select the Brush tool (B) then paint with black # 000000 on your layer mask. Usually, I just use the first default brush. Brush opacity 50%.

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Use this brush and paint on layer mask with white color.

Just move brush above the place you want to uncover and click once or twice.

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Use this brush and paint on layer mask with white color.

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Step 3

In this step you will apply a Roots photo layer (Folder: Resources/IMG_5602) to the Horse layer.

Add roots photo above Horse layer.

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Right click on your layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object”. Now we are ready to add some Shadow/Highlights (Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlights).

Settings:

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Use Oil paint filter. Filter/Oil paint.

Settings:

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Apply a Roots photo layer to the Horse layer

To do this, press and hold Ctrl/Cmd and point your cursor above the red line. You will see an icon – click on it.

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Change blending mode on the Roots layer to Soft Light

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Above roots layer add new layer (Layer > New > Layer or Shift+Ctrl+N). Now go to Edit > Fill, set the contents to 50% Gray, then click OK.

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Apply 50% Gray layer to the Roots layer.

Set the layers blending mode to Overlay and opacity to 100%. Now use Dodge Tool (soft brush) and paint on this layer. For the brush settings, I used an exposure of around 20-50%.

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This is the layer set to Normal

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By mistake I deleted layer with this Horse version, so my horse looks like this.

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Layers structure at this stage.

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Info: Cienie / Podświetlenie mean Shadow/Highlights (Sorry about that, I use the Polish version of Photoshop)

Summary
How to Create a Breathtakingly Artistic Winter Horse Illustration in Photoshop
Article Name
How to Create a Breathtakingly Artistic Winter Horse Illustration in Photoshop
Description
Learn how to create this amazing photo manipulation with a variety of blending techniques, custom brushes, and more. This intermediate-advanced tutorial also comes with its own set of raw ink splatter scans so that you can practice creating your own Photoshop brushes. And of course, the full layered PSD is included as well.
Author
Publisher Name
Photoshop Tutorials
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