Learn how to make this gothic photo manipulation. You will know, how to play with colors on every image, how to draw lights and shadows here and how to manage glows in this work. I will show, how to make a dynamic effect with some stock images and how to turn model into ghostly-like character! :). You will learn the basics of matte painting and will be making better works in the future. With this tutorial, you can create full of symbols photomanipulation. You can see here brave warrior and dark, ghost-like onk behind him. Can you see the meaning of it? You’ll need Photoshop CS5 or newer and pen tablet (optional) to follow this tutorial.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start! Create new file (File > New…). Set size 1828x1332px.
step-001

Step 2

Place “Forest” stock to your file. Drag it from the folder and drop it in the middle of the picture.
step-002

Step 3

Now, you will change time from day to night. Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut) with Brightness/Contrast.
step-003

Step 4

Place “Smoke stock 20”. Transform it as is shown.
step-004

Step 5

Add new Adjustment layer with “Invert” (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”.
step-005

Step 6

Back to “Smoke stock 20”. Change blending mode of this layer to Multiply. Darker parts will be visable, lighter will be removed.
step-006

Step 7

With big, soft round brush, mask top of the smoke (which will be connected with dark monk).
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Step 8

Place “The Grim Weedwhacker” and mask it with hard round brush. Use soft round bigger brush on the bottom of his clothes.
step-008

Step 9

Add new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N or shortcut), click on it with right mouse button and choose, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Pick soft round brush and draw some strokes on mans face.
step-009

Step 10

If photo is overexposed, try to fix that. Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Set it as is shown.
step-010

Step 11

Let’s fix Brightness/Contrast settings. Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Set it as is shown.
step-011

Step 12

I’m recommending to align colors and lights on monk. Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Set it as is shown. Then, click on white canvas next to this layer and mask with big soft brush middle part of character – see thumbnail.
step-012

Step 13

Now, try to add more light on the hood. Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Set it as is shown. Then, click on white canvas next to this layer and mask with big soft brush whole character, beside hood – see thumbnail.
step-013

Step 14

Let’s color it! Add new adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment layer > … or marked shortcut). Click on created layer with right mouse button, then choose “Create clipping mask”. Set it as is shown. Then, click on white canvas next to this layer and mask with big soft brush whole character, beside hood and bottom – see thumbnail.

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