To make shadow for the tree on the hill, I created a layer under the tree one. Hold Cmd/Ctrl while clicking tree thumbnail layer to load its selection:
Fill this selection with black (Shift+F5). Then choose Edit-Transform-Flip Vertical and move this shadow under the tree bottom.
Lower opacity to 60% then apply Gaussian Blur with 3 px (Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur):
On Filter layer mask use soft black brush to remove blur effect at the part near the tree bottom to keep the hard look for it:
Add layer mask to shadow layer and remove the top of it:
I used Curves to brighten the tree:
Add a Color Balance layer to give the tree some yellow:
To add more light to the tree, I used a new layer and take brush with color #fab3b3, opacity and flow 25-35%. Paint along the tree sides as I did below:
Make a new layer with same settings in step 10. Use Dodge and Burn Tool to create more contrast on the tree:
It’s time for most interesting parts of the tutorial – making a heart from branches. Open branches 3 stock. First use your own method to cut out the branches from background:
Use Lasso Tool to take a part from isolated branches and put it above the tree. I used Warp Tool to bend it:
Use different parts from branches stock to put on the tree following a heart shape, use Warp Tool or Puppet Warp Tool if needed . I used layer mask to remove any unwanted parts. You don’t need to create exactly like mine but can take it as a reference:
I used 15 layers for this branches heart.
Group all heart branches layers and name them (I called them from 1 to 15). I used Dodge Tool with same way in previous steps to brighten some parts that are too dark:
Make a new layer on the top of these branches layers (within this group). Use hard black brush, 1 px and color #1a142d to make some branches parts more visible:
Add a Curves layer within this group to brighten this heart:
I used brush on Curves layer mask to clear some parts below:
Use Color Balance to give some yellow to the branches:
Right click branches heart group, choose Duplicate Group. Right click it again, choose Merge Group. Now we have a selection of these branches that will be useful in next steps. Turn off this layer.
Open leaves stock pack. Choose the leaves you like and put them between the heart:
I used layer mask to remove some big leaves:
Add more leaves to inside, around the heart and to the sky, hill to create a scattering effect, try to achieve a random look:
To create some depth to this effect, I added more leaves to the sky part, around the branches heart. I applied Gaussian Blur with 3 px and 1.5 px for them. In the screenshots, you can see some leaves are blurrier (Blur 3 px) and some others less (1.5 px).
I used 59 layers for the leaves in sky. Group all of them and name it “sky”.