Learn how to create this eerie abstract photo manipulation called “The Pain”. You’ll learn how to combine different stock photos to create this scene then apply a cold color tone to it.

Preview of Final Results

The Pain Photoshop Tutorial

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Create a new document with the size of 1333x1000px and fill it with white (or any sizes and any colors you like).
pain1
Open grunge texture 1 stock. Use Move Tool (press V to active it) and drag it into our main document, resize it as shown below:
pain1a
Choose Edit-Transfrom-Flip Horizontal:
pain1b
Then press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate this texture. You’ll see it turns into black and white:
pain1c

Step 2

Open grunge texture 2 stock. Drag it into our canvas and do the same technique in step 1 ( resize, transform, flip it). You may notice that I only use the center part of this texture for this tutorial:
pain2
Change the mode of it to Multipy 50%:
pain2a

Step 3

There is a part on background that I want to fix. It’s a carved circle on the right edge. Create a new layer ( hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to do it) and press S to active Clone Tool. I use this tool with settings below :
pain3
pain3a
Hold the Alt key on the part of source then clone over this circle. If you’re not familiar with this tool you can follow many good tutorials over the web. Here is my result:
pain3b
No need to be so cleaned with it as we’re working on grunge background! After cloning this part becomes a bit blurred. Don’t worry, you just need to sharpen it. Go to Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask:
pain3c

Step 4

Now we’re going to add splatter effect for background. Create a new layer and set foreground color to black. Choose dried blood splatter you’ve downloaded and take one for your taste and draw on background. You can see my choice of brush:
pain4
Move it to the top of picture and change the mode to Soft light 100%. Depending on the boldness of brush you can vary opacity or even duplicate it to get the effect you want.
pain4a

Step 5

Make a new layer and I use the first brush of brush pack to continue painting on the left side of background and I set the mode of it to Soft light 50%. Then I duplicate it and move it to the right.
pain5
Continue with two layers ( or number of your choice) and draw some small splatters. I set one layer to Soft light 50% and another to 100%. You can add layer mask to erase any unecessary parts:
pain5a

Step 6

Create a new layer and set foreground to white. Use cobweb brush, number 1064 ( or your choice) to paint on background, then transform ( hit Cmd/Ctrl+T) to do it, place it at the top right of picture:
pain6
pain6a
Continue with a new layer, I use this brush again and position it at the top left. Remember you should transform it to get a different look from the right.
pain6b

Step 7

Open model stock. Use any tools you’re familiar with to make a selection around model, then copy it into a new layer. Move extracted model into our document, place her at the center:
pain7
pain7a
Add layer mask for model and use soft black brush to erase around model to make her blend with background. As you see in the screenshot, I vary brush opacity for different parts of model:

15 thoughts on ““The Pain” – Create this Eerie Abstract Photo Manipulation”

  1. Linda A Perdue

    I think the instruction is pretty good however when I enter some of the values for the blood colors they don’t look like yours ….not sure if that is because I have an older version or what.

  2. You can turn this artwork into a symbolism of the Hong Kong police force by putting the blood in one eye only.

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