"The Pain" - Create this Eerie Abstract Photo Manipulation

"The Pain" - Create this Eerie Abstract Photo Manipulation

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).


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:


Choose Edit-Transfrom-Flip Horizontal:


Then press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate this texture. You'll see it turns into black and white:


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:


Change the mode of it to Multipy 50%:


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 :


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:


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:


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:


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.


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.


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:


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:


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.


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:


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:


Step 8

The model looks so saturated against the background. So I use some adjustment layers with Clipping Mask option to correct the color and brightness of model. Make a Hue/Saturation layer above model layer with settings below ( Layer-New adjustment layer-Hue/Saturation) and down saturation to -100:


As you see, model is desaturated but lost the contrast. So I make a Levels layer ( with Clipping Mask) to fix it. Go to Layer-New adjustment layer-Levels. Change value of midtones and highlights ( down the midtones but increase highlights) :


This is result we get:


Step 9

I want to change the brightness and darkness on some parts of model and background so I create a new layer and use soft black brush with different opacities. Paint around background edges, model and set the mode to Soft light 50%:


A new layer and I use soft white brush to paint on the bottom left of background as I want to brighten it a bit. I set the mode as Soft light 50%:


Step 10

Open cobweb texture. Drag it into our picture and resize it as shown below:


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate it as we did in step 1 and change the mode to Screen 100%:


Add layer mask and erase any rough edges:


Step 11

Duplicate this layer twice and place them around model. You can flip or transform it to get your desired effect. You can see my result below:


Step 12

To make model look like being covered by cobweb, make a new layer and choose color for brush as white. Use cobweb brush, number 927 painting on the left side of model then put the mode as Soft light 100% :


Step 13

Use cobweb brushes again with number 968. Paint on the right side of model:


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform it then hit Warp modes:


Warp it to make it look like covering model shoulder and arm:


Set the mode as Soft light 100% and add layer mask and erase selected part:


Step 14

Create a new layer and set foreground color to black. Use a spider from this brush set ( I choose number 1068, you can do your own or you can use spider image) and paint on cobweb area on the top left. Transform it as the screenshot below shows:


Step 15

Create a new layer and choose another spider ( number 200). Transform it and place it on model shoulder:


Look at the model you can see show the shadow done. So we should add an underneath shadow for this spider. Right click this spider layer, choose Blending options:


Step 16

Open wire stock. Extract the one you like and move it into our canvas, remember to resize it to fit the size of background:


Add layer mask to erase the part on model:


Step 17

Lower opacity of this wire to 40%:


Add a Hue/Saturation layer with Clipping Mask for this wire, down saturation and lightness:


Duplicate this wire and apply Hue/Saturation layer ( Clipping Mask) with the same settings. Move it down, apply Flip Horizontal and Vertical. Name them as "wire 1", "wire 2":


Step 18

To get a look that the wires stabbing through model arms, make a new layer and I use brush with color #898887. Paint with small brush on intersections between wires and model arms:


Change the mode to Color Burn 40%:


Step 19

Open bandage stock. Extract one of them and place it into our picture, transform it as shown below:


To remove the dark parts of this bandage ( from dark background in original) we'll use Blend If tool. Right click this layer, choose Blending options. Hold down the Alt key while dragging black button of This Layer to get the value below:


This is what we have so far:


Step 20

Duplicate this layer, apply Flip Horizontal and move it to the left:


Step 21

Name them as "bandage 1", "bandage 2". With bandage 1 layer, I add layer mask and use hard black brush ( remember to choose brush with very big hardness, 90-100%) erase unecessary parts as shown below:


With bandage 2 I use transform tool ( hit Cmd/Ctrl+T) and choose warp mode to warp it around model head:


Add layer mask and use hard black brush on layer mask to clear unecessary parts:


Step 22

Now we will group bandage layers to be easier to edit them together. Choose bandage 2 layer, hit Cmd/Ctrl+G to make a group with this layer inside.


Choose bandage 1 layer and drag it into new group. Name this group as "bandages". Change the mode of this group from Pass Through( default mode of group) to Normal.


Step 23

On bandage 2 layer, create two new adjustment layers to change color and reduce saturation of bandages. Because the mode of group is changed to Normal ( no Pass Through) so these two adjustment layers only affect the layers inside this group ( bandages).


Step 24

To make the bandages look more realistic, we will add shadow for them. Create a new layer under bandage group. Use soft black brush with different opacities to paint under them.


Step 25

Now we'll add some blood to model face. Create a new layer above bandage shadow one ( and under bandage group) and set foreground to #c99ca1. Use soft brush to paint along the cheeks. This step is to create some blood stains:


Step 26

Create a new layer and use glossy blood splatter brushes with color #970314. Use any blood one you like and paint on left model cheek and transform it to be fit.


Add layer mask to clear any parts you don't find suitable.


Create a new layer again and continue painting on the right side of model cheeks. I use a smaller brush and transform it as I usually do.


Step 27

In this step we'll add some soaked blood effects on bandage ( blood from the eyes). Create a new layer above bandage group, name it " blood wet" or whatever you like. Use soft brush with color #979314 paint on the eye parts covered by bandage. Change the mode to Soft light 100%:


Step 28

You can see some highlights on model lips. With this tutorial concept we need to remove it. Create a new layer on the top. I use brush with similar color with model lips ( #bbbebd) and paint on lips. Set the mode as Darken 100% ( it's the best mode in this case).


Make a new layer and continue painting this brush over model lips, but with Soft light mode 100% to make a pale look for lips:


Step 29

To remove highlights on model nose I use brush with color #dedede. Paint and put the mode as Darken 100%:


Step 30

I use some adjustment layers to change color of picture.

Go to Layer-New adjustment layer-Gradient Map:


Change the mode of this Gradient Map layer to Soft light 80%.

Layer-New adjustment layer-Color Balance:


To reduce the contrast I add a Brightness/Contrast layer ( Layer-New adjustment layer-Brightness/Contrast):


Final Results

Download the PSD

The Pain.zip | 28.04 MB

Tutorial by Jenny Le

avatar0 Thank you for reading this tutorial. It's one of my most favorite pieces so I hope you enjoy it too. If you have any questions just leave comment here or contact me via my website. Enjoy photoshopping!

- Jenny

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15 comments on “"The Pain" - Create this Eerie Abstract Photo Manipulation”

  1. 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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