This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to complete an underwater landscape painting step by step. This is part one of a two part series. Seascape Painting Part II will show you how to draw the fishes and apply finishing touches to the painting.
Preview of Final Results
Seascape Part I: The Landscape Photoshop Tutorial
- Program: Photoshop 7
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes
*This tutorial was meant to be completed using a pen tablet. If you are using a mouse, the brush sizes will be irrelevant. However, a good estimate for brush sizes when using a mouse is about 1/3 the size of the brush I am using.
Open a new project (16 x 20 inches, 300 pdi).
Use color #0095A2 and the paint bucket tool to fill in the background layer with a teal blue.
Make a new layer titled “ocean floor” above the background.
Block in the ocean foreground with color #A87300 (261 pixels, opaque, hard edged round brush).
Indicate the major shadows with color #926400 and the same brush.
Highlight the floor with color #AF7800.
Make a new layer “coral” above the other layers.
Now using color #C80059 (165 pixel brush), block in 2-3 coral bunches. These corals look kind of like little stubby trees, with short, rounded arms.
Now, using a 90 pixel opaque brush and color #AA004C add shadows to the coral.
Using the same brush, highlight the center of the coral stocks with color #E50066.
Use the magic wand tool to select the area around the coral. Now, select the inverse (shift + ctrl + I), and copy and paste the coral onto a new layer.
Move the new coral so that it matches up with the coral beneath it.
Now use the same process to select the coral only, and apply a Gaussian blur filter or 9 pixels (Filter à blur à Gaussian blur).
Merge the layer down (ctrl + E).
Now using color #1956B1, block in some blue, plant-like coral (using a size 87 pixel brush).
Use the magic wand tool to select the blue seaweed on the coral layer.
Copy and paste the blue coral onto a new layer. (This will keep the coral from having fuzzy edges).
Add shadows to the coral with color #12499B and a 30 pixel opaque brush.
Using the same brush, highlight the coral with color #3570C7.
Now using the same technique from step 11, select the coral with the magic wand tool.
Apply a 3.6 pixel Gaussian blur to the layer.
Merge down the layer.
Make a new layer, “coral 2”.
Using color #9000D8 block in 2-3 dome shaped corals.
Repeat the same process with color #90009D, placing them in little groups across the sea floor.
Now make little holes in their tops with the burn tool (100% exposure, midtones, 95 pixels, hard-edged brush).
Now use the dodge tool to highlight them (30% exposure, highlights mode, 600 pixels soft edged brush).
Going back to the dodge tool, change the settings to a soft round brush at 80% exposure (and shadow mode), and block in the cast shadows on the corals. This will define that there are more than one separate corals in the bunches.