In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a Catwoman artwork using a range of photo manipulation techniques. You’ll learn how to create a dark night city scene from several stock images, practice some retouching techniques as well as enhance the light and contrast of the scene.
What you’ll be creating
We’ll start this tutorial by combining a sky and a city image using adjustment layers, masking and brush. Then we’ll add the moon and create a glowing light for it. Later we’ll add the walls and blend them together using the same previous techniques. After that we’ll add the model and do some retouch on her. We’ll use the bat brushes to increase the dark atmosphere for the image. We’ll add several adjustment layers to enhance the final effect. You’ll need Photoshop CS3 or newer to follow this tutorial.
Create a new document in Photoshop with the given settings:
Open the sky image. Drag it into our white canvas using the Move Tool:
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask to desaturate the sky color.
Use a Curves adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to darken the sky:
Place the city image in the our working document and rotate it a little using the Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T).
Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a basic, soft brush with black color to remove the sky part in the city image to reveal the existing sky:
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 6 px:
This step is too add some depth to the scene.
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to remove the blue of the big building at the background:
Use a Color Balance adjustment layer to change the scene color:
Place the moon image onto the top left of the sky and remove its background using a layer mask. Change the mode of this layer to Screen 100%.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and change the radius to 4 px:
To add some light to the moon, double click the moon layer, choose Outer Glow and Inner Glow:
To add more light to the moon, make a new layer and use a soft brush with the color #d5dae2 to paint over the moon area. Change the mode to Screen 100%:
To create the moonlight reflection on the environment around, use a new layer and a soft brush with the same color to paint around the moon area and the left side of the city. Change this layer mode to Soft Light 100%:
Place the wall 1 image at the bottom of our main document and remove the background using a layer mask. Use Cmd/Ctrl+T to rotate it as done with the city:
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) to desaturate the wall:
Use a Color Balance adjustment layer to match the wall color with the background:
Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the back of the wall. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the front as it gets the light from the moon:
Don’t worry about the front sides as they will be covered later.
Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:
Active the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range, Exposure about 20-25% to refine the light and shade on the wall. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode:
Add the wall 2 image to our working document and remove the background using a layer mask.
Use a Hue/Saturation ajustment layer to desaturate the wall:
Use a Color Balance adjustment layer to change the wall color.
Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the wall sides. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the outer edges to keep the light there remained.
Make another Curves adjustment layer to brighten the outer edges. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the inner edges to keep the shade there.
Make a new layer with the same settings like in the step 17. Use the Dodge Tool to make the light on the right edge stronger and more visible.
Open the model image. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the background layer. Go to Filter > Liquify and active the Forward Warp Tool (W) with the settings below:
Use this tool to make the waist thinner, the hip narrower, the legs slimmer and longer. Don’t overdo it as it would look unatural. Here is my result:
Drag the model layer after liquifying into our main document and remove the background using a layer mask. Place her onto the wall 1.
Make a new layer under the model one. Use a black brush with the hardness about 30-35%, the opacity about 30% to paint the shadow behind the model.
Make a new layer (set as Clipping Mask) and use a soft brush with the color #a17572, the opacity and flow about 29% to soften the skin under the lips corner and on forehead:
To brighten some areas on her face, use another layer and a soft brush with the color #e3c7c3 with the same opacity and flow to paint under the chin, on the nose top and forehead.
To refine the light and shade on the model, use a new layer with the same settings like the step 23. Use the Dodge Tool to brighten the left side that is illuminated by the moonlight and the Burn Tool to darken some edges of the right side.
Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to reduce the saturation of the model skin and lips.
Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the right side of the model more. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the left and some details on the face and body to keep the lightness there.
Make four new layers on the top. Change the brush kind to the bat ones and the foreground to #0b0d11. Paint some bats around the moon:
Apply a Gaussian Blur of 3 px to each of the bat layers:
Make a group for the bat layers. To add more light to the bats, make a new layer and hold Cmd/Ctrl+Shift and click some of the bats thumbnail layers to load their selections:
Go to Edit > Stroke and pick the color #d5dae2.
Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to reduce the stroke opacity.
Apply a Gaussian Blur of 3 px to make the effect more natural:
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer on the top of all layers.
Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the scene and increase the contrast of the whole scene. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase around the moon area and the model to keep the light there.
<h3>Download the PSD</h3>