Read this tutorial to learn how to create this dramatic fallen angel scene. This tutorial will cover essential photo manipulation techniques such as painting, complex masking lighting effects, and more!
Preview of Final Results
Create A Dramatic Fallen Angel Scene
Create a new document with size of 1000×1000 px and fill it with white (or any color you like). Open desert stock. Use Retangular Marquee Tool to choose the ground part and use Move Tool (V) to drag it into our white canvas. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to resize and rotate it as shown below:
You can see that I created a lean angle to get more visual impact.
Click the second button at the bottom of Layer Pallete to add mask to desert layer. Use black brush with hardness about 10-15% to erase the hard edge of the desert. The aim is to achieve a soft edge so it will be blended better with background. You can see how I did it on layer mask and result on picture:
To create some depth for the picture choose Filter-Blur-Gassian Blur and pick radius as 2 px:
I just want to blur the foreground so on Smart Filter mask I used soft black brush to reveal the rest:
There is a part which does not look good on the ground so hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer above the desert one with Clipping Mask:
Active Clone Tool (S) and use it to remove the part indicated in a previous screenshot:
I used an adjustment layer to darken the desert. On clone layer, go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves:
On Curves layer mask I used soft black brush with opacity about 10-15% and 40-45% to reduce the dark effect on the top of the ground (desert):
I made a Hue/Saturation layer (Clipping Mask) to reduce saturation of the ground:
Now add a Color Balance layer to change color of the desert:
Open sky stock. Use Move Tool to place it on the top of the picture and rotate it as I’m doing below or feel free to transform it to get your desired look
Remember to position the sky layer under the desert one.
To darken some parts of the sky I used a Curves layer with Clipping Mask:
On Curves layer mask use black brush with varied opacities (mine about 15-20% and 100%) to reduce the dark on some parts of the sky:
Open the stock pack included the pagan symbol. Take it and place it near foreground after transforming:
To make shadow for this symbol, create a new layer under this one. Hold Cmd/Ctrl while clicking the symbol layer to load its selection:
Go to Edit-Fill (or press Shift+F5) and pick black color. Move the shadow to the right of the symbol a little so we can see it:
Convert this shadow layer to Smart Object. Lower opacity to 50%:
To soften the shadow, apply Gassian Blur with 5 px:
Add layer mask to this one. Use soft black brush to paint on the top of this shadow as it’s not necessary.
I used a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to brighten this symbol.
On Curves layer mask brush over the right side to keep it a bit darker than the rest:
Add a Hue/Saturation layer to change color of this symbol:
Open model stock. First use your familiar method to extract model from background. I placed model after isolating on a new layer and added a new layer between original and extracted one. Fill this layer with any bright colors (mine is #e7ddda) to get a good contrast with the hair (as we’ll work on this part in next steps).
We’ll be drawing more hair for the model (if you don’t want to do it, you can use hair brushes instead). Make a new layer above model one (in screenshot it’s named layer 7). Change foreground to #3d2d23 and brush size to 80 px (I’m using original size of the stock, if yours smaller you can decrease the size of brush). Press F5 to make settings for this brush:
Remember these settings only work if you’re using a tablet pen.
Use this brush to create some basic shapes for the hair ends. Here is what I painted (without model) and result (with model). You can always use layer mask to reduce opacity if needed.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t look good as we’ll be adding more hair later.
Make a new layer and change brush color to #634739. Lower brush size to 50 px and continue drawing smaller hair shapes:
Press F5 to uncheck Transfer setting of the brush. Make brush size about 10-15 px with color #3d2d23 and paint tiny hair strands for model on a new layer following the original hair flow:
I used color #634739 to complete the hair drawing. Here is the result of this layer only and final result of model with all hair layers:
Turn off original and fill layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E to merge all transparent layers (extracted model and hair ones). Place her onto the pagan symbol and transform her to fit the direction of our image:
Open wings stock. As it has transparent background so just use Move Tool to drag the wings into our piece and place them behind the model (set this layer under model one too):
There are some small parts on the wings I don’t like so I created a new layer with Clipping Mask and used Clone Tool to remove it:
I found some details of the wing too sharp against the rest:
Create a new layer (Clipping Mask) and use Smudge Tool with Strength 34% to soften these details. Here are the parts I smudged and you can see the result below:
To darken the wings I used a Curves layer:
On Curves layer mask I used brush with opacity and flow about 30-35% to reduce dark effects on some parts shown below:
I want to make main light coming from the top right to bottom left to fit with the direction of the elements in our image. To make proper light on the wings following this direction, make a new layer (Clipping Mask), load the wings selection (as done with the pagan symbol). Go to Edit-Stroke and choose white color with 6 px:
Apply Gassian Blur with 20 px:
Add layer mask to this layer and use brush to reduce the light on the wings:
I used same method to add more light to the wing contour, but with stroke 1 px, Gassian Blur 1 px and layer mask:
Create a Gradient Map layer above the wings ones (but still under model layer).
Lower opacity of this Gradient Map layer to 50%. On Gradient Map layer mask use brush to erase the left side and reduce blue effect on the right:
I used a Photo Filter layer for the image:
Add a Curves layer to darken the scene:
I used a Color Balance layer to enhance the red effect:
It’s time to take care of model. Make a new layer under model one and create shadow for her as done with the symbol, but with 90% opacity and apply Gassian Blur with 7 px:
I used layer mask to reduce opacity at the bottom of this shadow:
I named this layer “shadow 1”.
I used a new layer with soft black brush and opacity about 30%-50% to create more shadow under the model:
To fix some details on model body I used a new layer with Clipping Mask and Clone Tool:
To remove wound on model nose I used brush with color #8e5b52 (model skin tone) to paint there (on a new layer of course):
To make model skin look smoother, I created a new layer and took soft brush with color #bf7f6f,, opacity and flow about 30% to paint on the face, especially cheeks, forehead, eyelids:
Don’t overdo it as you can loose the details.
Make a new layer with Clipping Mask, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:
Take Dodge and Burn with Midtones Range, Exposure about 15-20% to enhance some details of model face and hair. You can see how I applied this tool with Normal mode and result with Overlay mode:
The model looks too bright compared with background. To darken her I used a Curves layer:
On Curves layer mask I reduced the dark effect on the model legs:
I used some layers to change the focus, light and contrast.
Make a new layer on the top, active Gradient Tool (G), choose Radial Gradient with default colors (black and white). Drag a line from top right to bottom left to define the light source:
Change the mode to Soft Light 100%:
Add layer mask to this one. Use brush to reduce the dark at the left of the desert:
Add a Levels layer to increase the light:
On Levels layer mask I erased the model hip as I don’t want it too bright:
In this step we’ll be adding some red color to the model. Double click model layer, choose Blending Options:
We have result:
It’s time to add some sparks to the pic. Create a new layer on the top and change brush color to #cb3c15 and size of 8 px. Press F5 to make settings for this brush:
Spot around the model and on background:
Apply Gassian Blur with 1 px:
Double click this layer, choose Outer Glow effect:
Use layer mask to blur some parts below:
Change the mode of this layer to Color Dodge 100%:
To make the effect look better, on this layer, press Cmd/Ctrl+G to make group for it. Change the mode of this group to Color Dodge 100% and name it “sparks 1”. You can see that it is enhanced:
I made a new layer within this group, used same brush and lower the size to 4-6 px to add more smaller sparks. Apply Outer glow effect with same settings with previous layer and use layer mask to remove any unwanted spark dots
Duplicate this layer and rotate it to place some spark dots on the ground:
Make more sparks on the foreground with brush 10 px. I applied Outer Glow with same settings and Gassian Blur 3 px:
I used this brush to paint over the pic:
Apply Outer Glow effect, Gassian Blur with 5 px and Motion Blur:
This is result:
I used a brush 30 px to make bigger sparks. I added more settings for this brush :
The result after painting is shown in screenshot below:
I used layer mask to reduce the spark light:
Apply Motion Blur with same settings in previous step:
I added a new layer, used brush 10 px, with Outer Glow and Motion Blur filter:
Use layer mask to reduce light on some sparks:
I used 7 layers for this spark effect and you can see the result below:
In this step we’ll make more sparks . Make a new layer on the top (above sparks 1 group). Use same brush with 15 px to paint on foreground:
With layer mask:
Apply Gassian Blur with 3 px and Motion Blur with same settings with sparks 1 group:
I named this layer “sparks 2”.
I used a Curves layer to darken and enhance these sparks:
Now it’s time for coloring. First we’ll add some red to model body. Create a new layer on the top. Take soft brush with color #ff3700 to paint on the model hip and thigh then alter the mode to Color 30%:
Make a new layer again and use same brush to paint behind model body to brighten this part. I lowered opacity of this layer to 20%:
To add more red to model body I used a new layer and chose color #8a2f16 for brush. Paint on model face, shoulder, neck and hip and put the mode as Soft Light 100%:
Create a new layer and use soft white brush to brighten the part above model head and along the pagan symbol. Change the mode to Overlay 100%:
On the top of layers, use Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection for the bottom right of the image and set feather for it as 50:
Go to Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Channel Mixer:
This is what we have:
Using adjustment layers for coloring effect will give you more control, just change the settings anytime to get the effect you want.
We had a pretty nice blue effect but i still want to make it look better and more subtle.
On Channel Mixer layer mask use soft black brush with opacity and flow varied from 25-30% to 100% to reduce and remove blue effect on model body. The masking method is making the parts which nearer to the top and ground bluer and the rest less. You can look at my result on layer mask and on picture as a reference:
I used a Curves layer with same method to adjust blue light and contrast. I placed this Curves layer under Channel Mixer one:
The result on Curves layer mask and on picture:
I used a Vibrance layer to enhance the blue effect:
Make a new layer and use brush with color #0dc2e9 to paint on the hair. Change the mode of this layer to Color 100%:
On a new layer I used brush with color #12c4e7 to paint on the hair, face and body. Put the mode of this layer to Soft Light 100%:
I used a new layer to draw some blur hair strands for model. The color used is #0dade9 and size from 6-10 px:
To add more blue to these strands I used a Color Balance with Clipping Mask:
Make a new layer with same settings in step 35 (but uncheck Clipping Mask options). Use Dodge Tool to make cheek highlight and darken a small part on model knee:
Now we’ll take time for red effect. Add a new layer on the top, use brush with color #f64616 and size 7 px to draw some strands on the hair where catches the red light from sky. I applied Gassian Blur with 2 px for them:
Create a new layer and lower brush size to 1 px, opacity to 50%. Use it to paint smaller strands:
On a new layer use same brush with with larger size to add more red to the symbol and model. Change the mode to Overlay 70%:
Continue adding more red to the model neck, hip, waist and arm with same color but with Soft Light mode 100%:
Make the hair redder with this brush, opacity 50% and Overlay mode 70%:
Add more highlight to the hair with color #f9e665 and change the mode to Vivid Light 70%:
Final step: Make a new layer and use Dodge and Burn to enhance light and contrast of model and wings:
Download the PSD
Tutorial by Jenny Le