In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to create a fantasy scene featuring a flying woman catching clouds inside a room.
First we’ll retouch the room and change the lighting, color, and shadow of it. Later, we’ll add the model, lake, boat and flowers and blend them together using adjustment layers, masking, and brushes. After that, we’ll import the clouds, paint more hair, and use several adjustment layers to complete the final effect.
Love something colorful? Here’s some inspiration for you.
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
1. How to Change the Color, Lighting and Shadow of the Room
Create a new 2500 x 2370 px document in Photoshop with the given settings:
Open the room image. Drag this image into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V). Convert this layer to a Smart Object.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 6 px.
On this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft, round one with black color. Use this brush to erase the blur effect on the ground, leaving it visible on the wall and window.
To change the light and shadow of the room, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and reduce the lightness. We’re aiming to make the main light from the right, so on this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the right so it won’t be darkened by this adjustment layer.
Make another Curves adjustment layer and increase the lightness for the left side. On the layer mask, paint on the right so it won’t be brightened by this adjustment layer.
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the color tone of the room. Adjust the Master values:
Add another Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to turn the color of the plants/branches outside the window to soft pink.
Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color
#f9e88c. This step is to give the whole scene the soft tone of sunlight.
2. How to Retouch the Model
Open the model image and isolate her from the background. Place her in the middle section of the main canvas so that she looks as if she’s flying inside the room.
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask. Alter the Master values to desaturate the model.
Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the legs and body of the model. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to erase the front of the model and the bright details so that the dark effect is visible on the lower/shadow areas.
To change the color of the hair and lips and make them more vibrant, use the Lasso Tool (L) to select these areas and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Channel Mixer. Remember to set this layer as Clipping Mask.
Hold Control and click the thumbnail of the Channel Mixer layer mask to load its selection. Create a Color Balance adjustment layer with this selection.
Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer using the same techniques.
Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill with 50% gray:
Activate the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range and Exposure about 10-20% to refine the light and shadow of the model. Also paint more details for her face. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with Overlay mode.
3. How to Add the Lake
Move the lake image into the main canvas and place it in the middle of the ground, below the model. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to make it a bit narrower to fit the ground’s perspective.
Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Use a soft black brush to erase the sky and the hard edges around the lake.
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the lake.
Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the left side of the lake. On this layer mask, paint on the right so its brightness won’t be affected by this adjustment layer.
To make a reflection of the wall inside the lake, on the room layer, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the lower part of the wall. Hit Control-C to copy this selection. Create a new layer on top of the layers and hit Control-V to paste this selection into the new layer. Flip it vertically by choosing Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and move it down to cover the lake area.
Add a mask to this layer and erase the part outside the lake.
Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate this reflection.
Create a Curves adjustment to brighten the right side of the reflection. The selected area on the left shows where to paint on the layer mask.
4. How to Import the Boat
Rotate the boat to find the angle you want, or use your own resource—but it should be similar to the one below. Move the boat on the lake’s surface. Use Control-T with Warp mode to bend both sides of the boat higher and make the body more curvy.
Duplicate the boat and flip it vertically. Move the copy below the original boat to make a reflection.
Lower the Opacity of this layer to 50% and use a layer mask to remove the part of the boat that’s outside the lake.
Select the boat layer and the reflection one and press Control-G to make a group for them. Change this group’s mode to Normal 100% and add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the boat.
Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the boat. Paint on the right to reduce the dark effect there.
5. How to Add the Flowers
Open the flowers image. Take the flowers part only and place it onto the boat.
Use a layer mask to remove the lower part of the flowers.
Make a reflection for the flowers inside the lake, as we did with the boat.
Create a group for the flowers and their reflection. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate their color.
Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the flowers.
Create a new layer below the flowers’ group. Use a soft brush with the color
#151110 and Opacity about 40% to paint a shadow for the flowers on the boat.
Make a new layer on top of the other layers and use a small brush with the color
#f1ede5 to paint a string from the model’s arm to the top left of the boat to connect them.
6. How to Add the Clouds
Make a new layer on top of the layers and change the brush to the cloud ones. Turn the foreground to
#eaeaea and select one of the cloud brushes (I’ve chosen the one numbered 1252) to paint on the bottom left of the canvas.
Use other brushes to paint clouds on different areas of the room.
Add a mask to the cloud layer in the top middle to erase the unwanted details there.
Apply a Gaussian Blur of 6 px to each of the cloud layers which are in the top left and at the bottom of the canvas.
Apply a Gaussian Blur of 4 px to the cloud in the top middle. That’s to vary the depth of the scene.
Create a group for the cloud layers and add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the clouds. On this layer mask, paint on the contour of the clouds as they get light from the background.
Make another Curves adjustment layer with the same purpose.
Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color
#ec8a00 to match the clouds’ color with the rest of the scene.
7. How to Paint the Hair
Create two layers on top of the other layers and use a small brush with the colors
#f3a493 to paint more hair for the model.
8. How to Make the Final Adjustments
Make a Color Fill layer on top of the layers and pick the color
#261010. Change this layer mode to Exclusion 100%.
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and alter the Midtones and Highlights settings:
Add a Curves adjustment layer to the contrast and color of the whole scene.
Create a Vibrance adjustment layer to enhance the color of the whole scene.
Make a Selective Color adjustment layer and change the Reds, Cyans, Blues, Neutrals and Blacks settings.
Congratulations, You’re Done!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial and learned something new for
your own projects. Feel free to share your results or leave comments in
the box below. Enjoy Photoshopping!
Here are some more fantasy flying things for you: