Create a Fantastic Photo Manipulation of a Dark Monk


Learn how to do this dark photo manipulation of monk on a stony landscape with Photoshop. This tutorial will teach you how to merge completely different stock photos into dark-themed composite with matching light. You will also learn how to draw simple items such as a rosary and a cross.

What you’ll be creating

You will start from creating gloomy background, then you will play with colors and you will know, how to control particles. Read this tutorial and learn how to create better photo manipulations. You’ll need Photoshop CS5 or newer to follow this tutorial.

final-results

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Start from creating new file – 1828×1332 px. Go to File > New… (Ctrl + N)

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Step 2

You’ll create background. Place your “sky stock” to your file. Just drag it from the folder and drop it to Adobe Photoshop.

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Step 3

Add Adjustment layer with Brightness/Contrast. Go to top menu and choose Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut.

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Step 4

Add new blank layer (Layer > New > Layer…) or shortcut. Name it “moon overlay” Choose brush tool and set Soft Round brush around 700-800px. Set white color in your color picker and draw dot where you want place your moon stock.

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Step 5

Change blending mode of created layer to Overlay. It will light up stock image, but not change clouds shape.

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Step 6

Place moon stock. Change blending mode to Screen – it will display only lighter parts of the stock image. Black will be invisible in this mode.

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Step 7

If it’s needed, in your layer mask (click on canvas next to layer thumbnail), erase some parts of the moon, behind clouds. Use small, soft round brush.

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Add adjustment layer with Brightness/Contrast. Go to top menu and choose Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Next, add adjustment layer with Hue/Saturation. Go to top menu and choose Layer > New Adjustment layer > Hue/Saturation or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 8

Now back do created layer with “moon overlay”. Duplicate it – drag and drop it to “New layer” symbol or use from top menu Layer > Duplicate layer… Then drag it above all layers and decrease opacity of this layer to 60%.

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Step 9

Place “Solidified lava 2” stock to your file. Mask it. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use hard round, small size brush.

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Step 10

Let’s make some adjustments. Add adjustment layer with Brightness/Contrast. Go to top menu and choose Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Repeat this step.

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Again repeat step 10.

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Step 11

Add new layer. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Use soft round brush for make lights on rocks. Pick #f0e8ae color. Draw more lights, where moonlight goes. Use pressure opacity brush.

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If it’s needed, decrease opacity of this layer to 70%.

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Step 12

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Now click on mask (white canvas next to layer thumbnail). Use big soft round brush (700-800px) and erase place where moon is. Then erase with smaller brush (200-300px) line of the horizon.

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Decrease opacity of this layer to around 50%.

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Step 13

We will create three plans on our background. Place “Solidified lava 2” stock to your file. Mask it. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use hard round, small size brush. It will be second plan.

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Step 14

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 15

Add new layer. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Use soft round brush for make lights on rocks. Pick #f0e8ae color. Draw more lights, where moonlight goes. Use pressure opacity brush.

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Step 16

Add new layer. In your color picker set black and white. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

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Step 17

Click on mask shortcut for adding layer mask. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail. Choose big (around 800px) soft round brush and erase top half of the layer.

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Step 18

Change blending mode of this layer to Screen and decrease its opacity to around 50%.

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Step 19

Again, place “Solidified lava 2” stock to your file. Mask it. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use soft round, small size brush.

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Step 20

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 21

Now, by using big soft round brush (ex. 600px.) mask center of created adjustment layer. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail. Rocks on first plan will be darker.

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Step 22

If you like dramatic effect, you can add new layer. In your color picker set black and white. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

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Then, add mask to your layer (shortcut). Then, erase bottom part of this layer with big, soft round brush (ex 600px) and change blending mode to Soft light. Decrease opacity to around 50%.

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Step 23

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. You’ll make whole background darker.

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Step 24

Next, add Color Balance adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Color Balance or use marked shortcut.

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Step 25

Place “skeleton skulls” stock to your image. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use hard round, small size brush. Mask parts of skulls which don’t fit to rocks.

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Step 26

Below this layer, add new blank layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick small soft round brush, set its opacity to around 60% and draw with black color shadows strictly below skulls.

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Step 27

Again add new blank layer below shadows (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick bigger soft round brush, set its opacity to 100% and draw more and bigger shadows.

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Decrease opacity of this layer to around 20%.

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Step 28

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 29

Add Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Hue/Saturation or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask. It provides you great base for making color.

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Step 30

Add Color Balance adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Color Balance or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 31

Place “Robed 6” stock to your image. Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use hard round, small size brush. Mask it.

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Step 32

Below this layer, add new blank layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick small soft round brush and draw with black color shadows strictly below monk. Then, change its opacity to around 60-70%.

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Step 33

Again add new blank layer below shadows (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick bigger soft round brush and draw more and bigger shadows.

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Decrease opacity of this layer to 30%.

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Step 34

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use soft round, big size brush. Mask parts, which should be lighter.

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Step 35

Add Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Hue/Saturation or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 36

Let’s fix hands. Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Then, decrease opacity of this layer to 55%.

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Step 37

Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail and use hard round, small size brush. Mask everything except hands.

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Step 38

It’s time to add some colors for monk. Add Color Balance adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Color Balance or use marked shortcut. Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 39

Now you’ll make lights on monk. Add new blank layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Use soft round brush for make lights. Pick #f0e8ae color, set opacity of brush around 50%. Use pressure opacity brush.

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Step 40

Now you’ll create rosary. Add new layer. Use small, hard round brush. Draw base for your rosary – simple dots. Use #4c4741 color.

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Step 41

Place wood stock to your image, then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Change blending mode of this layer to Multiply.

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Step 42

Back below rosary layer. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Draw neck-chain as is shown – use small, soft round brush and draw base at first. Then, draw lights on base. After, you should make shadows. Remember about light source.

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Step 43

Back to rosary layer. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut), then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Draw lights on beads. Use medium (ex. 24px.) brush with opacity decreased to around 70%. Remember about light source.

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Step 44

Again add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut), then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Use small brush and lighter color for making highlights on beads.

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Step 45

Back below neck-chain layer and draw some shadows. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut) and use pressure opacity brush. Decrease opacity closer to light source.

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Step 46

Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Use 1px soft round brush and draw outline of rosary with light color (the same as in step 44).

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Step 47

It’s time to make a cross (or anything other) on rosary. At first, you should draw the base for it. As you can see, my cross is skewed. In this step Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Use around 5px hard round brush and draw base with the same color as in step 44. Choose brush with dynamic pressure size.

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Step 48

Place “wood” texture to your file, then make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 49

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Then, change its opacity to around 55%.

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Step 50

In this steps I want to show another way to draw simply objects, only by using adjustments layers and its masks. If you want, you can also use method from step 40. If you aren’t interested, go to step 53. Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail. Use hard round brush with pressure size to mask lighter parts. In this step, you should refine the shape in space.

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Step 51

Next, repeat this step. Mask darker parts of the bottom of cross (I hope you understand)

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Step 52

Now, some lighter parts. Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail. Use hard round brush with pressure size to mask desired darker parts of cross. Remember about light source.

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Step 53

Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Use 1px soft round brush and draw outline of cross with light color. Stroke should be bolder, where is more light – remember! 🙂

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Step 54

I think, the great idea will be making long shadow going from cross. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Then, pick soft round medium size brush (around 20px) and draw some diagonal. Then, from top menu choose Filter > Blur > Motion blur and set direction of blur, to direction of drawn strokes.

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Then, change blending mode to Multiply.

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Step 55

It’s time to ambient lights. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick soft round, 70 px brush. Set #ece196 color. Draw dots, where ambient light goes.

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Decrease opacity of this layer to around 60% and change blending mode to Screen.

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Step 56

Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Choose small hard round brush with black color. It will be base for hole. Draw shape of hole. I drew frayed shape by using pressure size brush.

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Step 57

Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask). Pick soft round, big brush with lighter color. Draw lighter parts in hole. It will looks like real.

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Step 58

Make the outline. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Use 1px soft round brush and draw outline of hole with light color.

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Step 59

It’s good time to make outlines of whole composition. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Use 1px soft round brush and draw outlines. Pay attention to details! And remember about light source. Strokes should be bolder, where is more light.

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Step 60

For making particles around, you should load some particles/debris brushes. Use brush tool.

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Step 61

If you loaded brushes, add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick Clone Stamp Tool. Check Sample: Current & below. Use loaded brushes for making particles. Click with holding “alt” for make source of clone. Pro tip! Use mix of brushes for making clones – it provides you more dynamic look.

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Step 62

Duplicate created layer (drag and drop on “New layer” symbol). Then, drag it below layer with monk. Transform it as you want! 🙂 You can also add some clones.

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You can also add some motion blur for your layer Filter > Blur > Motion blur.

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Step 63

Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut.

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Step 64

Optional – You can add one more layer with particles around monk – see step 61.

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Step 65

Bigger brush size for clone stamp tool will give for your image some deep.

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Step 66

Add new layer with particles (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick Clone Stamp Tool. Check Sample: Current & below. Use loaded brushes for making particles. Click with holding “alt” for make source of clone. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

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For more visible effect, add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut.

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Step 67

You can simply add as much particles and layers with blurred particles as you want, but… do not overdo it! 🙂

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Step 68

Repeat it also on the left side of picture. Add new layer > Use clone stamp tool > Blur it – use Gaussian blur and Motion blur, then – if you want, add some adjustments.

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Step 69

Let’s make it beauty. Add some adjustments. Add Levels adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Levels or use marked shortcut.

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Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Yes, endless.

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Add Color Balance adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Color Balance or use marked shortcut.

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Step 70

It’s time to make nice halo effect. Place “food 012” stock and transform it as is shown. If you are using free transform, you can hold ctrl to change pins perspective. Change blending mode of this layer to Screen.

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Click on white canvas next to layer thumbnail. Use soft round brush with pressure size to mask desired parts of halo.

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Add Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Layer > New Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast or use marked shortcut. Make it a clipping mask (Alt+Ctrl+G, Layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Step 71

Back below adjustments layer from step 69. Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Pick debris or particles brush. Draw some particles around halo. Use light-yellow color.

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Right click on created layer and choose “Blending options…” In box check Drop Shadow…

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…and color overlay. As shown.

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Step 72

Repeat 71 step. Then, add to created layer Motion blur. Filter > Blur > Motion blur.

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Step 73

Now, glow. Below halo crown layer, add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Choose soft, round brush with pressure opacity. Set light-orange color and draw glow on hood.

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Change blending mode and opacity.

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Step 74

Add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Choose soft, round brush with pressure opacity. Set light-orange color, 60% opacity of brush and draw glow on halo.

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Change blending mode to Soft light.

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Step 75

You can duplicate created layer with second glow, for better effect.

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Step 76

Above layer with halo, add new layer (Layer > New > Layer…, Shift + ctrl + N or shortcut). Choose soft, round brush with pressure opacity. Set light-orange color and draw big dot around (color: ff9236).

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Change blending mode to Soft light. Decrease opacity to around 30%.

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Step 77

At the end, add Color Balance adjustment layer – Layer > New Adjustment layer > Color Balance.

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Final Results

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Download the PSD

Tutorial by msRiotte

profileThank you for following this tutorial! I hope everything is clear :). I’m graphic designer and you can find me here: msriotte.pl and here: deviantart. Show me your work if you can – it would be pleasure to see it! 🙂

– msRiotte

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