In this tutorial, I will show you the processes I used to create this really cool “Mystic Dancer” scene by using natural grass texture in Photoshop. I came across the original image while browsing for free stock image and I thought: what if I combine it with some natural pattern and texture?
Together we can explore various image adjustment tools, filter effects, layer blending mode, dynamic brush settings and more. Some parts of this tutorial can be a bit tricky, but why not have a try :)
Here a before and after preview:
let’s get started!
Download a copy of this image from stockvault.net and load it into Photoshop.
If you can take some time to observe the image, you can the image itself primarily consist of some dark and cold concrete wall, with a only a line of the light source in the middle.
The first step is to add a few extra light to the overall image. To do this, duplicate the background layer once and hit Ctrl + M and bring up the Curve Tool, apply the following settings:
Then hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B to bring up the Black and White Image Adjustment Tool, apply the following settings:
And here is the effect so far:
Still on this layer, use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase the distracting white bits of the woman’s upper body:
Duplicate the “Background Copy” layer once, set its blending mode to “overlay” and you will have the following effect:
Now we want to add some texture on the concrete wall so it looks not so boring. Download a copy of this Grass image and load it into Photoshop. (This image is of my own stock and you can use it wherever and for whatever purpose).
Then go back to our document, hit Ctrl + A and select the whole canvas and drag that selection over to the grass image, copy and paste back to our document and name the newly-formed layer as “grass texture”.
Change the blending option of “grass texture” layer to “overlay” and you will have the following effect:
Then go to Image > Adjustment > Channel Mixer and apply the following settings:
Change the layer blending mode to “overlay”, and you will see the following effect:
Optional: you can erase the texture overlay on the dancer or keep it, that’s totally up to you.
I chose to erase the grass texture off because I felt I would have more room later on for adding something else:
Now we can add a bit of motion into the image: Duplicate the “Grass Texture” layer once more, then go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and apply the following settings:
Then hit Ctrl + L to bring up the Levels tool, apply the following settings:
Change the blending option of this layer to “Screen” and you will have the following effect:
Now we can add something around the dancer to create a better connection between her and the rest of the image. Pen Tool + Dynamic Brush is usually a good choice for this :)
Create a new layer called “Stuff around the dancer”, grab the Brush tool and apply the following brush dynamics:
And tick “Airbrush” and “Smoothing” options.
Then we use the Pen Tool to briefly outline the dancer as shown below:
Then right-click and choose “stroke path” with brush, and you will see the following effect:
We can add some additional lighting effect for the dancer so the image looks more realistic. Create a new layer called “extra light”, grab a soft round brush and paint as shown below:
Change the layer blending mode to “overlay” and you will see the following effect:
Lastly we can add some cloud in the middle of the image to give the photo some extra flavor. To do this, create a new layer called “cloud”, grab the lasso tool and set its feather to 100px, make a selection as shown below:
Then go to Filter > Render > Cloud (Make sure you set White as foreground colour, Black as background colour) and render some cloud inside:
Then duplicate the “cloud” layer three times, change the blending mode of each duplicated layer as below:
Cloud Copy – Multiply
Cloud Copy 2 – Overlay
Cloud Copy 3 – Soft Light
and you will have the following effect:
Lastly, we can add a light source to the image. To do this, create a new layer called “source light”, fill it with black colour and go to Filter > Render > Lens flare and apply the following settings:
Change the layer blending option to “screen” and erase some unnecessary bits down the bottom, you will have the following effect:
I also added some flying bird on the top of the image, you can download this brush from qbrushes.com and load it into Photoshop. For those who don’t know how to load brushes, here is a handy link for you.
Here is the effect so far:
Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course further enhance it and add whatever effect you feel like to it!
Here is my final image for this tutorial: (Add some colour and rainy effect)
Alternative colour scheme:
Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.