Born of the Dragon – Create this Symbolic Gothic Composite in

Born of the Dragon – Create this Symbolic Gothic Composite in Photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn, how to make this gothic and symbolic photo manipulation. I’ll show you basics of Photoshop, like making night or create lights and shadows. You can read extra tips about photo manipulations and you will learn, how to make living tattoo! You will be making better photo manipulations and works in the future, by reading this.

What you’ll be creating

You will be creating photo manipulation fulfilled with symbols – like fire, night and dragon. Everything here is a symbol of transformation. You will be playing with particles and fire :). You’ll need Photoshop CS5 or newer to follow this tutorial.


Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Let’s start. Choose from top menu File > New (or Ctrl + N), create 1200 x 1600 pixel document.


Step 2

Drag and place “Creepy door” stock to your file. Transform it as shown below.


Step 3

Now you will make night scene. Start from creating adjustment layer (marked shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment Layer) and pick Exposure.


Step 4

Colors in the picture are flatty. For fixing it add adjustment layer with Brightness/Contrast (marked shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast).


Step 5

Now drag and drop to your file model stock – “Wicked 16”. Remember about proportions – she can’t be taller than the doors! 🙂 Also, keep in mind the perspective. The model has to be placed lower than door line.


Step 6

Add layer mask by shortcut. Mask background from model stock.


Step 7

Add new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N, Layer > New > Layer… or marked shortcut). Click on the created layer with RMB. Choose Create clipping mask. Clipping masks use the contents and transparency of a layer below.


Step 8

Pick soft, 15px, orange brush, set its opacity to 50%. With gently strokes draw lights of your model on created, clipping layer. I’ll set light source from doors, by the left side of picture.


Extra tip! If you making photo manipulation with full body model, try to make legs a bit darker, because our eyes are focusing on lighter parts of picture. That’s why I haven’t made lights on bottom of her legs.


Step 9

Add new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N, Layer > New > Layer… or shortcut). Click on the created layer with RMB. Choose Create clipping mask – like before. Then, set blending mode of this layer to Screen!


Then, with soft, 15px, light-blue (set its opacity to 50%) brush gently draw neutral lights on right side of the model. Neutral lights will give your image more realistic look. You can notice neutral lights in photography or drawings. Remember, that neutral lights are darker, than normal lights.


Step 10

Cool! Now you will copy two layers with lights. Choose layers by holding ctrl. Then, drag layers on “New layer symbol”.


Step 11

Now, again click with holding Ctrl duplicated layers. Decrease opacity of marked layers to 70%.


Step 12

Time to set exposure of model. Add adjustment layer with Exposure (marked shortcut or Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure). Set it as shown. Then, click on created layer by RMB. Choose “Create clipping mask” – Adjustment layer will fill only model’s layer.


Step 13

Back below model’s layer. Add new layer. Pick big, soft, gray brush and draw some shadows below feet. Then, use smaller brush with darker color and draw darker shadows. If you aren’t glad of your effect, just blur it. This is optional, but shadows will be smoother. Avoid use black color (#000) – it’s not naturally occurring.


Now, change blending mode of shadows layer to Multiply.


Step 14

Add new layer with shadow. Use big, soft, gray brush and draw something like triangle.


Like before, change blending mode to Multiply – it’s great mode to whole shadows! 🙂