Autumn is all about colors and pretty little things! This week’s tutorial will focus on creating a surreal doll fairy that will blend perfectly well with this cool season!

Level: Advanced

Time: 45 min.

Images Used:

Stock Photo - last of autumn leaves on branch isolated on a white background

5839537 @ Rafael Valeev

Stock Photo - tree branches isolated on the white background

10041408 @ Olena Zaskochenko

Stock Photo - tree branches isolated on white background

10424694 @ Wuttichok Panichiwarapun

Stock Photo - Beauty portrait of lovely girl fashion model with natural soft make-up and clean healthy skin

12669418 @ gromovataya

Stock Photo - Beautiful scene misty old autumn forest

31397643 @ subbotina

Stock Photo - Autumn maple leaves isolated on white background

11852364 @ wolna

Stock Photo - Multi-colored autumn leaves falling down, with white copy space

10280828 @ smileus

Step One

Extract and position your model. I opted to remove the hair, and I also thinned out the neck.

1Now we are going to add a background to our model. Select a fall background like the one below.

2Go to Blur > Gaussian Blur and blur it to where you have something like you see below:

3Step Two

To add branches to our models head, find flat images of black branches on a white background (image#10041408) and set the layer to “Multiply”. Position it accordingly.

4Repeat this step a few more times to add more branches.

5Now add a layer mask to your model, and with a grunge brush, or a solid round brush, create “texture” on the top of the womans head so that the branches blend in more.

6Step Three

Next we are going to add leafs to our faeries branches. To do this find and image of some fall leaves (image#5839537) and extract them. Do not worry about the branches, you just need the leafs. Make sure to keep a large version of the leafs as we will be using this same image for wings later.


8Duplicate the leafs and place them throughout the branches on the model’s head.

9Once you are happy with the placement of your leafs, group them together and name them “Leafs”. Create a new layer and clip it into the group. Set the layer to “Soft Light”. Now with a round brush paint the leafs red, orange and yellow.

10Go back to your original leaf layer, and duplicate it twice. Bring them two layers below your model and set them to “Screen”. Arrange them so that they look like wings.

11Now we are going to ad to layer styles to the wings, an inner and outer glow. Inner glow set to Screen, opacity 75%, color #ffffbe, and and semi large size (mine is 46, yours will likely be larger). Outer glow set to screen, opacity 75%, color #ffe075 and a large size.

12Step Four

Now we are going to add a glow all around our faerie’s body. Create a new layer behind out model and set it to soft light. With a large white brush set to white, paint around your model. Create another layer and keep it set to “Normal”. Paint more concentrated white around out model’s head.

13Create a new layer above that and set it to “Screen”. Paint and orange-yellow and red behind your model’s body.

14Step Five

Next, we are going to blend the faerie into her surroundings. First, clip a Color Balance adjustment layer onto our model. Set it to Red 32, Green 4, Blue -27. Next clip a Brightness/Contrast layer into our model. Set it to Brightness -12, and contrast 100.

15Clip a new layer into our model and keep it set to “Normal”. Paint white around the edges of out model’s body.

16Clip a new layer above that and set it to “Screen”. Paint a yellow-orange color around your models face and body to give her a glow.

17Create and clip on last new layer into out model and paint her hair black so that it blends with the branches coming from her hair.

18Go back to our original branch layers, duplicate one, shrink it, and clip it into out model’s layer. Place it so that the branches are laying on her face.

19Now duplicate that layer and move it slightly down and over, then add a subtle Gaussian Blur to create a shadow for the branches on the head.

20Step Six

To create the faerie’s makeup we are going to also use the leafs from her head. Duplicate a few leafs and place them around the model’s eyes.

21Mask out any part of the leaf that is covering the eye.

22Group the leafs together and set the group layer mode to “Overlay”.

23Do the same to the other eye. 24Step Seven

Finally we are going to bring everything together using some bokeh and adjustment layers. Create a new layer above all other layers and set it to “Screen”. With a bokeh brush paint red, yellow and orange around your image. Blur out the bokeh if needed. You can also use a bokeh texture if you do not have a brush.

25Lastly we are going to warm up the image using three adjustment layers: Color Lookup set to “Soft Warming” Color Lookup set to “Fall Colors” Color Lookup set to “Edgy Amber” Set all three layers to 50%.

26And you are done! Did you enjoy this tutorial? Let us know in the comments below!