Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fantasy Art for newbies - Mysterious moonlit landscape

Fantasy Art for beginners - mysterious moonlit night written by Lorelei ©

Believe it or not, but from a few ordinary photos and some primitive brushes, we will make this:

OK, despite the rather impressive outcome, this is a very simple tutorial, you wont need more than a few brushes and a few pictures. Most of it is a mater of technique.

Start by creating a new canvas, 500*500 pixels, and fill it with dark blue colour, we used #060062.

Next, you need a beautiful, and preferably mysterious photo of a woman, this is what we started off with:

Copy the girl to your clipboard (Ctrl + C) and paste it (Ctrl + V) unto the blue canvas

Select the "Single Column Marquee tool" place the selection line on the edges of the picture, Press Ctrl + T to draw a line, and repeat the action from the other side as well. This is what this action will give you...

Duplicate the woman's picture, and set BOTH layers to "Luminosity" blending option. This will turn both layers blue, as we have a blue background.

While the upper (duplicated) layer is selected, apply the Gaussian blur on it.

Select the eraser tool with a soft edge, and go over the girl's silhouette, erasing the blurred layer from over the woman's body. This is how it will look, but work your way with the eraser over her skirt as well.

After having finished to erase the blur over her body, this is what it will look like:

Select the blurred layer, and go to Filter >> Render >> Lightening Effects.

Apply this "omni" light spot over the blurred layer.

Now you got a nice, wrapped in fog moon, that creates a very mysterious halo around the girl's body. That's because we used (before) the eraser tool with the soft edge, while removing the blurred layer we were not very accurate and deleted a bit of the area around the body as well. Even if it's just a few pixels, it is still great.

Now we need to add some landscape... Easier of all would be to use some nice clouds photo and not to create clouds from a scrap. So take this picture, pulled from

Copy it (Ctrl + C) and paste unto your fantasy canvas.

Apply the "Luminosity" blending style.

Using the eraser tool, remove remains of the clouds from the woman (if any) and the moon.

Create a new Layer.

Make sure your primal colour is white and your secondary colour (in colours palette) is same blue as the background.

Select the "Dune Grass" blush (comes default in Photoshop CS2) and apply a lot of stamps (or just hold the mouse pressed and go over the bottom of the canvas)

Ideally, it will look like this...

Now you would need starry brushes. We used some free star brushes downloaded from

You can choose between.. or any other...

Once you have installed the star brushes and loaded then into your Photoshop, make a new layer and apply a generous amount of stars over the upper part of your canvas.

Remember to use pure white colour for the brushes. If you see that the result is dull - go to Layer >> Layer Styles >> Blending options and add default yellowish glow.

Go to the layers menu and select the layer with the clouds (remember it has to be on luminosity mode)

Select the Dune Grass brush again, and add a bit grass from both sides of the woman, but make sure you dont apply them over her. The idea is to create the illusion of her sitting IN the grass and not behind it. Since here the blending mode is different (luminosity), the grass will look more moonlit in front of her.

Go again to layers menu and select the first layer of the woman, which stayed intact so far...

Go to Filter >> Renders >> Lightening effects and apply a light spot, similar to what we did with the blurred layer, only bigger

And this is how it looks now, now the girl is slightly lit from one side more than from another:

If you are happy with all the layers and see that no correction is needed - good! Now you can flatten the layer by going to Layer >> Flatten Image.

Now that the canvas is fully merged into one picture, go to Image >> Adjustments >> Hue Saturation.

Check the "colorize" box, and set these settings, for a flat blue colour. IF you wish to give your canvas a different hue, its up to you, just play with the settings here.

That's it! We have a beautiful bewitching girl, sitting my the sea, while the fool moon is wrapped in fog and slightly lightening the grass, the sea's horizon line and the lady's side...

No comments: