In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a surreal head image using standard photo manipulation techniques. You’ll learn how to cut a head and fill it with a wood texture, increase the depth of field, enhance colors and more.
Wood texture @12531402
Create a new 1200×1000 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white. Drag the sky image into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance and change the Midtones settings:
Place the landscape in the bottom of the canvas and use a layer mask to remove the top of its sky.
Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it as Clipping Mask. Bring the Saturation value down to -60:
Isolate the model and place him in the lower half of the canvas. Use the Lasso Tool (L) to select a part of the head and right click it, choose Layer via Cut. Move this part upward to create a space between to parts of the head.
Use the Lasso Tool to grab the lower area of this cut and click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Press Ctrl+I to invert the mask and we have this result.
Select the model and the cut layer, hit Ctrl+G to make a group for them. Change this group mode to Normal 100% and make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Reduce the Saturation value to -18:
Make a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the right of the model. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to mask off the left and the shadow areas .
Take a part from the wood texture and place it under the lower part of the head. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to grab a selection as shown below and then click Add layer mask icon.
Add another wood texture to the upper of the head top using the similar method.
Place the crack image over the model section and use a layer mask to hide the areas outside the skin.
Create a group for the crack layers and make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to de-saturate the texture.
Make a new layer above the crack group, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray. Use the Dodge and Burn Tool (O) with Midtones, Exposure about 20-25% to refine the light and shadow on the crack texture and skin.
Open the wood texture image. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to make a circle on the texture surface.
Make a group for these layers and add a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the left of them.
Cut out the tree and place it onto the head area. Use a layer mask to clear the unwanted details, make the tree growing up from the head.
Make a group for the tree layers and use a Color Balance to change the tree color:
Right click the tree group, choose Duplicate Group. Right click it again, choose Merge Group. Load this selection and fill it with black, move it under the tree group. Use Ctrl+T to change its perpective to fit the light direction. I turned off the tree group to make you see the result more clearly.
Isolate the leaves from the background using the Magic Wand Tool (W). Add different leaves to the branches on the top of the head.
Make a group for the leaves and use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change their color:
We’ve finished adding the elements, now it’s time to change the color. Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on top of the layers and bring the Saturation value down to -13:
And that’s it for this tutorial! Something different to add to your portfolio, and if you can’t get it on the first try, try again! You’ll love the effects of this image, guaranteed=D
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