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How To Turn A Portrait Into A Statue

Have you ever wanted to instantly time travel? Well in today’s tutorial we’re going to take you back in time by turning your favorite photo into a Greek statue. You’ll need Adobe Photoshop and a graphics tablet to achieve these effects, so let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6

Difficulty: Intermediate

Completion Time: 3 hours

Images Used For This Tutorial

Background of gray marble texture (kitchen):14754863 © Prapan Ngawkeaw


Portrait of a beautiful Greek goddess – isolated over white:10461098 © Andres Rodriguez

Stock Photo - Portrait of a beautiful Greek goddess - isolated over white

Sunny light white cloud and blue sky (heaven) :7534843 © Nuttakit Sukjaroensuk

Stock Photo - Sunny light White cloud and bule sky

Creating The Statue Effect

Step 1

Open the picture you’re going to use in Photoshop. Try to find pictures where your model has a costume on for that authentic Greek feel. Go to Edit > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and decrease the saturation to -100. Once you’re done, duplicate this layer.

Step 2

On the duplicated layer we’re going to smooth the skin so that it appears more statue-like. Use the Dodge Tool (O), set the Range to Shadows, and lighten any areas of the skin that are dark. This especially happens near the eyes where there might be bags from lack of sleep.

Step 3

With the duplicated layer selected, go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Accented Edges. Adjust the settings to: Edge Width 1, Edge Brightness 24, and Smoothness 1, making sure to give the skin a polished smooth effect. Once you’re finished, bring the Opacity of this layer down to 60%.

Step 4

Drag the photo of the sky into Photoshop. We’ll be using this photo as the background. Again, turn the photo into black and white: go to Edit > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and decrease the saturation to -100. Lower the opacity of the layer and use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase the parts of the photo that overlap your Greek goddess.

Step 5

Now let’s blur the background a bit. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 5 pixels.

Step 6

Time for the statue effect! Drag the photo of marble or a similar texture onto the canvas. Set the layer to Multiply and bring down its Opacity to 80%. Erase any edges that overlap onto the background.

Painting the Eyes and Skin

Step 7

On a new layer, use the Brush tool (B) to start painting out the eyes with a hard round brush. This step really makes the photo feel like a statue by simulating the blank stare they have. Use the brush to also smooth any edges to give that polished stone effect.

Keep Adjusting the Marbled Texture Effect

Step 8

We’ll continue tweaking the photo with adjustment layers. Add a New Adjustment Layer for the Levels. Adjust the Levels so that the photo is brighter in only the RGB Channel. The settings should be: Shadows 37, Midtones 1.99, and Highlights 224.

Step 9

Let’s intensify that cracked marble effect! Duplicate the marble texture layer and bring it above your new Levels layer. Set this layer to Linear Burn.

Step 10

On a new layer, use the Brush Tool (B) to paint white all over the statue with a hard round brush. Bring down the Opacity of the layer to 60% and set the layer to Soft Light to brighten up the statue again.

Use Adjustment Layers to Clean Things Up

Step 11

Now that the photo looks a little dull, a new adjustment layer of Levels will sharpen it up! Adjust the Levels and make sure to not blow out the whites too much; we don’t want the statue to be too bright! The settings are: Shadows 19, Midtones 1.09, and Highlights 238.

Step 12

Add a new layer and fill it with a muted brown color: bbac8e. Bring down the Opacity of the layer to 45% and set the layer to Color Burn.

Step 13

Add a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance. Here we’ll be adjusting only the Shadows and Highlights. Set the Shadows to: Red -2, Green -2, and Blue +6. And the Highlights to: Red -6, Green +1, and Blue -22.

Step 14

Add another new adjustment layer this time for Curves. Adjust the curve on the RGB Channel slightly so to take away some of the intense contrast created by our previous color balance layer.

Step 15

Lastly, use the Brush Tool (B) to clean up any edges and smooth bits of hair over with a hard round brush. That’s it! Have fun turning your favorite pictures into enchanting Greek statues!

Not into portraits? You can use this technique with any photo of your choice! Like this? Do Like, Share or Comment below!

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