There’s something so fascinating about dragons. They are beautiful, mystic and legendary creatures whose existence lives in books, films and our imagination. In this tutorial, we are going oriental with this Chinese fire dragon visual, something advanced for a change to challenge the designer in you! Try it out=D
Level: Advanced Program: Photoshop CS6, Windows 10 Time: 2 hour
What We Will Be Learning: In this tutorial, we will be learning how to create a fiery dragon image!
This tutorial assumes you have knowledge of basic Photoshop functions such as adjustment layers, layer masks, and layer effects.
Images Used: Dragon: #22138379
Note: At the end of each step there is an image of what my layers look like at the point of that step in case you get lost!
Step One: Creating the Background
1. Open a new document with a width of 2000 and a height of 2631 pixels. 2. Create a color fill layer and fill it with a dark red (#1f0000). 3. Create a new layer and set it to “Overlay”. 4. Using a large, round, soft brush paint black around the edges of your canvas. Bring the layer opacity down to “70%”.
Step Two: Adding the Dragon
Next, we are going to add our dragon. Feel free to create/draw your own, however, I will be using an available dragon image: #22138379
1. Create/place your dragon in the middle of your canvas.
Now, we are going to add all the dragon’s glow effects.
1. Duplicate your dragon layer and using a color overlay layer effect color it red (#ff0000). Set the layer to “screen”. 2. Using the Transform Warp tool, pull and warp the red dragon.
Step Three: Creating a Shadow Now, we are going to create a dramatic shadow.
1. Duplicate your dragon layer and color it black. Bring it below your original dragon layer. Set the layer to “Normal”. 2. Using the Transform Warp tool, pull and warp the red dragon so that it is taller and larger words the top, and smaller towards the bottom.
Next, we are going to add a vessel, or object, that the dragon is coming out of. I choose to use a Chinese New Year treat bag (image #17624920)
1. Extract and place your bag below your dragon. 2. Create and clip a Brightness/Contrast into your bag. Settings: Brightness -75 and Contrast 57.
1. Create a new layer above your bag layers. Set it to “Multiply”. 2. With a medium, soft, round brush paint black on the middle and bottom of the bag. Including the area below the bag.
1. Duplicate your original dragon layer, and bring the layer below your bag layers. Right, click on the layer > Rasterize Layer Style. 2. Set the layer to “screen”, and move it down your canvas so that the tail looks like it coming from inside the bag.
Step Five: Eyes and Glow Now, we are going to add some glowing effects. Mainly focusing on the eyes.
1. Create a new layer above your Dragon group. 2. Take a hard white paint brush and paint int the eye areas solid white.
6. Create a new layer below your “Bag” group and set it to “Screen”. 7. Using any kind of light/sunburst brush, place a burst behind the bag and the dragon’s eyes/head. You can also hand paint the burst as well.
Step Six: Smoke and Sparks Next, we are going to add out smoke effects.
1. Find a smoke image (image #2451170). Place it in the left side of your canvas and set it to “Screen”, below your Light Burst and bag layers.
Color Balance: Red +100 and Blue -74 Brightness/Contrast: Brightness -25 and Contrast 100
3. Find a smoke or fog texture (http://fav.me/d88gz3g) and set it to “screen”.
Brightness Contrast: Contrast 100
5. Add a layer mask, and mask out any edges using a soft round brush.
Step Seven: Color Correction Finally, we are going to add a total of 6 adjustment layers to give our image an overall color and atmosphere.
Going from top to bottom:
1. Color Lookup layer: Horror Blue, Opacity 50% 2. Brightness/Contrast layer: Brightness -16 and Contrast 25 3. Color Lookup layer: Crisp Warm, Opacity 21%
Other Fire Tutorials To Burn Off Some Steam: