Digital Imaging Photoshop CC Tutorial

Digital Imaging Photoshop CC Tutorial: Part 3 Creating a Ink & Water Color look from photos


Ok, so here we are on part 3.  This is going to be the fun part

Part 1, you cut out the Scorpion
Part 2, you added the Scorpion to the Tortoise picture, shrunk and repositioned the Scorpion relative to the Toroise, and then created one layer of the image while keeping the old layers.

Part 3 we make the image look like an ink / watercolor drawing instead of a photograph.

Ok, we’re going to backtrack a little bit.  In Part 2, I forgot to change the lighting on the scorpion so he looks submerged and it’s in the same direction as the Tortoise.  Little things like this make a big difference.

To backtrack — since we saved everything, it’s easy.

  1. Change the merge layer name to Old merge layer.  Turn off the layer.  Trash the Copy of the old Merge Layer.  We will be making a new merge layer with better shadow on the Scorpion.  Why not just throw it away?  You never know when something will be useful
  2. Make a copy of the Small Scorpion and drag it above Tortoise background.  Now we can make the Scorpion match more

Making the Scorpion bluer so he looks submerged

Use see how since the Scorpion has fallen a little deeper in the water than the Tortoise, he should be a little bluer but not as blue as the coral deeper below him? That our next stage.  Sorry I forgot that yesterday

  1.  On the Small Scorpion layer, click the Effects layer (on the layer palette, at the bottom click on the “fx”)
  2.  Click on Color Overlay
  3. A right menu opens with Overlay options.  click the big color square at the top. It gives you an eyedropper tool and you can click in your picture to sample a color.  Sample a light blue from the coral behind the scorpion.
  4. If the Overlay just makes him look like a big block of color, change the blend mode from “normal” to “soft light” or “overlay” whichever you like best.  That should give him a blue over cast rather than making him blue. If it’s bluer than you like, you can dial down the opacity a little.
  5. To make the light direction feel a little different, click on Bevel.  Halfway down you’ll see shading.  Change the angle the direction to 146 degrees so it looks like the light is coming from the top left. (I’m basing this on the top left of the tortoise being lighter)
  6. A little lower you’ll see “Highlight Mode” in “Screen” with a white or pale yellow square.  Since he is not getting direct sun but rather sun filtered through water, click on the color square and change it to a light turquoise blue.
  7. Just below him, you’ll see “Shadow Mode” in “Multiply” with a black square.  Change the color to a dark blue.  I’d also lower the opacity of the Multiply a little because he is plenty dark himself.
  8. If either you need want a little more highlight or shadow or you want a little less, just dial it up or down with the opacity bar until you get what you like.

Doesn’t he look better? More like he’s in the water? rather than out gamboling in the sand.  I should have showed you yesterday but now you know how why I want you to save everything — so you can backtrack.

Now we need to play with the filters some to make the effect we want.

Safety first. Save a new Merged Layer and Keep your Old Layers

  1. Rename the small scorpion to Small Scorpion Effects. Make a copy of the scorpion with the overlay and bevel effects on it.  Place the original under the Tortoise background copy.
  2. Make a new layer above everything
  3. Hold down the alt key and merge the layers into the new layer and keeping the old layers.  If you suddenly only have one layer, hit undo.  Try it again holding the alt key.
  4. Call this New Merged Layer (or just Merged Layer if did make one yesterday.  If you forgot how to merge, go back to the yesterday’s tutorial at the bottom.  Scorpion and the Tortoise tutorial, part 2

Now we get to play with filters

    1.  Make a copy of your merged layer so you’re working with a copy and not the original.
    2. I reset the default foreground and background colors to Black and White by clicking the little 2square icon above the big 2square icon on the toolbar
    3. On the copy, go the to menu, under Filters, Click “Filter Gallery”
    4. Since I want it to look like a drawing, I went to the section named “Sketch”
    5. I clicked on different ones but I liked the Charcoal effect best
    6. I set the Charcoal setting at
      Charcoal Thickness: 5
      Detail: 5
      Light/Dark Balance: 0
      I got this:
    7. Rename the layer Charcoal.  Constantly renaming layers is a pain, I know.  But it is very helpful if you are experimenting and turning things on and off until you get what you like. Plus if you’re following along with me, it’s easier if we use the same name for the layers.
    8. Change the blend mode on the Charcoal Layer to “Soft Light”.  You will get something like this:
    9. Now on your New Merge layer, make another copy.  We are going to do another layer.  Temporarily turn your Charcoal layer off so we can see what we are doing by clicking on the eye next to it.  With the eye off, the Charcoal layer will be temporarily invisible.
    10. On your New Merge layer copy, go to the filter gallery.  This time go to the Artistic Folder and click on Poster Edges.  (I actually suggest you click on different ones to see which effects you like).  My settings were:
      Edge thickness: 1
      Edge intensity: 2
      Posterization: 2
      I wanted a little ink effect but not too much because with the scorpion being so dark, I didn’t want him to become an ink blob.  So I got this.
    11. Call this layer “Poster Edges” (duh, lol)
    12. Put the Charcoal Layer above the Poster Edges Layer.  Turn the Charcoal Layer back on.  You should get something like this.
    13. We are getting really close!  Make a new merged layer.  Put a new layer above the Charcoal Layer.  Hold down your alt key and merge visible (Layer menu at the bottom) making a new layer with everything visible in it but keeping your old layers. Call this Newer Merge layer (since the previously merged layer we called New)
    14. Now I want to lighten the scorpion area a little since he is blending in a bit. I made a new layer.  Choose the marquee tool (M) and made a square a big bigger than the scorpion.  Made sure White was in the Foreground. Then clicked the bucket tool (G) and filled the square with white.  (You can also go to the menu under Edit, Click on Fill, and chose White). Deselected (command D or menu Select then click Deselect)
    15. Used the Guassian blur to blur the edges.  I used 75 as my image is 1900×1300.  Scale it down if your image is smaller.
    16. Changed the layer blend mode to “Overlay” and changed the opacity to 60%.  Then I did a quick erase over the Scorpion body so that the white lit up the background there rather than him.  Doesn’t have to be that precise as the image doesn’t really show details when it’s done. I also did a quick erase on and around the Tortoise head in case the blur spread too much. Call this later, Lighten Scorpion Rock
    17. Make another new layer above that.  Fill it with White.  Change Blend mode to Overlay.  Change Opacity to 40%.

And there you go.  I finished with this

It’s a little different than the original.  The Scorpion and the coral ended up with more detail this time around.  I tweak things a little because a lot of settings are intuitive and I don’t write everything down (now that I’m doing tutorials, I’ll either have to write as I go or get a screen capture software).  sowhenever I do things again so they are not exactly the same but comes close

So looking at my original and to make this one match closer, I added two more layers to get it closer.

I added a hue/saturation layer.  I dialed down the saturation to -17

I added a levels layer.  I lightened things by moving the middle value pointer to 1.18.  This was the final image.


I did the white square overlay opacity thing again behind the text for the haiku so the print would show better.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Note: I use the photography plan which is currently $9.99 a month in the U.S. as of 3/6/18 and includes the use of Photoshop CC 2018, Lightroom and more, including some mobile apps. I love this plan! I don’t know how much Adobe charges in other countries though.


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