Cattle Egret Watercolor Effect


Step 1
Create a new document 600×600 pixels and fill the background with a black color, then a radial gradient (white to orange). Rename this layer as “Background”.

Step 2
Make a selection out of the cattle egret below, copy and paste it into the newly-created layer, resize and reposition it using the Free Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform). Rename this layer as “Egret”.

Step 3
Download macbadshoes’ watercolor brushes. Select one of the brushes of the set and paint a red (or any color of your choice) into the duplicated background layer (Background copy), then set blend mode to Overlay, Opacity and Fill to 100.

Step 4
Create a new layer group and name it “Watercolor”. Switch back to Background copy layer.Use any shaped brush to paint a large watercolor orange or light red to this layer, then paint it and change its Blend Mode to Linear Light, Opacity and Fill to 80.

Step 5
Under the group layer “Watercolor”, create a new layer (by default, this is Layer 1). Select a big dry brush or the one we’ve just used. Try different shapes and opacity. Paint randomly over the bird with different colors. When done, click Watercolor layer then set blend mode to Linear Light, Opacity 80.

This is how it looks now:

Step 6
Merge Watercolor group layer (with the Watercolor group layer highlighted, right-click, then select Merge Group…). After this, go to Filters > Filter Gallery > Artistic > Dry Brush, set the values shown below and see how it looks.

Step 7
For some finishing touches, grab a big soft brush and paint the edges of the image to make a reddish orange vignette.

Step 8
Add your desired text, I’m using Parchment and Eras Light ITC here.

Step 9
Finally, merge all visible layers, then apply Hue/Saturation using the Create New Fill. Set Blend Mode to Overlay.

Here’s the expected final result:

Easy Skin Toning in Photoshop

Ever wonder how you can enhance your photo and look even greater? You can do this yourself easily in a few steps in Photoshop (or GIMP if you prefer it). Try it yourself and see how it makes wonders for you!



A plain black and white like this photo of Drew Barrymore below


can be converted into these:


How is it done?


Variation 1

Step 1: Open a black and white photo. If you don’t have it, no problem. Open your colored photo, duplicate and desaturate it (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate…).


Step 2: Press Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer. A dialog box will appear, and the layer’s name is Layer 1 (by default). Rename this into say, Gold, because we will be using this color in the following step.


Step 3: Pick the soft Brush Tool with the color gold (dcbe2f)

, then paint carefully all over the skin (face and neck). Set the blending mode to Linear Light and Opacity: 20.

It should look like this now after applying the Linear Light with Opacity to 20:

Step 4: Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation…and set the following values: Hue=0, Saturation=-50, Lightness=-10. Note: the values can be changed depending on the photo you’re editing. This is the expected output:

Step 5: Merge all visible layers then save.

Variation 2

Step 1: Duplicate the original photo. Make sure RGB mode is selected (Image>Mode>RGB…). Don’t flatten image when the dialog box is prompting you what to do.

Step 2: Press Ctrl+L to adjust Level. Choose Options to set new color. Set midtones and shadows as default, and change Highlight with fae78d. Set input levels to 0, 1.10, 245.

Step 3: Set Brightness/Contrast with the following values: Brightness=5, Contrast=5.

Step 4: Set the following values under Selective Color options (Image>Adjustments>Selective Color…): Cyan=-30, Magenta=-20, Yellow=10, Black=10.

Step 5: Levels (Image>Adjustments>Levels…): Input Values: 0, 1.10, 255.

And here’s the final result, as expected:

Redemption Surreal Photo Manipulation

This is my first attempt to do such a surreal effect photo manipulation which has long been delayed due to my hectic schedule. Fantasy and surreal effect really interest me so much. It has that strangeness and out-of-this world distinct beauty. Thus this tutorial. I hope you will like it.

This tutorial includes a lot of image adjustment tools, filters and blending modes applications. In one of the filters, I applied MasterBlaster from Cybia for the finishing touches. This plug-in only works with 32-bit host application.



Misty Ocean
Water Splash
Raise Up
Flying Birds
New Moon Again

Step 1
Open the Misty Ocean image, double click this layer to unlock it, then rename it into Misty Ocean. Open Water Splash and do the same as the first one, rename it into Water Splash. So you have now 2 images open ready for editing.

Step 2
Duplicate Misty Ocean then set blend mode to Soft Light. Rename this layer into softlight.

Step 3
Open Raise Up stock photo. Make a selection on the image by using the Quick Selection Tool, copy, then paste it onto Misty Ocean layer, as shown below.

Erase the fingers left on the neck, then fix neck by using the Clone Tool. Apply Burn Tool to blend well with the skin, then soften the edges of the image by using the Blur Tool.

Step 4

The next thing we will do is to make a motion effect on the man rising up.To do this we will apply Motion Blur (Filter>Blur>Motion Blur…) to the image, and it has to be upward direction (e.g. 90 degrees). Set the amount of blur to 5 pixels.

Step 5
Make a selection out of the Water Splash stock photo, copy, and paste it onto the Misty Ocean layer. Use the Free Transform to resize and reposition it on the ocean. Set blend mode to Screen. It should look like the image below now.

Done with replacing the misty ocean into water splash, we can now proceed with the disintegration effect to the body of the man by using the same Water Splash stock photo. Select. copy, paste, resize and reposition (via Free Transform tool), and set blend mode to Lighten or Lighter Color. Do this 4 times to have the result as shown below.

Step 6
Open the Flying Birds photo, select, copy, and paste it onto Misty Ocean layer. Set blending mode to Multiply.

Step 7
Open the Moon stock photo, select, copy, and paste it onto Misty Ocean layer. Adding this along with the birds makes some dramatic effect to our work. Set blending mode this time to Linear Dodge, opacity 30.

Step 8
Next that we’ll have to do is to blend the water with the rest of the overall image, especially the sky. To do this, apply Color Balance with the following settings:

Step 9
Merge all visible layers now. Apply MasterBlaster. Set blue value to 100.

An alternative to the MasterBlaster (sans the convenience) to have a similar effect is the use of Variants under Image menu (Image>Adjustments>Variants…), then select More Blue or whatever color/hue you prefer. Or, you may want to use also the Color Balance if you want to. A lot of possibilities actually.
That’s it!

How to easily make your photo clearer in Photoshop

So you’ve taken a photo of yourself and it’s great, only if that blurry, hazy, or underexposed could be fixed. Helpless, only you could do is sigh…and you’re hesitant if you still have to share it with your friends. Now, you don’t have to worry about that anymore if you happen to stumble on this tutorial.

In this tutorial, you will learn the basic steps to sharpen or make your photo clearer.

Here is the preview of the unedited and edited photo we’ll work with on:


After opening your photo, duplicate it by pressing Ctrl-J. You now have your duplicate copy, named Layer 1 at your layers palette.


This is where your photo can make changes. To apply ‘high pass’ filter, go to Filter>Other>High Pass… You can adjust the radius which give best result to you. I set mine to 100 here.


Done with the High Pass Filter, you are now ready to set your Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay (or Soft Light, or whichever suites you). Adjust also the Opacity if necessary. Normally, Overlay is applied, but in this case, I applied Soft Light here.

This is how it looks now:

You can stop here now if you like. Most tutorials stops here actually. But if you like to make it more sharp or clearer, apply some necessary Adjustments (Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance) by going to Image>Adjustments


10 Best Photoshop Tutorials

There are already countless tutorials found across the web and, to my estimate, hundreds are published everyday of which levels ranges from basic to advanced. They are all very good but there are really awesome ones which stands out from the rest…and I collected them to be the Best Photoshop Tutorials as presented here.

These are not the only lists and, most probably, you have your own collections too. Please include them via their link and share your comments too. I did not sort out the lists either according to levels and/or categories but, most likely, I will make a follow-up for this. Meantime, enjoy reading and have some fun creating your own versions out of these tutorials!

Realistic Glass Ball

Grass Text Effect

The Making Of A Robotic Frog

Awesome Wooden Fantasy Dragon

Create A Warm and Serene Portrait

Tidal Wave Effect

Amazing Abstract Heart

Fantastic Tree

Create A Super Dynamic Distortion Effect

Liquid Style Bird Creation

Learn Layer Mask

Water Droplets Tutorial

When the rainy season is nearing or around the corner, it’s a cool way to have a creation in tune with the weather – something wet like rain or water droplets. In this tutorial, we’ll make realistic water droplets on a maple leaf. You can have your own choice of leaf, preferably the broad ones so you have ample room to place your droplets.


Open your leaf photo into your Photoshop. A Background layer will then appear at your layers palette. Duplicate it to have your Background copy. This is optional actually but quite helpful for newbies so as to ensure there’s always a copy to return to in case of messing-up in the middle or, worst, may lost all the work.


Create a new layer (Layer>New>Layer… or click the icon before the trash icon below your layers palette). When done, select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and make a circular or elliptical shape into the leaf. Don’t bother whatever the shape created, we’ll distort that anyway in making the droplets.

Now, click the Gradient Tool and select the Line Gradient. Be sure to have your foreground and background colors be white and black. Make a gradient now to the elliptical shape you’ve created by clicking your mouse (while holding it down) from one end to the other end, like the figure below.


It’s time to make that elliptical figure into a real water droplet. To do this, first, set the Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 50%;

2nd, select Drop Shadow (click the fx sign below your layers palette and select Drop Shadow) with the following settings:

3rd, Inner Shadow with the following values:

This is how it looks like now.


By applying the Liquify Filter, we’re making the droplet more realistic with uneven or random shape. You can freely make the shape you want as long as it looks natural to be a droplet. Here is the outcome after applying the filter.


To make more droplets, just follow the procedure above, but this time, the shapes had to be different in sizes and shapes.


To do this, highlight each of the droplet layer first, then choose a small white brush and click it into each of the drops. You can apply Gaussian Blur if necessary, with the appropriate radius value.


When done with all your droplets, merge all visible layers or flatten image, then save your work.

Here is the final result:

Cool Retro-Look Effect in Photoshop

Transforming your boring photo into a retro-look effect can be more appealling, really cool, and fun. This can be achieved basically by filters and layer styles. An easy-to-follow tutorial which you can do it in a few minutes.

You can download the image below here. This will be the photo we’ll be using here as an example. You can have your own photo to work with if you prefer to.

This is the final result we’d like to achieve:

Step 1 – Opening and duplicating the photo
After downloading the photo, or if you have already one ready in your gallery, open this into your Photoshop and duplicate it.

So, by now, you have your ‘Background’ and ‘Background copy’ as seen in your layers palette.

Step 2 – Darkening the photo
To really have that old-look effect on the photo, we have to darken this a bit in preparation to the next step that we will do. So, to do this, go to Image>Adjustments>Levels… With the adjustment levels box in view, follow this settings: 60, 1.00, 220 (from left to right).

And we have this photo as a result right now:

Step 3 – Applying film grain
Duplicate the ‘levels’ layer first then rename it later into ‘film grain’ layer after this step is done. Meantime,to make that photo looks really old, we will apply film grain effect into it, e.g., Filters>Artistic>Film Grain… Apply the settings below:

> grain: 4
> highlight area: 0
> intensity: 10

Step 4 – Color Halftone application
Last with the filers. Apply this time the halftone color to the photo: Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone… Set the maximum radius to 4, and leave the others into their default values.

Step 5 – Applying the layer style
Yay, we are almost done! So, done in pixelating (halftone) the photo, we’ll move on in applying a layer style into it.

Duplicate the ‘halftone’ layer and rename it into ‘soft light’, because we really have to convert the blending mode from ‘Normal’ into ‘Soft Light’. To do so, click the blending mode option (which is set to Normal by default) then scroll down and choose Soft Light (or, depending on the result, you may choose other blend mode like Darken, Color Dodge, Multiply, or whatever that may best suite your taste).

This is what we’ve got now:

Step 6 – Changing the background of the girl
First, we have to make a new document, same size as our stock photo (384×352), then fill with black.

Apply the following filters : Noise – 10, Render – Clouds, Gaussian Blur – 50.
Radial Gradient: BG color- 11143d, FG color- white. Draw a gradient from center to the top right corner (or any corner for that matter).

Apply Halftone (Filter>Pixelate>Color Halftone… max radius: 4. After this, make a selection out of the girl by using the Pen Tool, copy it, then paste it onto the new layer we’ve just created. Fix edges by using the Eraser in soft brush and blur it a bit.

Sans the border, you’ll now have a new white-to-blue background for the girl!

Last Step – Creating the border
There are 2 ways to make the border: by applying right away Stroke (fx>Stroke on your layers palette) and just fill in the value how thick is your border and what color; or, make a new document larger than the size of our stock photo, say adding 50 pixels, more or less, depending what thickness you want, aside from the color of your choice.

The color applied here is e19e1d, following the latter option (e.g., making a new document).