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).


Romantic Image Effect Inside A Glass

How would you like one of your most memorable photos placed inside a drinking glass that looks like a real souvenir ready to be given to your friends, or for keeps? That’s pretty cool, right?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to easily put any image into any object or place you want. As an example, I’m showing you here how to put a newly-wed couple’s photo inside a drinking glass. The steps below will guide you all the way how to do it, from start to finish.

Stocks needed:

Step 1 – Open a new document (File>New…)
First off, we’ll open a new document where we will be creating a backgrount for the stocks that we’ll be using here. Calculate the size of your canvas. This will depend how you imagined the end result looks like. When done, duplicate it.

By now, you should have your Background and Background copy layer as shown in the layer dialog box below:

Step 2 – Make a gradient background
With the Background copy as the active layer, select the Radial Gradient (click first the Gradient tool in the tool box then select the Radial icon located at the top left part, e.g. the 2nd icon from the left).

>foreground color: 131444
>background color: white

Step 3 – Add Noise
Still with the above active layer, add noise into it (Filter>Noise) with the following settings below:

Step 4 – Apply Gaussian Blur
To complete creating our background, we’ll have to apply a little bit of Gaussian blur to get a nice, soft effect. To do this, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur… and follow the settings below:

For now, we’re initially done with the background. We’ll make some more adjustments later depending how the elements (stock images) blend well.

Now, we’ll get into the interesting part… One by one, we will be putting our stock images into place in the canvass.

Step 5 – Place the drinking glass onto the canvass
Open the drinking glass photo first because it is where the newly-wed couple image will be placed into. After that, make a selection out of it by grabbing the Quick Selection Tool, Copy, then Paste it to the Background copy layer.

Step 6 – Resize and reposition the pasted drinking glass
Resize and reposition the image into the center of the canvass, a little bit to the left to give room for the bottle later (Edit>Free Transform).

Step 7 – Place the newly-wed couple photo onto the drinking glass
Open the couple’s photo, select, copy, and paste it onto the glass (with the photo opened, go to Select>All… then Edit>Copy; click Background copy layer to activate it, then Edit>Paste). Apply Free Transform tool to resize and position the image exactly onto the drinking glass, as shown below:

Step 8 – Fitting the image right
Erase the portruding parts of the couple’s image by using the Eraser Tool, brush mode, soft brush. By the way, before erasing, lessen the opacity of the image (not the brush) about 50% or less so that the glass is visible and can serve as guide in erasing the unwanted edges of the image. When satisfied, bring back the opacity to 100% by dragging the slider to the right in full.

This is how it looks now:

Done with the main element, accessories next…

Step 9 – Place the bottle to the canvass
Open the bottle photo, make a selection, copy and paste it onto the Background copy layer, beside the glass on the right (see image below).

After that, apply a shadow of it: click “fx” icon located at the bottom of the layer dialog box, then select Drop Shadow with the following settings:

Step 10 – Apply drop shadow to the glass
Like what we did to the above (bottle), we will apply also a drop shadow to the glass with the same settings.

Step 11 – Add the floral vector
Load the floral vector photo onto the canvass, at the lower left corner; apply the Free Transform tool and rotate clockwise 90 degrees, lying exactly levelled at the bottom. Stretch to the right until it reaches almost half of the bottle below it, and stretch upward up to the base of the glass. Refer image below…

Step 12 – Erase unwanted parts of the floral vector
Take the Eraser Tool, set Mode: Brush, soft brush. Use medium size on the edges and smaller sizes between curves. Set Opacity to about 75%. Just a little work here because the color blends well with the background. We could have used the layer mask otherwise.

When done, apply a Gaussian Blur, 1-1.5 pixel radius, and we should now have like this:

Step 13 – Apply Gaussian Blur to the Glass and Bottle Layers
Apply Gaussian Blur each of the said layers, with the same settings as the floral vector.

Step 14 – Applying a livelier look of the Background layer
The general look seems to be a bit dull, so we have to adjust the lights more by applying layer styles – either by Multiply or Linear Burn mode. If you prefer a bit stronger effect, you can choose the latter. I used the Multiply mode here, Opacity to 100%. Before going into this, don’t forget to Merge all visible layers first.

Step 15 – Coloring the Circles (optional)
Although this is optional, you might like those circles to be multi-colored abd have aa cool look on that bottle. To do it, grab the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw circles (smaller or the same size) on the circles seen on the bottle. One by one, fill them with colors of your choice (after choosing the color, go to Edit>Fill…).

Step 16 – Finalization
For the final touches, we have to adjust the image colors a bit to highlight areas that needs more lighting and darkening. We will do this by going to Image>Adjustments>Curves…

Flatten image (Layer>Flatten Image…), and there you are!

Dramatic Landscape Photo Manipulation

In this tutorial you will learn how to transform flat images into some kind of a dramatic, dreamy effect out of it with the proper use of layer styles, filters, and other adjustments.

Here is the final result preview we’ll work with:

Stock photos used for this tutorial

The first image was taken at DigitalBasphemy and the other somewhere in the internet which, the exact source i forgot. You can always have your alternative images if you like, as there are plenty of sources to get from in the internet. Or, maybe you have stocks ready from your gallery already. That would be fine.

Step 1 – Open the landscape photo
To start, open your landscape photo into Photoshop (File>Open).

Step 2 – Open the photo of the storks
Just like what you did above, open your flying birds photo (not your birdie, lol!).

Step 3 – Create a selection of the birds
To make a selection, grab the Quick Selection tool (magic wand or pen tool, whichever you prefer) and start selecting the birds. Make it as accurate as possible for easier editing later. When done, copy and paste it onto the Landscape layer.

Step 4 – Resize and reposition the birds
The birds are too big you can’t see them in full (and out-of-bounds, of course) so we have to resize it and place them where we want to lie onto the background. To do this, we’ll use the Free Transform tool (Edit>Free Transform). Click Ok when done. Here’s what it looks like:

Step 5 – Fix the rough edges
Most likely, there are portions that are not exactly selected earlier before pasting thereby creating rough edges in it. We will fix these by using the Eraser.
Mode: Brush (soft)
Opacity: 100
Flow: 100

Use soft, small brushes to erase rough edges carefully and patiently. Yes, carefully because you might erase the whole bird and mess-up the whole thing!

Step 6 – Soften the edges
After that not-so tedious erasing act, we’ll get moving by softening the edges this time. Too sharp, isn’t it? It’s not realistic for a flying bird and don’t match with the background definitely. We’ll take the Soft Brush then and brush around the edges of the birds to blur them a bit and making that soft effect onto it. Don’t overdo it because we’ll still have to blur the whole birds. Lessen the opacity if necessary.

Step 7 – Blur the image
The birds are flying, right? They should be blurred a little bit then, ok? We have options here to choose from – Gaussian or Motion blur. Both will do but I prefer the Motion Blur. Select it and follow the settings below:

And here is the result:

Step 8 – Brighten the birds
We’ll have to brighten-up the birds a bit to blend with the succeeding step that we will do. To do this, we’ll have to create a Clipping Mask from the active layer then adjust the brightness/contrast (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast).

Step 9 – Apply gradient to background
After finishing with the birds, we’ll make some tweaks on the background this time. To start with, go to Layer Styles and select Gradient Overlay (Click fx icon below the layer dialog box>Gradient Overlay..).On the dialog box that appears, apply the following settings:

Now click that gradient bar editor and apply the following (i.e., the Opacity should be set to 60, which will make the black color into gray).:

Step 10 – Blur the background
Time to blend the background with the flying storks. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur… Set the radius to about 0.5-1.5. Click Ok.

Step 11 – Create a warm effect and radiance
In creating a radiance with warmth to that dreamy background we’ve just created, there’s a unique effect, somewhat mystery behind after applying the said adjustments. The Lens Flare will do this… Filter>Render>Lens Flare…

And the result…

Step 12 – Merge Layers
Merge all visible layers now and we’re almost done. You can stop here actually.

Step 13 – Make more light and contrast adjustments
To continue, go to Image>Adjustments>Curves… Apply the following to obtain that more radiant look without losing the previous photo effect.

Yay, we’re done!

Multi-Colored Eyes, Lips, and Hair

Earlier, I’ve made a tutorial on how to make a multi-colored photo. This time, with a different approach, I will show you how to make a multi-colored eyes, lips, and hair, bringing a cool, savvy effect you surely would like!

As always, this tutorial is easy-to-follow.

Here is the final product we shall work with…

Open a photo.
Here is a photo of Go Ara, a Korean beauty which I snipped from one of her photo gallery. You can google it to have a picture of her, if you like. You can have any photo to work with, maybe a photo of a friend or yours yourself.

After opening the photo, double-click the “Background” layer. This will then become “Layer 0”, which means it is an open layer and ready for any succeeding editing work.

Create a Colored Gradient
We will be using this colored gradient throughout, to paste onto the eyes, lips, and hair of our subject. Apparently, this is one of the main element needed in our subject and is quite easy to do. To create this,

1. Make a new document (File>New…). A 200×200 pixels would do. It can be resized anyway by using the Free Transform tool later. Set color to black. Double-click this layer.

2. Go to Filter>Render>Fibers…

3. Click the “fx” icon below the layer dialog box (or right-click layer) then choose Gradient Overlay. From the box that appears, click the Gradient (black-to-white) option which will then lead you to the Gradient Selector box. Select that multi-colored gradient. The Gradient Overlay box will look like the one below now.

And the black-and-white fiber that we’ve created earlier would now become like this on your window:

For now, we’re done with the color material that we will use. It’s time to paste it onto our target parts.

Select, Copy, and Paste Gradient

Throughout, we will be doing the same process in selecting, copying, and pasting the created gradient, as said earlier. Plus, of course, a use of the Layer Styles and Opacity. How is it done, we’ll proceed :

1. Select the gradient we’ve created (Select>All), copy (Edit>Copy);

2. Go back to the photo layer, then paste the gradient (Edit>Paste) over the lips.The lips are covered by now and can’t be seen. Set the Opacity to 50% (or lesser) so we can do the next – selecting the lips to be colored.

3. Grab the Pen Tool (from the Tool Box) and select the lips. When done, right-click mouse and click “Make Selection”.

4. Go to Select>Inverse. This leaves the lips intact when we erase. So, grab the Eraser and erase the selection.

5. Set the layer Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 50%. You can do a little bit of Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to 2px, depending what suites you best. Yay, we’ve finished the lips! One down.

Here is the result for the lips:

6. Next, the eyes… Just follow the procedure above to get the desired result. Do it first with the first eye, then the second.

7. Do the same procedure for the hair as above but only this time, the gradient will fill-in exactly the whole photo. Just the size, because the hair is big, of course.

Almost done here except for the edges that needs to be fixed. To do this grab the Brush tool, set to smooth, and Opacity to about 60%. Brush carefully around the hair edged especially those with excessive colors that doesn’t blend well with the hair color. Blur (Gaussian Blur) a bit to about 1 to 2 pixels to smooth edges and blend well.

And there you have it!