Surrealism – How to Create a Scary Skull Using Photoshop

This will be the end result of this tutorial:

Here I have a picture of a fake skull that I took during Halloween:

And here I have a picture I took of a bloodshot eye. A bad allergy day for him, but a good shot for me. It’s hard to find a good bloodshot eye like this one so I’ll make it available for download at the end of this tutorial along with the original skull.

Now, what I need to do is to “clone” the eye into the skull. I’ll choose the clone tool from the tools bar:

On the clone options bar at the top of the screen, I’ll make sure my clone brush hardness setting is 40%:

I’ll go to the skull image and create a duplicate layer by hitting CTRL+J on my keyboard:

I’ll rename the “Layer 1” layer to “Right eye” by double clicking on the words “Layer 1”:

Now I’ll go back to the eye image and proceed to clone over the pupil of the eye. I’ll hover the clone tool over the pupil of the eye and hit the ALT key at the same time to capture the clone:

Now I’ll go back to the skull image and clone in the right eye.

Next ‘ll make another duplicate layer and call it “Left eye”. This is what the image looks like so far:

This is what the layer palette looks like at this point:

The next thing I’ll do is go to the burn tool in the tools bar. I’ll darken the bottom teeth just a little:

Now I’ll go to Filter/Liquify:

The Liquify dialog box comes up. This is where I’ll use the smudge tool to create the fangs and to drop down the forehead just a little to make the skull look a little scarier:

This is what the skull looks like at this point:

Now I’ll go to the brush tool in the tools bar and select a “crack brush”, #1547. I’ll include thirteen crack brushes, for you to decide what to use, with the images at the end of this tutorial.

Here is the brushes dialog box with the brush:

Now I’ll go to FX at the bottom of the layers palette to add a layer style. I’ll name it “Cracked Effect”:

This is where I’ll add a “Drop Shadow” and a “Bevel and Emboss”:

Here’s the image at this point:

The last thing I’m going to do, is to take the burn tool from the tools bar and burn most of the left eye out. I’ll make it where you can barely see it, and darken some spots around the right eye to make it look more sunken in. I’ll also darken a few little spots around the skull and by the tip of the right tooth to make it look broken off:

Here’s the end result:

Here’s a ZIP file with the skull image, the bloodshot eye image, and a brush file with the 13 crack brushes.

Have fun!

Creating a Brush Preset Using a Photograph in Photoshop

Here is the type of brush I’ll show you how to create:

Here, I have a photograph that I took of a butterfly. I made a selection using the lasso tool around the butterfly, and put in onto its own background. I could have also just erased the background with the eraser tool in the tools palette. It’s important to have a white background because the background becomes transparent when I create the brush:

The eraser tool and the lasso tool are located in the tools bar:

Now I’ll make a selection around the image. The selection doesn’t have to be exact, as long as I get my entire butterfly in without clipping any of it:

Now I’ll go to Edit / Define Brush Preset:

Now the Brush Name dialog box comes up. In the box to the left you can see how the brush will look. Right now the box has named the brush “Sample Brush 1”. I’ll rename it to “butterfly”. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I’ll go to the brush tool in the tools bar, and click on the brush icon:

I’ll go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and drop down the brushes menu. The butterfly should be the last brush on the list:

Here is the brush. I could make it larger or smaller using the bracket keys { } on my keyboard:

Here is another example. I have a picture of a flower that I took in my studio:

I erased the background, but when I go to Edit / Define Brush Preset, it’s grayed out. The reason is that the file is too big:

What I have to do is make this file smaller. Here’s how. I’ll go to Image / Image Size:

Here the Image Size dialog box comes up. Here are the dimensions it shows for this image:

I’ll make the largest dimension width or height 1024. So, whichever number is the biggest, I’ll change to 1024. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I can see that the image is much smaller. I’ll make my selection around the flower, and now when I go to Edit / Define Brush Preset, it’s ready to use:

Here the brush is last in the brushes menu:

This is a fun way to create brushes. You can do this with any photograph. You can even create people brushes — close ups of faces. You can even create a brush of your favorite pet.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have fun playing with Photoshop! Here’s just one last example of my favorite pet:

How to Make Easy Decorative Frames Using Photoshop

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here I have an image of a young girl enjoying a snow day. I’d like to put a decorative frame around it to make it more interesting. Maybe make a holiday card out of the photograph.

The first thing I’ll do is use the crop tool:

I’ll select the whole image with the crop tool:

Then I’ll hold down the ALT key and drag the crop outside the image. First on the top of the image, then on the side of the image:

Here is what it looks like before I click the check box on the options bar:

Now the image has a white frame around it. To make it more interesting, I’ll make the frame black. To do this, I’ll use the paint bucket. I’ll make sure the foreground in the color picker is black. Then I’ll click once with the paint bucket on the white frame to fill it:

Next, I’ll use a snow flake paint brush to make the black frame decorative:

I’ll use the bracket keys on my keyboard to make the snow flake brush the right size for the frame. I can choose any color I want from the color picker. I think I’ll make the snow flake white. I’ll just hit the “X” key on my keyboard to switch the black foreground to white:

Here’s the finished image. I used five different snow flake brushes from a set of 27, which I’ll give you to download at the end of this tutorial. I overlapped some of them into the photograph, and some I kept in the black frame:

This tutorial is very easy, made for beginners. There are no layers or masks. Just remember, NEVER work on an original photograph. Make a copy first. Then you can play all you want without the worry of destroying your original.

Here are the snow flake brushes to download.

Have fun!

How to Replace a Color Using the Brush Tool in Photoshop

The above pink daisy didn’t start out that way.

Here I have a photo of a yellow daisy. Let say, I want to make this daisy pink. There are a lot of ways to do this.

For this tutorial I’m going to use the brush tool from the tool box in Photoshop:

The first thing I’ll do is go to the Color Swatches palette to pick the color I want. Here I’ll pick a pinkish color:

When I click on a color from the Color Swatch palette, the color appears in the “color picker” box in the tool box:

Before I start to paint with the brush tool, I’ll need to go to the options bar at the top of the screen to change the mode from Normal to Color:

The Color option is at the bottom of the menu:

Setting the mode to Color allows me to brush the new color over the flower leaving the texture of the flower intact.

Here I’ve taken the paint brush and painted over half of the flower to show how the paint brush works:

Here is the finished photo:

Try this technique for yourself and have fun!

Creating Lightning in an Image using Photoshop

Above, I have an image of the Portland Headlight that I already turned black and white in Photoshop. I think lightning shots look more dramatic in black and white.

The first thing I do is drop the image into Photoshop. Next I go to the brush icon on the tools palette:

Then I go to the top of the screen to the options bar. Click on the arrow that’s pointing down to open the brush menu:

Here’s the open menu box:

Next I’ll pick a lightning brush that I’ll give away at the end of this tutorial. The number of the brush is 445.

Make sure that the color picker box is set to white in the foreground, so that the lighting will be white:

The next thing you’ll need to do is to make a new layer. Just click on the layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette, and rename layer 1 to “Lightning” by clicking on the word “Layer 1”:

The next step is to apply the brush. Hover the brush over the image without clicking. See where you want to put it. It will most likely start out to small. Make the brush larger using the [ ] bracket keys on your keyboard. When you’ve decided where to put the lightning, click once. Don’t move the mouse in case you’d like to give the brush a second click to make the lightning streaks a little stronger. I had to use it twice with two clicks of the mouse:

Now that the lightning is on its own layer, you have the option to move the lightning. You might decide to move a little to the left or right, or even up and down. If you just used the lightning brush on the image without having it on its own layer you wouldn’t have the option of moving it around.

Now that that lightning is on its own layer you can you can even transform the scale of the lightning. Let’s say you like the lightning the way it is, but you wish it was just a little longer or a little wider. It’s easy. Go to Edit, Transform, Scale:

You’ll see the transform box appear around the lightning. Just grab the little square boxes and drag the mouse slowly to see how the lightning fits into your image:

Then click the check to apply the transform:

Here’s the finished image:

Have fun trying this on your own and don’t forget to download the lightning brush here.

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