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Home > Tutorials > Manipulations > The Fallen Angel Photoshop Tutorial

The Fallen Angel Photoshop Tutorial

Posted by: Andrei Oprinca April 1, 2012 46 Comments
Im quite excited about this tutorial. Its more about body retouching techniques than
manipulation because I will show you how to smoothen skin, add hair, makeup and of course
how to get to the result you see on the preview. Enjoy.

Final Result

Stock used

Female model:


Background: Click to download background image




Download video and source files

Video Tutorial
(you are allowed to embed this video on another website)

Step 1
Ill skip this step pretty quick because I want to focus on the important stuff. If you dont know
how to extract an image use Google to find out how you can do that.
I used a 28003200 pixels canvas. I opened the foreground stock (the balcony with the bench)
and I masked the background. Then I opened the background image (the sky and landscape) and
placed it on a new layer below. Resize as needed depending on your canvas size. You can use
another background image if you want, I was kinda lazy os I used a simple premade one. I
applied 4px Gaussian Blur to to the background image. See image below.

Step 2
I used 3 adjustment layers as clipping mask on the foreground layer in order to make it match the
blue background. I first desaturated the image with Hue/Saturation at -65, then I made it darker
with Curves and lastly I made it blue like the background using a Solid Color fill layer with the
color #21507f on Softlight and layer Opacity 100%.

Step 3
This is where the fun part starts. Extract the woman from the background and add it to your
canvas on the bench as shown below. Now you have to smoothen her skin. You have several
options here. You can use Surface Blur and a layer mask, the smudge tool or the Mixer Brush
I used the Mixer Brush Tool because I really like how it works. I know its a pretty unknown
tool but I recently discovered it and I love it for smoothening skin. On the settings of this tool I
used Custom and all parameters to 12% and started painting. This tool works almost like the
smudge tool so you will have to follow the lines and shadow directions of whatever youre
painting over, otherwise you will create a big mess because you will destroy the structure of the
womans face and body.
You can work with this tool non-destructively by creating a new clipping mask and checking
Sample All Layers on the tools settings. See image 3 for before and after.

Step 4
I used clipping mask adjustment layers to change the contrast and color of the woman and match
the color of the background. I also used a Hue/Saturation and set the Saturation to -27. In
order to match the blue color I used a Color Fill layer as clipping mask with the following
settings: color #17496f Softlight at 100%.

Step 5

I wanted to do something with the hair because I didnt really like it. I found some really
awesome painted hair stock images so I used them. Deezan ( has
several packs for free so make sure you visit her DA gallery and download them.
Position the hair as you like and use Hue Saturation to reduce Lightness and give a blue tone to
it, Levels, Curves to make it darker and any adjustment layers that you want in order to make the
hair black. Blend using a layer mask and a soft brush. I placed some hair above the woman layer
(in front of her) as well as some longer hair on the back.

Step 6
Once youre done with the hair add the wings. Again I found these great stock images made by
Katie Down ( On her gallery ( you ill find a lot of awesome PNG wings that you can

use. Make sure you read the usage rules first:
You can merge the wings or convert them into a smart object, that way you will only have to
make adjustments to one layer rather than two. Use a low opacity soft brush to paint some
shadows where the wings unite at the back of the woman.

Step 7
Just like I did with the woman I made some adjustments to the wings layer. I used a Levels
adjustment to make them darker and a Gradient Map on Softlight at 80%. The colors for the
gradient map are #183855 for the shadows and #558fcb for the highlights.

Step 8
Create the shadow of the woman on the ground. I used a soft brush and low Opacity and Flow,
both at about 14%

Step 9
The wings almost wrap around the womans body so I also created some shadows over her
shoulders and arms. I painted these shadows on a new clipping mask layer on the woman. Use a
low opacity soft brush and paint with black some soft shadows.

Step 10
I enhanced the makeup of the woman by using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to increase
the saturation. Then I used the layer mask of this adjustment layer to only reveal the effect over
the eyes and the lips. On another layer set on Overlay at 50% and which I named eyes shadow I
painted some makeup on the eyes.

Step 11
Extract the statue from the background, place it on your canvas and make some adjustments to
make it fit the background. I used Curves to make it brighter and a color fill layer with Color
blend mode to make it blue as the background.

Step 12
The surface of the statue was too rough for my liking so I spent a few minutes cleaning it with
the Spot Healing Brush. After that I used the Mixer Brush Tool to make it smooth as well. As I
mentioned before, this tool can be a bit tricky to use so you can use the Surface Blur to smoothen
the statue.

Step 13
As always on my manipulation tutorials, a step is dedicated to dodge and burn. I used this
technique to enhance the shadows and highlights on specific areas of the artwork. I always use
this tool non-destructively by creating a new layer fill it with 50% gray and change the blend
mode to Overlay.
Then I dodge and burn on this layer. On the image below you can see how I enhanced the lips
and make the eyes stand out a lot more. I also dodged the statue to enhance the shapes of the
monsters body.

Step 14
The final color and contrast effect was created with a Photo Filter adjustment layer using the
color #029cff, Density at 80%, Softlight and Opacity at 30%.

Final result

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Tagged with: advanced tutorial dark tutorial fallen angel manipulation tutorial retouching hair