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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

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Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

by Marco Casalvieri 8 Aug 2011
Dif햒culty: Intermediate Length: Medium Languages: English

Painting Adobe Photoshop

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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to create a medieval landscape using digital
painting and photo manipulation techniques. We will begin by sketching out a rough idea
of how we want our image to look. Then, we will then add various stock images and build
upon them until we produce the scene below. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Sky Stock
Castle Stock
Rock Texture
Brushes­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 2/41
Brushes Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Before You Begin

This piece has been done with the help of a graphic tablet, to be precise a Wacom
Bamboo Fun. If you're painting with a mouse, the technique is always the same. Only thing
that changes is the time you'll spend on it. In order to get a good effect, remember to vary
often opacity and 帉廱ow jitter.

Step 1 - Sketch on paper

Like many of my pieces, this has been drawn away from my computer with a blue pen and
a piece of paper. When I made this, before starting drawing, I already had a precise idea of
what I wanted. The cave here works like a frame and everything in it it's the actual piece. I
wanted to focus the viewer into only a few elements and I wanted it to have a strong
impact, which is why I choose as central element the sun.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 3/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 2 - In Photoshop
First thing I did after scanning the piece and importing it into Photoshop was to create
that frame. To do it, you can use different Photoshop tools. You can use the Brush Tool
(B), the Lasso Tool (L), the Pen Tool (P), and probably a couple more. It doesn't matter
which one you're going to use, just try to create an interesting shape and try to make it
precise, without having soft edges (in this case, Pen Tool is the most accurate, but it's also
an hard tool to manage, if you're not con햒dent with it, my advice is to spend time trying to
understand how it works, it is really an amazing tool once you get how it works. Hundreds
of tutorial has been written about how to master it. Learn the shortcuts, they'll save you a
lot of time. It might be a pain at 햒rst, but when you'll know how to use it at his best, you'll
be grateful to have learned something so useful).­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 4/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 3 - Choosing a color palette

A thing that I think is very important is choosing a color palette before you start looking
for stocks. This way you can get already an idea of what is that you're going to look for. It's
a way to know which kind of photo do you need (in this case, which kind of sky) and you
can directly look for that. In this case I limited myself into painting with a soft brush a very
simple sunset. In this step I also created, on a different layer, the ground of the cave using
the Lasso Tool, which is the best tool when painting to create the sharp shapes of the
rocks.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 6/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 4 - Hills
Ok, Hills! Very simple to make: I divided them into layers. First layer is for the furthest
ones, made them just using the hard round brush and a desaturated green.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 7/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

On the second layer, which is going to be on top of the 햒rst layer, we will paint a closer hill
using again the same brush, this time with a more orangish green.

Here I've added the 햒rst castle. It's a simple photo rendered using the Pen Tool.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 8/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

In order to blend the castle, I created a new layer and a clipping mask with a brown/orange
layer set on lighten. This way the darkest colors of the castle will become like the colors in
the clipped layer. In this step I also texturized the hills using brush number 5 of the brush
set. Grass has many colors and based on the lights and shadows these colors become
even more, so for giving it a nice effect try to use more than a couple of them. As you can
see, other than the green, I used different tones of brown, orange and yellow.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 9/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Just like in the initial sketch, I made these weird castle walls. I did them using the hard
round brush (number 1) and the palette knife brush (number 2). This one took me a while
before 햒guring out how to do it, but once you get it it's pretty easy to make. To make those
straight lines, just press the ALT key while making your brush stroke.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 10/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 5 - Castle
Now we get into a slightly harder step. First I painted the big cliff using brushes number 1,
3 and 5. Use 1 and 2 to create the shapes and number 5 to texturize it. At this point I
wasn't satis햒ed of it at all, so in the next steps you'll see that I almost completely modi햒ed
it (but using the same technique I explained in this step).­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 12/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

For the Castle I used a great photo downloaded from deviantART and made by =proli햒c-
stock, you can 햒nd it in the tutorial assets.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 14/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Using the Pen Tool (P) (but here as well you can use different tools, such as the Eraser
Tool (E) and the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)) I rendered the image, erasing the sky and the­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 15/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop
Tool (E) and the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)) I rendered the image, erasing the sky and the

foreground of the photo.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 16/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Using the Perspective Controls (Edit > Transform > Perspective) I gave to the stock a more
suitable perspective that can match the rest of the elements in the piece.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 17/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Here I painted another part of the cliff in order to blend more in the castle.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 18/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop
Here I painted another part of the cliff in order to blend more in the castle.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 19/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

As said before, I wasn't satis햒ed about this cliff, so I darkened it and using brush number
1, 3, 4 and 5 I added more details.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 20/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

In this step I just added some orange on the border of the castle using a clipping mask
and I painted on the left some dark lines with brush number 3 for blending more the
castle.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 22/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 6 - Sky
Searching on I found this very nice picture of a sunset. As you can see there is
some tree foliage and the photo does not completely 햒ll the piece. A quick and easy
solution is to use the brush tool and a soft round brush (it's a great brush for this kind of
skies) and using the Eye Dropper Tool (I) to select the same colors of the sky. You can
download a cloud brush as well and use that one instead, it's not important. As always,
what matters is the result. Also, if you're using a more complex sky stock, try use the
Clone Tool (S), with some practice you can get great results.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 24/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 7 - Cave
This is the step that is going to take you most of the time because you need to understand
how to create volume in the cave, but once you do understand it, and you understand the
technique used, you'll do it in a few minutes.

Before painting on it, I downloaded a rock texture from CGTextures, I imported it into
Photoshop, darkened it and clipped into the cave layer. Try to be as ordered as possible
with layers, create groups and rename your layers, this way you can easily move through
your PSD, create clipping masks and avoid any sort of annoying problems.

Using brushes number 3, 4 and 6 (mostly 6) and a light gray I painted on the borders of the
cave the highlights of the rocks.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 26/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Take your time while painting. Trying to get a good effect may take you a while. Spend
time trying to alternate those brushes, also use the eraser tool with number 6, this way you
can get better texturing.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 27/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Step 8 - Cave's Ground

Let's go back at step number 3, when we created that layer for the ground. I created a
clipping mask and I 햒lled the layer with some ground. Using the Lasso Tool (L) I created
the shapes of the puddles and I 햒lled them using a lighter brown. Using a big hard round
brush I painted the re帉廱ections of the ground into the water.

From CGTextures I downloaded another rock texture and using the perspective controls I
manipulated the image in order to get the same perspective of our painted ground. I
clipped this layer into the ground layer and set it to Overlay.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 29/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Using brush number 5 I painted some highlights and shadows on the ground in order to
make it look more realistic.­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 30/41
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8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop


Step 8 - Stalactites
Our piece is completed, but as I always do, I like to add small particulars to the piece that
can make it more interesting. This time I choose to paint some stalactites. I did it using
the exact same technique of the cave, so New Layer > paint stalactites shapes > New
Layer > Clipping Mask > dark gray and rock brushes (3-4-5-6).

To add some more tiny particulars, I painted a couple of water drops falling from the
stalactites using the hard round brush (number 1).­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 32/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

Final Image­a­medieval­landscape­in­photoshop­­psd­13805 33/41
8/9/2016 Create a Medieval Landscape in Photoshop

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