Create a Fantasy Halloween Witch Cat Photo Manipulation

With Halloween fast approaching itís time to get spooky!
In this tutorial Iíll show you how to create a fantasy lake night scene with a little witch cat. This tutorial is extra long and advanced (over 60 steps). However, Iíll break everything down for you in plenty of detail so that you can follow along.
Youíll learn a range of techniques including:

  • Digital painting techniques
  • Professional blending techniques
  • Matte painting lessons
  • Creating realistic, complex lighting scenes

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that weíll be creating:

Resources Used In This Tutorial

Step 1

Create a new document and fill it with any colors you like. I choose a white brush and file size is 1000◊1000 px . Now open grass stock. You can use your own image if you canít take it from Photoxpress. I extract it from background and move it (use V key) into our white canvas. I resize it to 60% (use Cmd/Ctr+T combine key) and place it at foreground:

Now click the second button at the bottom of Layer Pallete to add layer mask for this layer. Use soft black brush to remove the tree and rough edge of grass:

Step 2

I find the grass a bit blur so to fix it, on grass layer, go to Filter-Sharpen-Unsharp Mask:

Step 3

In order to create a night scene, I want to darken the grass. On grass layer, go to New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Curves and choose Clipping Mask options:

Step 4

Open lake stock. Cut the lake part and position it above grass, and remember to set this layer under grass one:

Name this layer as ďlakesideĒ.
I add a Curves layer with Clipping Mask to make color and brightness of lake part fit the grass:

Step 5

Isolate the bushes and a lake part and move it onto the lake in previous step, remember to scale it down it to get a suitable size:

Use layer mask and soft black brush to remove hard edge of the lake part and some areas on the top of the bushes:

Place this layer above grass one.
Step 6

I use a Curves layer (Clipping Mask) to darken and add more green to the bushes:

Step 7

Open sky stock. Just use Move Tool to drag it into our main document, place it at the top and resize it. Situate this layer above the background and under lakeside one. You can see I set the brightest part of sky near the middle section where moon will be located (main light source of background):

I use a Hue/Saturation layer to change color of sky. Go to New Layer-New Adjustment Layer-Hue/Saturation:

Step 8

To increase the contrast of sky I use a new layer and take soft black brush to paint on bright parts of it avoiding the middle. Change the mode of this layer to Soft Light 100%:

Step 9

Open moon stock. Copy a part with moon and paste into our sky (brightest area):