In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a fantasy woman using a variety of photo manipulation techniques. First, we’ll add the background and then retouch the model. Later, we’ll build the wing dress and create the headpiece. After that, we’ll add the nebulas, import asteroids, make light and dots and use several adjustment layers to create some dreamy, fantasy effect. We’ll do some retouch and use a Vibrance adjustment layer to enhance the final result.
Preview of the Final Result
Create a new 3000×2200 px document in Photoshop and fill it with white. Open the background image and drag it into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V) . Convert this layer to a Smart Object and use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) to enlarge the background to fit the size of the document.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 8 px.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and set it as Clipping Mask. Increase the lightness and on this layer mask, activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black color. Use this brush to paint on two parts on the middle and the left bottom to reduce the light there.
Make a Color Balance adjustment layer (set as Clipping Mask) and change the Midtones settings:
Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the background. On this layer mask, use a soft black brush to paint on the middle, leaving the dark effect visible on the corner and a part on the lower right as shown below.
Open the model image and isolate her from the background . Press Ctrl+J to paste the extracted model into a new layer. Make a fill layer between the background and the extract model one and I’ve chosen the color #847465.
Go to Edit > Puppet Warp and use pins to change the pose of her rising arm to the lower position to fit the direction of her look.
Create two layers and use a small brush with the colors #b57d2a and #e0c7a9 to paint more hair for the model’s head.
Hide the background and the fill layer and hit Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E to merge all layers into a new one. Move the merged model layer into our main canvas and flip her horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal). Place her in the middle of the scene.
Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to select the contour of her body, especially the arms to remove the black matte on these areas. Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to this layer and we should have a similar result like below.
I want to change the look of the model a bit. Make a new layer (set as Clipping Mask) and use a small brush with the color #27243c to paint on the reflection of two eyes to remove them. Name it 1 or whatever you want. Hide this layer and on the model layer, use the Lasso Tool to select the reflection of the left eye and hit Ctrl+C to copy this part. Make a new layer on top of the layers and set as Clipping Mask and press Ctrl+V to paste the reflection into it. Move it to the higher position than the original one and turn on the layer 1. Duplicate this layer to make the reflection more visible.