Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Beautiful Purple Syringa from Scratch

In this tutorial I will describe with detail how I have made my work called Syringa - lilac, using one source only. This tutorial will be for beginners very useful I hope and maybe even the more advanced users find it helpful. I have used photoshop CS5 but you can create this kind of images even when u use very early versions of photoshop.

I will mention the shortkeys of the tools when there are any so you can get familiar with those too. I shall describe how to use move tool, lasso tool, warp, transform and free transform, type tool, burn and dodge, color adjustments, brightness/contrast and more.

End result:
Create a Beautiful Purple Syringa from Scratch Final Image

avatar Eladine

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Practice tutorial


Step 1

The first step is to create a new file (CTRL+N) 1156 pixels width and 1156 pixels high

During the tutorial I will not always show the whole file but sections of it so you can see the part that I am describing better.

Now we can start with our work. Create a new layer (shift+CTRL+N)
If you like you can keep the white background layer visible or you can turn it off like I did here in the beginning of the tutorial. You can do this by clicking on the little eye icon next to the layers.

You will also see that I change the background color sometimes during this tutorial. I do that so I can see all the possible options of the final result in several ways during the creation. These are simply several layers with just a different color that I turn on and off like i described above, to get a different view on my work.

We are going to draw a sketch first so we have an idea of what we want our image to look like. I wanted to make lilac flowers and started with the stems and leafs. To visualize it a little better, I have used a green color for the stem and a blueish/lilac color for the flowers.

The exact colors used for this drawing doesn't really matter much because you wont see it back in the end result. So even when you want to draw the whole sketch in black that is fine too. The size of my brush is 3 pxls.

All right, when you have picked the color you want to draw with, we can start.

Draw the stem on the layer we just created, together with a leaf. If you are like me and not so good at drawing, then just use short lines and use your eraser to erase when you draw wrong. If you are very good at drawing then you can draw the whole stem with leafs and flowers right away and skip some parts in the beginning of my tutorial because you wont have to duplicate the leafs and the flowers.

Here is my beginning of the sketch of my flowers.

Step 2

Since I am not the best at drawing, I decided to simply copy my leaf and use it again in a different size.

So that will be my second step to describe.

Select the lassotool. (when you press the L key on your keyboard it will select the lasso tool) Make sure its not the polygonal or the magnetic lasso tool that you have selected. By pressing L on your keyboard again it will select the next lassotool.

The normal lasso tool looks just like a round lasso, while the polygonal lasso tool has corners and straight lines on the icon. The magnetic lasso tool will also show a magnet with the icon. I will include a little part in the next step image so you can see what the normal lasso icon looks like to make sure you have the right lasso tool.

Now you draw with your lasso tool around the leaf like you can see in my example. After you have closed the shape you have drawn around the leaf, your drawing line will turn into a dashed line (selection).

Copy this selection (CTRL+C) and paste it. (CTRL+V). Your copy will automatically go to a new layer.

Step 3

With the move tool (V key) drag the leaf a little to the side like on my example here.

I have included the icon of the move tool into my example so you can see what it looks like if you rather select it with your mouse.

Step 4

Now we are going to flip the leaf horizontal re-size it and place it along the stem.
Go to the menu at the top and click on "edit", a drop down menu appears.
Move your mouse down all the way till you see the word "transform". Hold there on top of the word "transform" in the menu for a brief moment and another menu appears. find "flip horizontal"and click on it.

You will see that your leaf now has indeed flipped horizontal. We are going to make it a little smaller and turn it somewhat now so it does not look exactly identical to the leaf we had copied.

Step 5

Click on select on the top menu and another menu will drop down. click on "load selection" . A window will popup with document and channel information. You can simply click on ok there.

Around your leaf appears now a selection line.

Click on free transform under the edit menu, or simply press CTRL+T on your keyboard.

You should see a square around the leaf now with little squares in the middle of the lines and at the corners. Like in my example image except yours isn't turned yet. Don't worry we will get there.

On top of the screen you will see a little icon with a chain. Click that and you can re-size your image and it re-sizes the whole image equally. Click on one of the squares in a corner of your selection and drag it smaller. I have included a little picture of the Maintain aspect ratio icon in my example here, so you can see what it looks like. To drag something means you are holding down the left mouse button and move your mouse while you keep pushing that left mouse button.

Optional: Now you have re-sized the leaf, you can also change its shape a little if you want. Click the little icon on top of the screen again so it becomes unchecked. Now u can click on one of the squares in the middle of the lines, NOT the little corner squares, and drag it. You will see your leaf changes shape.

Move your mouse pointer inside the selection lines, not touching any of the lil square boxes either at the corner or in the middle of the lines. Left Click your mouse and drag your mouse a little up or down.Take notice that you did not clicked on the excact middle either. And now you can bring your leaf to the place where you want it. Let go of your mouse button and your leaf stays there.

Click outside of the selection lines with your left mouse button hold down and you can now turn your leaf so you can match it even better where you want it.

You can turn it and transform it until you are satisfied with the result. When you are ready you can move on to the next step.

click on the move tool or press the V key on your keyboard and a little window will popup. Apply the changes.

Step 6

I now have two layers with drawing from the flower. Its easier to work with one layer since we are not really going to edit it in the final work, So what we are going to do first is merge these two layers together.

Right click on the top layer, then select merge down Your two layers with the drawing should have merged now into one.

The next step is to draw the flowers, I have selected a blueish color but like I have explained before it is not really important for the end result.

We are going to draw the flowers on a different layer again so we need to create a new layer first. Press SHIFT+CTRL+N a little window will popup and if you want you can give your new layer a name, for example you can call it "flower". This is not really needed now so I did not do that myself. You can also create a new layer if you click in the top menu on "layer" then "new" and again "layer", the same thing will happen. The little window will popup and you can name your layer. Click the ok button and your new layer is created.

Step 7

Now with a brush size 3 in the color of your choice draw a flower pinnacle on the new created layer.

We are going to make two like in my example.

Right click on the layer like in step 6 but now select "duplicate layer" from the menu that comes up.

If you are great at drawing a simple sketch like this then I guess you have all ready finished it and you can skip these steps. If not then just continue reading.

Now move and transform the panicle like described in step 3, 4 and 5, using flip horizontal, free transform and transform

Merge the 2 pinnacle layers like I described in step 6.

Step 8

In the example here you can see more flowers and leafs now.

Create more flowers and leafs and finish the stem like described in step 1 to 7. To create more variety you might want to use the warp tool as well to transform the leafs or/and flower panicles. Select the leaf or flower panicle by clicking on "select"in the menu and then click on "load selection"You can find the warp tool in the menu under "Edit" "transform"and then finally "warp". Just drag the square blocks while holding the left mouse-button down". Press the V key or click the move tool and click apply in the window that pops up.

The lines that you dont need from the duplicated layers you can erase before you merge them if you want to.

Step 9

'Merge all the layers with the drawing but dont merge it with a background, keep it transparent. If you forgot how to merge you can read that in step 6

I have now finished drawing the sketch and added a white background to see my work a little better.

To create a white background just create a new layer through the menu (layer) or using the shortcuts (SHIFT+CTRL+N)

Click on the new created layer with the left mouse button hold down and drag the layer down until its the very first layer at the bottom.

Make sure your foreground and background are black and white. You can do this by clicking on the smallest icons that are a black and a white box, as shown in my example.

As soon as you clicked that the bigger black and white boxes below the small ones should turn black and white if they where not all ready.

click on "edit" in the menu and select "fill" or use the shortcuts (SHIFT+F5). Make sure the drop down box reads background color and click on ok.

your background should have turned white now like on my example and you can see your drawing better now.

Step 10

Now its time to open the source image I have selected to use for the flower.
You can find the source image right here:

I suggest to use the high resolution version for the better quality.

This source picture was created by pxleyes member Jerostone a photographic contest at and has been the source picture for the contest where I created my image Syringa - Lilac for.

Step 11

We are going to use the iris of the dolls eye to create the flowers.

Make sure your source image is at 100% so you can see it well. Select the normal pen tool or press the P key. Make sure you have selected the normal pen tool and not the free form pen tool in this case. Look at my example to see what the pen tool icon looks like and what my settings are.

Click on the edge of the iris with your right mouse button and you will see a point appear like in my example on the eye picture labeled with 1.

Now click again on the edge of the iris not too far away from the first, like in the picture labeled with 2.
You see a grey line appearing between the two points where you clicked.
Click a few more times and you will notice this grey line forming a path following your clicks around the Iris. You can see this in the small picture labeled with 3.

Continue with clicking along the edge til you are only one click away from surrounding the iris completely like in the picture labeled with 5.

With the last click we are going to close the path. Click on the first point you placed You see the path closes and forming a thing grey line as shown in my example on the picture labeled with 6

Step 12

We are going to select the iris now so we can copy paste it to the file with the flower sketch that we draw earlier.

There where your layers are is also a tab called "paths". Click on that tab.

You will now see one layer called work path

Right click with your mouse on the layer called "work path" and a menu will come up. Click on "make selection" and a window will appear, like in my example here. Make sure your settings are the same and click ok.
You now see the line around the iris turned into a selection line, like in my example.

Step 13

Now the iris is selected we can copy paste it onto our file with the flower sketch. Dont merge them though.

Copy the Iris selecting (CTRL+C - or under the edit menu) Now click on the file tab where your flower sketch is. Paste the iris there. (CTRL+V - or find it in the edit menu)
The iris has now been moved to the file where we are going to use it. I always duplicate files with little parts of the sources that I am going to use, before I change them. So they stay in there raw form. I do this so I have something to show in a step by step AND in case I am going to use it for something else or make mistakes I cant correct. Then I just can take my duplicate and delete the layer I messed up. But I again will make a duplicate for the very same reasons. You can simply right click on the layer and select duplicate layer. A little window will popup with layer information where you can change the name of the layer if you want to. This IS a handy thing to do at this point because we are going to use a LOT of layers. I would name it something like "raw iris". Raw in the sense that it hasn't been chopped yet. Make sure you turn of your duplicate by clicking on the eye icon right next to the layer and also make sure you have the right layer selected when you continue editing..

Select the lasso tool (L key - or click on the icon as described in step 2).
Draw a flower shape on the iris. Parts of this flower shape will be outside of the iris where there is nothing. Take a look at my example, on the picture labeled with 1 you can see what I mean.

Step 14

Now we are going to use the warp tool to make the flower look even more as a flower.

Click on "Edit" in the top menu and find transform and next click on warp

In my example here you can see where to find warp

Now your little flower is having a frame with 9 squares. If you never have used warp before then you may want to play around with it a little bit first so you can experience what it does.

click with your right mouse button on one of the lines that form the middle square and push it inwards. Do the same with the other 3 lines that form the middle square so the dark pupil will become smaller.

You will notice that this affect the whole shape of the flower but we can correct that with pulling some of the other lines in the opposite direction. You going to have to try a little bit and see for yourself which lines work best for you to pull when we are going to pull the petals of the flower a little more into shape.

Click on the other lines of the frame and pull the flower a little bit more into shape. If you notice that you pulled in the wrong direction, just click on "Edit" in the top menu and "undo". Then the last thing you did will be undone and you can try something else.

Don't overdo this but keep it something like in my example here. In the next step we are going to draw the petals more in shape using the smudge tool, so everything will turn out ok.

Step 15

Select the smudge tool.
You can see in my example what it looks like.

On top of the screen you can see the settings, I have used a brush with a soft edge, size 15. The mode is set to normal, strength to 51 %.

Smudge the petals of the iris flower larger and rounded off so it looks like a flower. Make sure you dont smudge on the center(pupil). We want to keep that a little dark circle as it is now. In my example labeled #1 you can see my result after I smudged all the petals.

Duplicate the layer with your fresh smudged flower. Right click on the layer and select duplicate from the menu that comes up.

Select "Free Transform" from the edit menu or simply use CTRL+T. Turn one of the layers of your flowers just a little bit clockwise.

In my example labeled as picture #2 you will see my second flower after I turned it.

Click on to the little eye next to the top layer of your iris flower.

One of the flowers, the one that was laying on top, disappears. Don't worry we will bring that one back later.

We are going to make the flower we have visible now a little darker so when we put the top flower back to visible we have more contrast that creates a shading effect which will look like there is some depth between the petals.

Select the second layer with the iris flower (the visible one) by clicking on it. Select the burn tool, I have shown the icon of the burn tool in my example so you can see what it looks like. With the burn tool selected we are now going to burn the petals of the visible flower a little darker. Don't make too much dark, just enough.

You may have to try this a few times before you get it right and are satisfied so don't forget to keep a duplicate of your original flower layer so you can redo it when you go wrong.

Your flower now looks a little darker like the flower in picture number 3 in the example image. Turn back on the top flower layer by clicking on the little grey square next to it .
An eye icon appears there while your top flower becomes visible again.

Your flower now looks something like mine in flower picture labeled as #4 in this example here.

When you are satisfied with the looks of the flower you can merge the two visible layers of flowers (the dark and the light one, make sure the dark one is below the other)

Merge the two flower layers by right clicking on the top flower layer and select merge down. Make sure there are no invisible layers between them or they wont merge.

This is the flower that we are going to use to create all of the pinnacles of the syringa plant.

Step 16

First I want you to duplicate this flower I want to keep a single duplicate aside JUST in case something goes wrong.

Also now might be a good time to safe your work in a psd file. The Image will get heavy from here on little by little because we are going to use a LOT of layers, so dont keep too many duplicates of your layers. The only duplicate you need at this point is the flower we just created.

To duplicate this flower simply right click on the layer with the flower and select duplicate layer. Click on the bottom flower layer and click on the little eye icon to turn it invisible.

I am going to keep the flowers from each panicle in one group to keep things just a little bit organized, which is going to be hard enough with the number of layers we are going to work with. I will try to keep that to a limit though.

Create a new group by clicking on the little folder icon right below where your layers are. I have showed this in my example here. Since we are going to use a group for each panicle it is wise to give the group a name
Right click on the group that has appeared where your layers are and is called group 1. A menu appears and you select group properties. A small window will come up and you can now change the group name. Rename your group to flowers 1.

Left click on the flowerlayer that is still visible. Keep holding the mousebutton down and drag it on top of the group. When you are on top of the group you can let go of the mouse button
and you will see the layer with the flower is now a little further to the right then the other layers in the layer window.

If not then try dragging it again into the group until you have it there.

Step 17

Finally we can start building the first flower pinnacle. We are going to start with duplicating the flower layer that is visible and inside the flower group we just made.

Right click on the flower layer inside the group and click duplicate layer. Move both flowers to the place where you want to begin building and place them next to each other.

With free transform (Ctrl+T or through the edit menu and then free transform) turn one of the flowers just a little bit so it does not look exactly identical as the first one.

Duplicate the flowers again and again and keep placing them next to each following the sketch you made, turning each flower a little bit to make them look unique. You also may want to flip the flower horizontal sometimes. You can do through the "Edit" menu then select transform and then click flip horizontal.

You will see your flower pinnacle getting bigger little by little like on my example here. I have build it from two places to make it easier for me to keep the flowers turned differently so they look unique.

It is ok if the flowers cover each other a little bit here and there and they definitely don't need to be in a straight line next to each other. You won't see this in nature either.

Step 18

In my example here you can see the first pinnacle finished. Notice the flowers that are overlapping each other at some places and that I placed the flowers very random.

It does not matter if you didn't follow your sketch exactly, because you won't see anything from the sketch in the final work.

Step 19

Now its just a matter of duplicating the first group with the pinnacle and rebuilding the pinnacles allover again using the flowers we have in the group all ready.

Click on the little arrow next to the group in the layer window and all flowers in the group will be hiding in that folder.

Nothing to worry about we can bring them back when we need them by simply clicking the arrow icon next to the group again. Its just like your folders in windows where your files are in.

Right click on the group and click duplicate. Now move in your image, the selected pinnacle on top of a pinnacle from your sketch.

I have enlarged the whole group myself but if your pinnacles are smaller you could also make them a little smaller or just keep them the same. You can change the size of the whole group if you select the group in the layer window and then go to the "Edit"menu and select free transform. Click on the little link symbol on top like I described and showed in step 5 so you will not deform the pinnacle but only change its size.

Right click on the group with the second pinnacle and rename it to flower 2 Now we can keep them apart more easily when we work in them.

Open the group by clicking on the little arrow next to it and you will see all the flowers in that group appear again in your layer window. I want you to turn all the flowers in that group invisible. One by one we will then place them on the sketched pinnacle again while turning their direction a little bit so the duplicated pinnacle is not an exact copy of the first one.

Make each flower in the group named flower 2 invisible by clicking on the little eye icon right next to each flower. DON'T click on the little eye icon of the group as a whole.

Step 20

Now, one by one, you make the little flowers visible again and you arrange them on the second sketched pinnacle one by one. You can turn them and even maybe re-size some using free transform To make them all look unique.
If you don't have enough of the little flower duplicates, simply make more. If you have too many, then delete the ones you don't need to keep your file as small as possible.

After you have finished the second pinnacle too and got rid of unused layers there, we are going to create the other pinnacles just like we did with this second one.

When you are finished you can click on the small arrow next to this group to hide all layers of this group. They still will be visible just the layers are not cluttering up your layer window anymore.

Duplicate the first pinnacle again by right clicking on the group and selecting duplicate layer

First rename the group to flower 3 and then you can turn all layers in this group invisible again so you can rebuild this pinnacle too.
Follow step 19 and 20 if you forgot how to do this.

Keep repeating this until you have all the pinnacles build. When you look at your image now and are 100% happy with how the pinnacles are build, you can merge each pinnacle down into one layer.

wrap up all the layers in there groups by clicking on the little arrow right next to the layer with the group. Then go to the highest group of flowers in your layer window click the arrow again so the group unfolds and all layers are showing in the layer window. Merge down all the layers until you have them all in one layer. You do this by clicking on the top flower layer in the group and press CTRL+E (or right click on the layer and select merge down.)

If you like you can drag the layers with the merged flowers out of the groups now and delete the groups when they are empty.

Make sure you keep each flower pinnacle on a separate layer.

In my example here you see all the pinnacles are build. It also shows the leafs that we are going to create now.

Step 21

The leafs are going to be created now. We need the original source image for that again because we are going to use the hair of the doll to create the leafs.

First we need a copy of the first leaf we created. If you already have a duplicate layer with the layer of the sketched leaf then you can use that one. If not we will create one right now.

If you don't have a duplicate of the leaf we draw in the first steps of this tutorial then we are going to make one now. Just follow step 2.

Once you have your duplicated leaf we can start.

Open the image with the doll source that we have used in step 10. If you still have that image open then simply go to that file in photoshop.

Go back to the flower image and make sure the layer with the leaf is selected. Select the sketched leaf on the image using CTRL+A (or through the "select" menu on top and click select all). Copy the leaf with Ctrl+C (or through the "Edit" menu and click copy).

Go back to the file with the source image of the doll and paste it there onto a new layer using CTRL+V (or through the "Edit"menu and then click paste).

You now should have a copy of the leaf on top of the doll picture like in my example.

Go to the layer with the doll image and select your elliptical marquee tool. You can do this with pressing the M key. Make sure you have the elliptical marquee tool and not the rectangular. If you have the rectangular selected then press M on your keyboard again. You can also select the elliptical by just clicking it. You can see the icon of the marquee tool in my example here.

With the elliptical marquee tool select a part of the hair like the one you can see in my example. Then press CTRL+C to copy it (or copy it through the edit menu) and CTRL+V to paste it onto a new layer (or paste it through the edit menu).
Make sure you have also on the side a little piece of the bow that binds the hair and is going into a vertical direction. We are going to use that to accent the middle of the leaf.

Step 22

Right click on the layer with the cut out hair piece and duplicate it. Left click on the image on the hair piece and drag it (hold down your mouse and move it) on top of the sketch like i did in my example here.

Select the warp tool through the "Edit"menu.
If you forgot where it is or cant find it, then go back to step 14, I have it showing in my example there.

The leaf now should have a frame that tiles it in 9 pieces. Click on the tiles with the left mouse button and drag it a little bit to change its shape till it matches right onto a part of the leaf, like in my example here. Use all the parts of the frame to pull it the way you want it so the direction of the doll hair does not change too much.

Next we are going to use more hair part duplicates to cover the rest.

Step 23

Duplicate that first hair piece from the doll again by right clicking on that layer and then select duplicate layer. Again use warp as described in step 22 to cover another piece of the sketched leaf. Just like in my sample picture here labeled with #1.

Duplicate once more the first hair piece layer from the doll and this time we are going to flip it horizontal. Find it in the "Edit" menu then transform and there select flip horizontal. With free transform you turn it till you have it in the direction you need it and finally with warp you transform it in the shape you need it in.
In my example image at the picture labeled with #2 you can see I have now covered one side almost completely done so you get an idea how to transform and warp the pieces of doll hair.

Continue to duplicate the first hairpiece and transform and warp it to fit on the sketched leaf. Just continue till you have the whole leaf covered. Notice how I kept the little bow part that tied the dolls hair on the source picture, in the middle so it now forms the middle of the leaf.

Step 24

When the leaf is completely created from doll hair, merge all the layers together that you have used to create the leaf. You do this by clicking on the top layer with leaf part in in your layer window. Simply right click on top of the layer and select merge down. Do this until you have all the leaf parts together on one layer. Make sure you don't merge it with the sketch or the doll image.

Select the leaf with CTRL+A ( or in the "select" menu click "select all"). Copy (CTRL+C) it and now go back to the other file where the flowers are. Paste (CTRL+V) it there and make sure all the groups with flowers are on above this layer in the layer window. We don't want to cover any flower pinnacles with leafs.

Duplicate the layer with the leaf and transform it using warp, flip horizontal, flip vertical and of course free transform to place each leaf the way you want them, using the sketch as a lead.

In my example you see that I have made a few of the pinnacles invisible. I have done that so I could see my sketch better and place the leafs easier. You can do this by clicking on the small eye icon next to the groups in the layer window. When you have placed all the leafs the way you want them, you can turn all the pinnacles visible again by clicking in the little square next to the layer where the eye icon will appear again.

Step 25

Now we are going to change the colors on the pinnacles using brightness and contrast and changing the color balance.

Select one of the layers with a pinnacle and press CTRL+B on your keyboard (or go to the "image" menu on top and then adjustments and finally Color Balance).

A window, like the one in my example will come up. Place that window next to the pinnacle you are going to work on so you get a good view on what you are changing.

In the color balance window you will see 3 fields with "0" in it. It would be easier and faster for me to give you the numbers to put there but then you won't learn anything. So we are going to leave those alone for now.

Below that you see colored lines with on each side the color name and in the middle a slider. I have marked the sliders in my example with a red circle around it.

And below that you will seethe tone balance. Depending on which you have selected, you can change the color balance on either the midtones, high lights or shadows. Keep this in mind because it means that ONLY the colors of the selected tone are is being changed and you will have to select each tone separately to adjust the color balance for each tone.

Step 26

Now that I have explained how this works it is time to try it out yourself.

Select the tone you want to adjust first and then move the sliders towards the color you think it should have a little more of. You see immediately the colors changing of the flower pinnacle in your image.

Work with all three tones and slides and adjust until you are happy.

In my example here it shows some changes and settings. Don't copy these settings and think it is fine then, because these where not my final adjustments and only meant to give you somewhat an idea on how it works. That's why I only have showed two tone changes and not all three. I want you to learn from this tutorial so you can use this with other images as well.

When you are satisfied with the result and done moving the sliders and adjusting the tones, you click on ok.

Step 27

In case the colors are still too dark, we can adjust the brightness and contrast. This was the case with my pinnacle so I changed the brightness and contrast.

Go to the "Image" menu on top of the screen and move your mouse over where it reads "Adjustments" then click on "Brightness/Contrast" and a window will come up.

This window is pretty much self explanatory. Just move the sliders and whats what happens. Move them til you are happy with the result and click ok.

Step 28

Change the colors of each pinnacle the way I described in step 25, 26 and 27.

In the example I have added here you can see the result after I have changed the colors on several pinnacles. I did each pinnacles separate and by the eye so they would not be all exactly the same.

Step 29

And here we are with all the pinnacles changed color. I also have placed a black background behind the flowers now to get a different view on my work again. Besides I can see the work in different perspectives, it also helps me to focus. After workign on the same image for a long time sometimes you "stop seeing it". And with that I mean that your view isnt so fresh anymore and with a refreshed look you might notice things you had missed. Another reason to change the background is so I get an idea if I want a dark or light background and as the image keeps changing, my opinion can change with it.

Step 30

Okay, lets move on to the next step, the stem of the flowers. I have created the stem of the flowers from the hair of the doll as well, so we going to have to take a sample of the doll hair.

Go back or open the file with the doll picture from step 10 again and with the pentool select a part of the hair like I did in my example and as described in step 11, 12 and 13.
I have selected a part of the hair that is long and as straight as possible because I can adjust it later anyway exactly how I want it with the warp and transform tools.

when you have made a copy of the hair piece for the stem and pasted it onto the file with the flowers we can change its colors by using the same techniques we have used to change the pinnacles colors in step 25, 26 and 27 using the Color Balance adjustment and the brightness/ contrast adjustment tools.

Step 31

Duplicate the layer with the stem when you are satisfied with the color changes. Use move tool to drag it to the right place (see step 3 for the move tool explanation). Then use free transform (CTRL+T) to turn it into the right position. This hair piece is not going to be big enough to cover the whole stem so don't try to stretch it, we will simply use more duplicates to build the whole stem.

Make sure the stem is below the layers with the flowers in the layer window and above the background and the sketch.

Select the warp tool ( through the "Edit" menu select transform and next click on warp, see step 14) and change the shape of the stem just the way you want it. It is okay if you do not follow your sketch exactly since that was just a rough sketch anyway.

Keep duplicating the stem and change the shape of it until you have build all the stem you need to.

Step 32

Some edges and ends of the stems you have reshaped might need a little work to blend in with eachother so they are not too obvious, you can do this with the smudge and blur tool and if necesarely a not too small, very soft eraser brush where u only use the edge from.

In my example image here you see the result of my work on the stem and with the smudge tool which I described in step 15, you can adjust the edges a little bit so they are more smooth and fluently.

Step 33

We are ready now to create a background. For this we are also going to use the same source with the doll picture from step 10.

Go back again to or open your file with the doll source image from step 10. Select the source picture with CTRL+A (or through the "select" menu) and then select all. Copy (CTRL+C or through the "edit" menu and then copy), go to the file with the flower image and paste it there using CTRL+V (or through the "edit" menu and paste).

Now it might be hidden behind other layers so we are going to move the layer with this doll source it on top of all other layers first so we can create our background without anything covering our view.

Left click on the layer with the source picture in the layer window and keep the mouse button pressed down as you move your layer up in the layer window. When you reached the top you can let go of the mouse button.

You might have noticed that the source image with the doll is way bigger then our flower image and that means we need to re-size the doll picture till its about the same size as the flower image. We will use free transform for this.

Press CTRL+T (or find free transform in the "Edit" menu) and click the "maintain aspect ratio" icon, see step 5 for this if you forgot. Now right click on on of the corners of the frame and drag it smaller until it is about the same size as the flower image.

Click on the move tool icon and click apply transformation. Find the menu on top of photoshop that reads "filter and mouse it over. Then move down to "Distort" and then "Glass...".

A big window will come up like in my example. I have enlarged the part with the doll picture a little and the part with the settings so you can see it better.

Click the drop down menu and select there stained glass. Keep the same settings as I did in my example here.

Step 34

Click ok and you will return to your normal photoshop window and the picture with the doll now looks like my example here.

I wanted a dark and green background so we are going to cut the part we are going to use out of the picture of the doll with the lasso tool.

Select your lasso tool with the L key ( or click the icon of it. Look at step 2 if you forgot.) and select the dark and green parts of the picture like I have marked with a red line in my example.

When you have finished selecting with the lasso tool, copy it with CTRL+C (or through the edit menu) and then paste it with CTRL+V (or again, through the edit menu.)

You can delete the layer with the doll source from this file now.

Right click on the layer with the doll picture (NOT the layer with the part we just copied) and click on Delete layer.

Ok now that is cleaned up, lets continue build the background.

Right click on the layer with the part of the background we just copied, and select duplicate layer. Go the the "Edit" menu and find transform, then move your mouse to "Rotate 90° CCW"
As soon as you did that you see the new layer turned.

We are going to make a square shape that will be our background, so move it to form the top left corner, like I did in my example in the picture labeled with #3. When you have it moved somewhat like in my example, you can make another duplicate of the same layer by right clicking on it and then duplicate layer.

Turn that layer too with the Rotation tool as I described above and you can also use "flip horizontal"and "flip vertical" until you can place it where you want it to make your square that will form the background.

Keep duplicating more layers and turning them and moving them untill you have something like I have in my example on the pictured labeled with #4. You can erase parts that you don't need using the eraser.

Try to keep the outside dark and in the middle the lighter greens, just like on my example.

When you have finished the square and filled the whole background image, you can merge the layers like I explained in step 20.

Make sure you don't merge any other layers with it!!

Step 35

We are going to add another filter to this and then we have our background good to go.

Click the "Filter" menu on top of the photoshop window and go to "Distort", select "Glass".

Again a big window came up. You can see it in my example below.

In the texture drop down menu, select frosted if it is not selected yet. See my example.

And that's it, that's all there is to the make the background. If you find your background too light or too dark then you can change the brightness/Contrast. Simply go to the "Image" menu, then to "adjustments" and finally to "Brightness/Contrast, where you can adjust it.

You might notice that my square is not really tidy either, don't worry about it. everything that falls outside of the edges of the size of the file will not be visible in the end. You can make your background image a little bit bigger with free transform if some sides don't cover all.

Step 36

With the background finished all we need to do is drag it down and attend the last details of the flower image we have created.

Click on the layer with the background with your left mouse button and drag it all the way down in the layer window until all the layers that should be visible, are visible. That means, the leafs, the pinnacles, the stem and the background of course.

All the other layers you can delete now. Make sure you don't delete any layers we need. If you are unsure to delete them yet, then simply duplicate the image. ("Image" menu and then "duplicate"). Now you have a duplicate of your complete work here and you can delete the layers you don't need without a worry.

With the burn tool and a black brush we will add some shading now here and there. This, we will do pure on sight.

Your layers should be now in this order:
First the most bottom layer should be the background we just created.
On top of that the second layer should be the stem.
The next is a set of layers that are the leafs.(if you want you can group them).
And on top of all other layers mentioned, the flower pinnacles.

Now I shall explain how to create shadows, and where you might want to create them, but it is up to you to decide where you want to add shadows.

Step 37

The shadowing in my image are being created In this order by:

- The color/brightness differences in the building parts of the flower.
- With a soft black brush on a new layer which I have changed the opacity of.
- With the burn and dodge tool onto the used building parts of the flower.

We already have taken care of the color and brightness difference so one third of this step has been covered.. That was easy right?

The second part is rather easy too, you just need to keep looking and looking. I can give you indications on what to look at but in the end it comes down to that you see where you can put a shadow to make something have more depth. I can't do that for you. So how do we do this.

Lets begin with the shading on the flowers. I have created those with a very soft black brush on new layers on top of the flower layer that the shades are made for.

I have started painting the shading on the edges of the flower first with a large soft brush. Then I continued adding little bits of shading with a larger brush onto individual flowers.

First you select the flower with "load selection". Click on the layer in the layer window with the flower you want to add the shading to. The layer will turn blue. Then go to the "Select" menu and click on "Load selection".

You will notice that there is a selection line around the flower now.

Create a new layer using SHIFT+CTRL+N (or through the "Layer" menu and then "Create new layer"). This new layer will be automatically selected. Select the brush you want to use. In my example here you can see the brush I am using. The size of the brush I have used varied depending on how large I wanted the shading to be.

I started with a real large size brush and only used the edge of the brush.

Make sure the color You are going to paint with is black. Choose a large size brush to work with.

You might have to use "undo" (CTRL+Z) a few times till you have the right size of brush to work with.

Now place the brush outside of the flower selection and paint the edge of the flower a little bit. Lower the opacity until it looks right to you. Mine was fine on 57% as you can see in my example labeleled with #1.

In my shadow example labeled with #2 I have turned the background invisible so you can see the shadings I painted better to explain it to you. You should not turn the visibility of the flower layer off because you need to see what you are doing.

Now we are going to paint a few shadings on the flower petals here and there. Also done just by point of view.

Change your brush to a smaller size and click with your brush on several spots inside the flower selection on places where you want to create a little shading. I did this pretty randomly. ON my example labeled with #2 I show an example on what I did with the large brush and what I did with a smaller brush.

Now I was not 100% satisfied with the result and wanted a few more little stronger shadings on the flowers. On a new layer I painted more shadows and changed the opacity, just a little stronger then the opacity of the layer with the first shadows.

Create a new layer with SHIFT+CTRL+N (or through the layer menu) en paint a few more shadows on it with simple single clicks of the brush inside the flower selection. Change the opacity of the layer as explained before and this time a little stronger then the other layer so the shading is more intense. Mine was set on 81% on this second layer. In the example labeled with #3 you can see the shading I added on a new layer and how it looks like in the flower image.

Step 38

Repeat step 37 for every flower pinnacle and vary the places a little that you use to paint the shadings with. You can use several layers and vary the opacity of those layers.

When you have added shading to all the flowers we are going to have a look at the leafs. The shading on the leafs has been done using the burn tool. If you have not used the burn tool before then I suggest you duplicate the very first layer you are going to try this on so in case you go wrong you can simply delete the layer and start fresh.

Select one of the layers with a leaf, I suggest you either begin with the top layer or the bottom and then either work your way up or down layer after layer. Then select the burn tool.You do this with pressing the O key till you have selected the burn tool or simply by clicking on the icon showed in my example #1 here.

When using Burn or Dodge, you have to pay close attention to the results you are getting because on every single image this may vary depending on the colors, brightness and more.

I am showing in my example the two different kind of shading we are going to create.

The first kind of shading is the one that creates shape of the leaf. Leafs are usually not just plain straight and flat, often they are bending a little and hollowing, we can create this effect with adding shadings and sometimes highlights.
The second kind is the one that is caused by the surrounding of the leaf, for example in case there is a leaf laying on top of another one.. or there is a large flower nearby blocking some light fall on the leaf.

In my example labeled as #1 you see the places where I have used burn, marked with a red circle around it. The places where I have used dodge are marked with a green circle around it. Since we have already selected the burn tool, we will do the places I have used burn on first.

The settings for your burn tool are at the top of your screen. We are going to take advantage of the darker parts of the leafs and make them darker.

Click the drop down menu where it reads"range" and select shadows. Keep the exposure low because you can always give the same place another burn to make the effect stronger.

The brush we are using is a very soft not too large brush. Look at my example here labeled with #1 and burn the edges and to the sides of the middle of the leaf like I did. Simply click on the leaf to burn it.

Now there are two more places that need burn if you have not done so yet. These are also marked with a red circle on the example labeled with #1, they are the places that are being covered by the surroundings.

We are going to use a larger and soft brush now. At the top of the leaf there is a flower, create some shading on the leaf below the flower to create a shading that seems like its caused by the flower. There is also one shadow that we need to create at the bottom of the leaf, that is also caused by a flower that is covering it.

Now lets get to the part where we are going to use the dodge tool.

On my example labeled with #2 you see what the dodge tool look like. You select it either by clicking on the icon or with the O key. keep the settings low like with the burn tool and the range should be Highlights this time. The brush I have used is a smaller and less soft one then I have used to burn with.

Just use the dodge tool to highlight the middle line of the leaf like I did in my example #2 and that is that.

Repeat that on all the leafs one by one and pay attention to the places where the surroundings of the leaf that you are working on, is covering or are very close to it.

Step 39

As you can see I have added a text, the name of the flower in English and Latin, to the image. However this is not really needed.

If you want to add text to your image too then simply press T on your keyboard. At the top of the screen you can select the font you wish to use and the color and size you want the font to be. Then click on the image near the place where you want your text and simply type on your keyboard the words you want to show. With the move tool you can drag the text to the right place if it is not on the right place yet.

There is only a few more things left to do now before we can safe the image into a jpeg.

First check If you placed the shadings every where where they where needed.

Second, show your work to a friend and ask if they notice anything that you forgot or that could be improved. NOW is the time to make those changes while you can.

And last but not least, safe your psd file and take a break, put your image aside and look at it again tomorrow. Check this list again and if you are then confident enough, safe it as a jpeg. (Or if you want to into another format.) You do this by going through the "file" menu and selecting "safe as". A window will popup where you can select the place where you want to safe it to and where you can change the name of the file if you wish to. The drop down menu that reads format, allows you to select your file format. Select "JPEG" from the list or another format of our choice.

And with that we came to the end of this tutorial, I hope it was useful for you and that you have enjoyed it and possibly learned from it.

If any questions raise about this tutorial and the explanation, then by all means don't hesitate to send me a message here.

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avatar Omegasis
Omegasis says:

Very nice tutorial. Easy to follow and understand.
Good work.

(5 years and 1375 days ago)
avatar Eladine
Eladine says:

I like to mention that the title is not correct its not from scratch I have used one source picture. The link to that source picture you can find in step 10.

(5 years and 1366 days ago)
avatar George55
George55 says:

Very well written tutorial. The lilacs look pretty, I know it is a lot of hard work, just to make something like this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

(5 years and 1366 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

very gud job thanks for sharing it with us.

(5 years and 1361 days ago)
avatar still26
still26 says:

My goodness my head is spinning. BUT BUT we work through this tutorial we learn many new things (at least I do). THANK YOU.

(3 years and 337 days ago)

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