Deviant Style Forest Lady Tutorial

Tutorial by Orion Williams



For this deviantart style design I'm once again using some great mjranum stock from

He's got a lot of great stock that you can use under the terms provided. 

Keep in mind that there is some images of nudity which may show up based on your settings - so for 18+.

Almost always we'll have to get a selection of our main character from it's original image to take it into our design.


Here I'm taking the magic wand and starting to select the background.  I pretty much go with the easiest possible option to start using a good tolerance on the background and modify it from there.

If you're using the magic wand tool and you select something you're not supposed to as such... will have to undo or modify the selection.  Go to your lasso tool and then 'subtract from selection'.

Select around the area that was over-selected to de-select it.

You can also use the polygonal lasso.. select the areas to de-select as well.  This is just knowing how to use the selection tools as I teach better on the live Photoshop tutorial videos.

Once we have the easier outside selected, right click and select inverse to get the main subject selected.

Go to your moVe tool, click inside the selection and drag it into the other document.

Ctrl/Cmd T to get Free Transform to do any necessary transforming.

With the moVe tool I'm just centering her in the middle, then pressing enter to apply the transformation. 

(Forgive me for switching my pronouns around).


To take things further, we can add an adjustment layer such as the new Black & White one in Photoshop CS3.


Here I'm choosing the blue filter preset.


Press OK to create the adjustment layer and then change the blend mode to Hard Light.

Adjustment layers automatically have a layer mask.


We can take a brush with black as the foreground color and 'mask' or 'hide' away the effect of this layer.

Here I'm just masking the center of the adjustment layer around the model.


To take it further, add a color balance adjustment layer.

And tweak the settings.

Working on each tone balance will generally apply to that levels range.

So our highlights or 'lightest' areas will balance towards yellow instead of blue.

Adjusting the shadow balance affects the tone in darker areas towards the colors you choose.

And then you can toggle through the blend modes looking for a nice contrasty effect.

Click on the background layer to make it active.

Then click on the new layer icon to create a new blank layer above the background layer.  Now you can choose some brushes.

I purchased these brush sets @  I'm loading some Grass brushes and then going to the shape dynamics settings..

Here is where you can adjust several parameters such as size jitter which will spread them randomly apart more.

By bringing up the Angle Jitter it will just rotate the brushes strokes as you can see in the preview window.


When you click to paint with the brush your results will show up on our new blank layer.

Of course it will paint with whatever is your foreground color.  We can go ahead and change our foreground color with the color picker.

For this forest theme, I'm getting an olive drab foreground color.

Still on the 'B'rush tool, I'm lowering the opacity so it will blend more into the background.

On a new layer I am adding some more brush strokes with the lower opacity.

Remember can change the blend mode anytime you want.  This will lighten the mixture of the light.

Here is what we have so far.  Note that the brush layers are beneath the model in layer order.

Duplicate the background layer by dragging it to the new layer icon.

Ctrl/Cmd L to bring up levels on this duplicate background layer.  Now let's darken this layer by dragging the left levels slider to the right.

Now that we have a darker version of this layer, click on the layer mask icon to add a layer mask.

Get your Brushes tool and lower the opacity.


Now we can just use whatever brush we have and start hiding or 'masking' of this layer.

Now I'm adding a curves adjustment layer.  In Photoshop CS3 you can now see the levels in the dialog box.  I'm lowering the mid region to make it darker.

We can always modify the opacity or blend mode of these adjustment layers.


Create a new layer.

Choose a similar foreground color.

Move the blank layer to the top.

Load a different brush set; here I'm bringing up Fairies. 

Choose a different brush.

Since I have Scattering and Shape dynamics boxes checked, it will apply those attributes (instead of just giving one brush stroke) so it spreads them out.

Click on the Gradient Fill Layer option.

Change it to reflected with reverse to get the same effect with whatever your foreground color is.


If you want you can create a layer comp to remember the current visual appearance.

I teach you this better in the video tutorials or tutorialkey.

I've created 2 slightly different gradient fills.

Try changing the blend modes to see how they blend together in the image.

Now we have a darker effect.

Changing the layer order will affect the overall appearance.

And you can save a new position as a layer comp.

I'm going to load the Webs brushes.

I'll pick a web brush.

And create a new layer to put it on to retain it's independence.

Now I'll click to apply the single web brush in a couple locations.


We can move the webs layer above our model to have the webs appear in front.  Note: It seems I rarely label my layers when I work thus creating more confusion to some.

Here's something you may not have heard of:  Press Alt+Ctrl+Shift E to create a new merged layer with everything you have so far.

On this layer we can go to Filter: Render: Lighting Effects

And then we can add some lighting effects.  Find something you like as an option and press OK.

See the top layer is now this merged copy with the lighting affect applied to it.

We can bring in a Pattern Fill layer.

Change the blend mode to Overlay just to adde some texture as another potential feature of the final design.

Try changing the layer order.

Now grab a brush so we can mask parts of this layer so it's not consistent across the 'entire' design.

The darker areas on the mask are what are hidden.

And here's our semifinal design which I created live in the process of making this tutorial.

You can do other things such as bringing in new color balance and toying around with that.

The automatic positions of the order of layers will instantly create interesting results and add some unique color in the design.

There you go (by no means 'finished' in the details but)...a lot of things covered in this deviant art style tutorial that will give you a lot of knowledge to harness the power of Photoshop to let YOUR creativity run wild!


Orion Williams has produced Photoshop tutorials online for 100,000's of Photoshop users worldwide since 2004.  Copyright Dreamcore Productions, Ltd. U.S.A. 2007

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