Ghost Love Story – Photoshop Manipulation Tutorial

Step 1

Usually, when I start doing a manipulation, the first step that I usually do is to add a very slight shadow on the model so that I can figure out the rests of the shadows later. First, we will make a new layer, change it to “Overlay“, and add small shadows on the image behind the girl, using the “Brush Tool“, with a big Diameter, over 1000 px or more, depends on your image size. The color I chose is cyan and blue. After that, we’re done with the first step ->see the image below.

Step 2

After that, we’ll go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels and set the shadows and lightness like this:
Next, we’ll add the first objects in the picture. We’re gonna add now, each in different layers, the candle, the ghost behind the girl, the clock on the table, and the rain window.
Because the flame of the candle does not have the color that I want, I painted it myself. Let’s do this together. We’ll use a very small size of the Brush Tool, with a yellow color, like #d3bd00, and draw. We’ll make the shadows of the flame with a red color and orange, of your choice. And we will easily draw each flame.
We’ll smooth the flame to be more realistic with “Blur Tool“. To add extensions to the flame, use “Smudge Tool“- and try to slowly pull the mouse click on reaching very little the flame, to resemble a smoke.
After you’re done with this, we’ll add the next path of shadows, using the “Burn Tool” and we’ll touch every object from the photo (the candle, the ghost behind the girl, the clock, and the rain window). Don’t forget to make realistic shadows, taking into account the candlelight. The final of the step 2 should be like this :

Step 3.

This is the most important step. The colors. We’ll definitely add more orange, blue and green (for the wall behind the girl). Use the Bursh Tool with Opacity to 25-35 %, (Overlay layer) and throw in the orange color on the walls and on the girl’s face. You can then add a burned orange, darker, to place it over her hand, and the table, as the shadows. The blue tone color place it over the ghost with the same opacity, until you’re happy with the result. You can go then with Burn Tool and make realistic shadows on the model.
Now let’s begin with the colors of the candle. To begin, select the “Burn Tool” and brush along the edges of the wax using a small brush size. Burn especially beneath the wax to make the shadows.
After that we move to the wall color, using the Brush Tool, make a new layer put it on Overlay. (of course you can use as many layers as you need/want). We’ll choose a yellow and orange to simply paint on the wall, illustrating the candle light reflection. We will do the same thing (you create a new layer each color you choose) for the face of the girl, and glass.
We will use the brush used at the beginning, to make the smoke from the candle, and the spirit which the ghost inhales. For the smoke use the white color, and for the soul ( from her neck ) use a cyan blue. (Brush Tool, Opacity 30%, Overlay) For the ghost use a simple blue (layers on overlay, don’t forget). Draw each object slowly and smoothly.

Step 4

As you can see I used the mask reference to make the ghost on the wall. (see image below). To make it, I used the Brush tool, at a low opacity, (about 25-30%). I chose a darker white  color and I tried to make a human like face for this ghost using the mask stock as reference. You don’t have to add much details, because then you’ll go with the Erase tool, and erase parts you don’t like, so anyway you’ll erase the imperfections. Then use the Smudge Tool to create the fading effect.
Almost done. Now we do the final retouches. We’ll start with her face. We’ll paint her eyes, using a very small brush tool, and we’ll smoothly paint over the eyes, making the light. Choose a light cyan color, give shape and color the upper lip and eye shape, especially the eyelids.
After drawing the lines on the eyes, select the “Smudge Tool”  and smudge the line endings, then click on the eraser set opacity to about 40% and erase the excess or anything that you don’t need . Then choose yellow, and paint with the “Brush Tool” the face shape, the contour of it. See image above
After, pass directly to the hair, and do the same as you did with lips and eyes: add simple blue light using cyan, smoothly and slowly (do not forget to remove their heads- of the lightness lines-  with less than 40% opacity).
Do the same for the hand, face and neck, and her blouse. Light (draw) the window with the “Dodge Tool” a reflection of the candle flame.
I hope you liked this tutorial.


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