photoshop creative

Create a honeypot composition

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
April 20, 2016

Discover how to combine different layer styles and use clipping-mask techniques to create a surreal scene


1. Set up the background


Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Honeypot. Set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm, Resolution to 300ppi and hit OK. Place a paper texture and hit Return/Enter.

2. Clip the layers


Place a sky image and hit Return/Enter. To create a clipping mask go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask or hit Opt/Alt+Cmd/ Ctrl+G. Grab the Move tool (V) and drag the sky up, placing it in the centre of the paper texture.

3. Place the landscape


Place a landscape and hit Return/Enter. Grab the Quick Selection tool (W), choose a large brush and select the grass and path. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection and then clip the layers; go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask or hit Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+G.

4. Drop in the meadow


Place in some grass and hit Return/Enter. Now go to Windows>Channels. Right-click the Blue channel, choose Duplicate Channel and hit OK. Use Cmd/Ctrl+L to open the Levels. Set the input levels to 110, 1.00, 150 and hit OK. Keep the Blue copy channel active.

5. Enhance the channel


Grab the Brush tool (B), set the Foreground colour to black and paint out the white points until it’s totally dark. Click on RGB to make all the channels active and press F7. Go to Select>Load Selection. In the dialog box choose Blue copy, check Invert and press OK.

6. Create a mask


To create a layer mask go to Layer> Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Grab the Move tool (V). Drag the Meadow layer and place between the Landscape and Sky layers. Now hit Cmd/Ctrl+T. Resize it around 55% and hit Return/Enter.

7. Place the honeypot


Click on the Landscape layer to make it active and then go to File> Place and add a honeypot. Scale the image around 65%, place it on the path and hit Return/Enter.

8. Add a new landscape


Place in  a new landscape to place inside the pot. Scale the image and hit Return/Enter. Now hit Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+G to clip the layers and then click on the eye icon on the Layers palette to hide the Landscape2 layer.

9. Create a layer mask


Grab the Elliptical Marquee tool (M) and select the pot’s aperture. Go to Select>Adjust Selection. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and drag the handles to adjust the selection. Now create a layer mask and click on the eye icon to make the Landscape2 layer visible again.

10. Make a river of honey


Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/ Ctrl+N) and name it River. Set the Foreground colour to white. Now grab the Brush tool (B), choose a hard-tip brush and start painting the honey river. Don’t forget to add some drips.

11. Use layer styles


To create the honey effect you need several layer styles. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Modes. First click Blending Options and set Fill Opacity to 0%. Now click Color Overlay, change the Blend Mode to Multiply and set the colour to #f49d05.

12. Pile on the styles


Click Bevel & Emboss. Set Style to Inner Bevel, Technique: Smooth, Depth: 65%, Direction: Up, Size: 40px, Soften: 16px. Set the Angle: 150, uncheck Use Global Light, Altitude: 75. Change Highlight Mode to Linear Dodge, Colour: White, Opacity: 80%. Set Shadow Mode to Color Dodge, Colour: White, Opacity: 100%.

13. Introduce shadows


Click Inner Shadow, change Blend Mode to Multiply. Set Color: #d89428, Opacity: 80%, Angle: -50, and keep Global Light unchecked. Set the Distance: 45px, Choke: 0%, Size: 60px, and choose Contour: Gaussian. Now click Drop Shadow. Set Blend Mode: Multiply, Color: #51230c, Angle: 100, Distance: 16px, Spread: 0% and Size: 24px.

14. Enhance the colour


Click Color Overlay. Change the Blend Mode: Multiply, set the colour to #f49d05 and Opacity to 100%. Now click Satin. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay, Color: #eebd27. Set Angle: 90, Distance: 25px, Size: 70px, Contour to Cove-Shallow and then click OK.

15. Copy the layer styles


Create a new layer, name it Highlights. Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and set the layer Fill to 0%. Let’s copy the layer style. Position your cursor over the ‘fx’ on the Layers palette, hold down Opt/Alt, then drag the effect to the Highlight layer.

16. Add highlights


Grab the Brush tool (B). Choose a hard-tip brush, Size 130 and start painting over the layer to add more highlights and make it shinier. Use the square bracket keys to change the brush size and use short strokes to create the effect.

17. Make bubble effects


Create a new layer and name it Bubbles. Change the mode to Multiply and set Opacity to 60%. Copy the layer style as in step 15. Hide the Satin, Color Overlay and Drop Shadow. Press F5. Choose a hard brush. Adjust the Shape Dynamics and Scattering and paint the bubbles.

18. Dodge and burn


Create a new layer, name it Dodge/ Burn, change Mode: Overlay, Opacity: 70%, check Fill with 50% Gray and click OK. Grab the Dodge/Burn tool (Shift+O). Set Range to Midtones, use a low Exposure and paint over the honey effect and pot to lighten and darken the areas.

19. Place the animals


Now to add the animals, hive, trees and bees. Place each image. Resize and distribute around the canvas and behind the honey pot. Add a layer mask to hide unwanted areas and use the adjustment layers to enhance the images.

20. Add a final layer


Create a new layer, name it Grass. Grab the Brush tool and press F5. Choose the Grass brush. Check Shape Dynamics, Size Jitter: 25%. Click Scattering, set Scatter: 50% and Count 2. Set the Foreground/Background colour to light and dark green. Check Color Dynamic and then paint the grass.