Part 2 of our amazing fantasy composition tutorial!
Again on a new layer, make a selection of the ear shape. Fill with a base skin colour, then use the Eyedropper to sample colours from the face to develop the inside of the ear. Look in the mirror for reference.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N. Now use Clone Stamp – sampling the hair often – to create a volumised base for the hair coming over the shoulders. Use a soft round brush, as it allows samples to blend with each other.
Grab the Eyedropper again and begin by sampling a hair colour. Using a tiny soft round brush, create strands that are flowing in the same general direction as in the photo. Include strands that overlay others, as well as a few in opposing directions, for a natural look.
Hold down Shift and then select all the layers from the top of the stack to the model layer that we worked on. Press Cmd/Ctrl+E to merge them together. Now use a soft brush on the face – in the Normal, Hard Light and Colour brush modes – to enhance makeup.
Create a new layer. Use the Brush tool to paint over the figure, adding lights and visual effects. To add lighting around the edges of the hair, jump over to the model layer and run Dodge (O) along the edge.
Now make a new document and use the selection tools in conjunction with Edit>Stroke to create the shape you want for the crown. Or, if you’d rather, find and paste a pre-made crown from online.
Free Transform again to resize the crown if necessary. Use Edit>Transform>Warp to conform the crown to the curve and perspective of the forehead. Use an opaque brush to make a chain – a custom chain brush makes quick work of it!
Lock the crown layer’s transparency and then colour with a brush in the desired shade. Use Layer>Layer Styles>Bevel and Emboss and Drop Shadow to instantly add form to the crown. The Dodge and Burn tools – used lightly – can make some nice metallic finishing effects, too.
Now we can get things going by adding extra elements. Bring in a prepared photo of your choice and use Free Transform if necessary to resize or position as desired.
Now let’s add a glow around the pixie with Layer>Layer Styles>Outer Glow. Choose a light pink colour and make sure the blend mode is set to Linear Light, and that the Opacity is around 30%.
Make a new layer right at the top and then set the blend mode to Linear Dodge. Create “pixie dust” special effects using a hard round brush with the Spacing and Scattering options set as desired.
Press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E to merge all of the visible layers together on a new layer. Harmonise and bring everything together with any final blending or painting effects. Filters such as as Paint Daubs can also be used, if lightly set.