photoshop creative

How to combine texture and stock photos in Photoshop, part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
December 1, 2013

Continued… Learn how to create amazing patchwork animals by blending stock photos and textures in Photoshop


Some of the original tutorial files are from We have provided a link to these images in the word doc below, but have also compiled a list of free images that we think would be good as substitutes for the following steps.

Download full list of stock images

Blend texture and photos in Photoshop

Follow part 1 of this tutorial


Repeat the previous steps to complete the rest of the frog. As an optional addition, use a scanned texture of cotton and place it on a new layer above the body layers of the frog. Set this layer’s blend mode to Screen and raise the contrast until just the cotton is visible on this layer.


Use the Brush tool to paint in a tan-coloured hue over the cotton and set this layer’s blend mode to Hard Light. Then use the Eraser tool to clean the edges.


As you wrap up your progress on the frog, you may find a number of remnants of the background images coming through. There are a number of basic cloning techniques you can employ to clean the background. Select the background layer, copy and paste sections and then use the Free Transform tool to shape and expand them to cover the offending areas. Use a soft Eraser to smooth the blend.


Creating a frayed edge on the figure helps to integrate the frog into its environment. Select the edge of a cotton image then paste it onto the edge of the frog’s back. Set this layer’s blend mode to Screen and erase any excess portions of the cotton.


Use the Eyedropper tool to select a green tone from the fabric directly touching the fray. Use the Brush tool to paint directly over the fray on a new layer and set this layer’s blend mode to Color. Erase any excess portions of the colour outside of the fray.


At this point you should be familiar with how to achieve all the effects needed to create the dragonfly. Again, import an image of a dragonfly as your guide and trace around the various segments to block out the basic colour and texture as you did for the frog.


To aid the illusion of the dragonfly being airborne, add a blur to the wings. Merge the layers that make up the wing and create a duplicate of the merged layer directly on top of the wing.  Select Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and set the Distance to 29px. The Angle of the motion may differ depending on where its wing is, but we set this to -50°.


Finally, add a needle and thread to the image. Import the needle image onto the canvas directly below the lowest dragonfly layer. Use the Pen tool to create a selection around the needle and extract it from the background.


Now add thread to the needle. We used the Pen tool and selected points along a path from the frog to the end of the needle. We then added a 2px white stroke to the path on a new layer under the needle layer.


Finally, duplicate the thread layer and apply a Gaussian Blur of 1.4px to the duplicated layer. Using a white brush on a new layer, paint a spot of highlight in the middle of the rounded curves on the thread and set the layer’s blend mode to Overlay to complete this masterpiece!