photoshop creative

Master mixed media in 12 steps!

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
November 5, 2014

Combine images, brushes, shapes and textures to create a mixed-media masterpiece

1. Set things up

Open a cool wallpaper-style background. This can be any kind of pattern, but tiled pictures work much better! Then paste in your subject, and Ctrl/right-click and select Convert to Smart Object. You’ll notice a little paper icon pop-up; double-click it and Photoshop will redirect you to a new document.

2. Cutout

In this document, double-click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. You’ll see two sliders. Drag the white pointer at the right of the top slider to 215. Hit Enter. Save and close the document.

3. Use layer styles

In the main document, double-click on the model layer. Select the Gradient Overlay. Change the blend mode to Saturation and the Opacity to 100%, with a black-and-white gradient. Hit Enter.

4. Boost the contrast

Hide the wallpaper layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels and change the variables to: 37, 0.60, 206. Merge the level and the model, select the two layers and hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E. Hide the two layers separately.

5. Paint brushes

Go back to your background and select your new Levels 1 (merged) layer. Change the blend mode to Linear Burn. Loan a paint splatter brush and start painting your model with black for depth.

6. Mask with paint brushes

To create the cutaway effect, click Add a Mask Layer. Grab the Brush tool (B). Using your paint splatter brushes (Foreground colour set to black) paint on your model, to rub parts of her away.

7. Adding colour

Create a new layer. Change your Foreground colour to pink. Select the Paint Brush tool (B) with the paint splatter brushes. Change the brush Opacity to 60%. Paint your model for a stained effect.

8. Create depth with colour

Add a new layer. Select and drag it below the model layer. Grab the Brush tool, keeping Opacity at 60% and select a blue. Paint behind the model, ensuring that you can still see the blue.

9. Bring in more colour

Be creative and paint all over your model. Create a new layer for every new colour. Make sure colours are getting painted in front of and behind the model (by dragging layers below the model layer).

11. Adding simple shapes

Make a new layer (behind the model), select a red, then grab the Ellipse tool (U) to create your circle. You can hold down Shift to ensure you get a symmetrical circle. Next change the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light. Now repeat this step using white this time.

11. Apply the Custom Shape tool

Access the Custom Shape tool (U). Now click the Triangle Frame, draw it on a new layer in white, and then change the Opacity of the layer to 60%. Repeat this step with the Diamond Frame in red.

12. Input some text

Select the Horizontal Type tool (T) and set the colour to white, type in your text, before hitting enter. Add various finishing touches if you like and experiment with the various steps!