Consider yourself a fan of fashion and fiction? This month’s visually stunning Photoshop tutorial will encourage you to take a walk on the wild side when it comes to artistic endeavors.

Step 1

Search for images of a ring, flame and skull.

Images used for this tutorial are:

Image of wild fire flames burn hot with black background : 5265874 © Benis Arapovic

Isolated flame : 9326483 © Jan Novak

Fire tongues of flame on a black background : 11885573 © Andrey Bortnikov

Gold ring with a brilliant black background : 10318748 © dimjul

Cow skull with horns found at Arizona, USA : 15893784 © Andrey Bayda

Step 2

Open the ring image, and change the gemstone’s color to match the fire-inspired mood and color tone.

Change the color by selecting the gem with a lasso tool, and then go to: “Image>Adjustment>Hue/Saturation”.

Step 3

Open any flame image, change the layer mode to “Screen”, then start masking the flame images and place it onto the gem. To make the flow of the flames smoother, select the masking layer and use the smudge tool on the edges to get a better form of the flames.

After that, add a “Layer Style” effect onto the flame by selecting “FX” on the Layers panel, and select “Outer Glow”. Apply the settings as below:

Step 4

Copy random parts of the flames and paste them onto the ruby-coloured part of the gemstone; applying different layer mode on each flame to create different depths and contrasts.This is to add more detail to the flames.

In this tutorial, “Darken”, “Overlay” and “Screen” layer modes were used to create the detail within the gemstone. User feel free to experiment with different modes to create various styles and moods. When you are satisfied with the details, mask out the extra portions for a more natural-looking finish.

Step 5

Create a new layer, name it “Reflect Light”, and change the layer mode to “Soft Light”. Use the brush tool to randomly brush all over the ring with an orange shade (shown in the image) to create a reflected lighting on the ring.

Step 6

Create a new layer, select the surrounding area of the ring with the elliptical marquee tool, and click (Ctrl /Cmd)+Shift+D to create a “Feather”. Alternatively, you could use this option: Select> Modify>Feather.


Next, insert a feather radius of 50 pixels. Select the gradient tool, and use the radial gradient to create an orange-colored gradient. Then, change the layer mode to “Soft Light”. This will create a stronger color to surround the ring. The ring will be filled with artificial light that is reflected by the flames.

Step 7

Next, distort the flames to form the skull spirit. Start off by copying a part of the flame, feather it and paste it onto the skull reference. Mask out the extra areas, and repeat the process until you get a rough form of a skull.

Then, proceed to remove the skull reference, and sculpt the flame according to your preference. Once you have created your ideal flame spirit form, add features like eyes and nose, or mouth to it.

After you have added the features, create a new layer on top of all these layers, and change the layer mode to “Overlay”. Use a white-coloured brush to draw outlines and details. Use the smudge tool to smudge around the outlines to make it more natural.

Step 8

To add some textures to the background, create a new layer, make a selection around the ring and feather it.

Change your foreground and background color to default (D) then (X) to swap color. In this step, you may try to experiment with different colors. Proceed to create a layer of clouds by going to “Filter>Render>Cloud”.

Change the layer mode to “ Screen” and randomly mask the cloud layer. Reduce the layer’s opacity according to your preference.

Step 9

Since it is a reflective surface, a reflection of the flame spirit will be created. Begin by selecting all layers of the flame spirit and make a duplication of it. Then, group it, name it “Reflection” and flip the layer (Ctrl / Cmd +T > right-click the image > Flip vertical). Place it below the flame and mask out accordingly.

To make the gap in between the ring and reflection glow, create an elliptical marquee with a feather radius of 50 pixels. With the selection still on, create a new layer with “Overlay” mode and create an orange-colored gradient in it.

Step 10

Finally, bring back the texture of the gemstone by copying the gemstone onto the original image. Then, proceed to paste it on top of all flame layers and change the layer mode to “Linear Burn”. Reduce the opacity to 30%, and you will be able to showcase the gem’s detail without being too distracting.

There you have it – a fiery, fire-spirit ring!