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Level: Intermediate
Program: Photoshop CS6
Time: 45 min

What We Will Be Learning:
Today, we will learn how to create brushes, and extract images using “Color Range”. We will be using this technique to create a sunset silhouette image. This effect is perfect for creating Valentines (or any other special day) cards!

Images Used:
Sunset: #7822663, Couple: #11264579, Leafs: #10682516, Roots: #10143746, Tree: #18213723

Note: At the end of each step there is an image of what my layers look like at the point of that step in case you get lost!

Step One: Background
First, we are going to prepare and color out sunset background.

1. Add a very slight Gaussian Blur to your sunset image (#7822663)
2. Create a Color Lookup adjustment layer. Settings: (Abstract) Cobalt-Carmine
3. Above that, create a Vibrance adjustment layer. Settings: Vibrance 83, Saturation, 5
1Group the 3 layers you just created together, and name the group “Background”.

Layers:
2
Step Two: Making the Silhouettes
Next, we are going to create the shadow-like figures that will make up our composite. We will creating 4 items, some from scratch, and others from stock images. Along the way I will show you how to easily extract an image using Color Rage.

First we will create the land.

1. Create a new layer.
2. With a large, hard, round brush paint solid black in a “cliff” shape

3Next, Our kissing couple (#11264579 ).

1. Extract the couple using your favorite method. I use the Pen Tool

41. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Bring down the Lightness to -100.
2. Position your Couple on the Cliff.

5Now, the roots (#10143746) coming from the bottom of the cliff.

1. Paste your roots image into your document.
2. Go to Select > Color Range. You will (something) see this:

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The black represents what is going to be selected.

1. Using the dropper tool, click on the white part of the image.
2. Adjust the “Fuzziness” to around 100. Now, you will have something like this:

7Fuzziness represents how much will be selected.

1. Press OK.
2. While the selection is still active add a layer mask to your roots.
3. Invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl I.

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1. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Bring down the Lightness to -100.
2. Position your roots. Right Click > Apply Layer mask.

9Finally, the tree (#18213723).

1. Just like before, paste your image into your document.
2. Go to Select > Color Range.
3. Using the dropper tool, click on the white part of the image.
4. Adjust the “Fuzziness” to around 100. Press OK.
5. While the selection is still active add a layer mask to your roots.
6. Invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl I.

101. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Bring down the Lightness to -100.
2. Position your tree. Right Click > Apply Layer mask.

11If you want, using a black, hard, round brush paint the tree trunk solid black. It’s up to you.

12Also optional , making your tree heart shaped!

1. Using an grunge brush, mask out the middle and side of your trees in a heart shape.
2. Using the same brush, paint black on the tree layer to fill in any needed areas.

13It’s all masking and painting to make the right shape! Simple as that.

Layers:
14Step Three: Grass and more Roots
Now, we are going to add more detail to our cliff using Photo shops default grass brush and and root/branch/tree brush you might have.

1. Create a new layer above your Cliff layer.
2. Select Photoshop’s default grass brush, and set BOTH the foreground and background color to black.
3. Paint along the top of the cliff. The length is up to you. This brush is actually a very useful grass brush!

15I also added more roots to the bottom of the cliff using tree branch brushes I had, and rotating them upside down. This is optional.

16Layers (red layers are the new layers):
17

Step Four: Creating and Painting Windy Leafs
Next, we are going to create out very own leaf (#10682516) brush.

1. Open your leaf image in a new document.
2. Crop the leaf to it’s exact height and width.

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1. And once again, go to Select > Color Range.
2. Using the dropper tool, click on the white part of the image.
3. Adjust the “Fuzziness” to around 100. Press OK.
4. While the selection is still active add a layer mask to your roots.
5. Invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl I.

191. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Bring down the Lightness to -100.
2. Position your tree. Right Click > Apply Layer mask.

20Now to create the actual brush.

1. Create a new layer below your black leaf and fill it with white.
2. Go to Image > Define Brush Preset. Name it “Leaf 1”, and press OK.
3. Go back to your original document and create a new layer.
4. Go to your brushes and find your new leaf brush. Go to Window > Brush to open your Brush panel.
5. In Brush Tip Shapes set the “Spacing” to around 66%.
6. In Shape Dynamics set the “Size Jitter” to 100%, the “Angle Jitter” to 100%, and the “Roundness Jitter” to 28%.
7. In Scattering set “Scatter” to 214%
8. Click the “Create New Brush” button on the bottom right of the panel. Name the brush Leaf 2.

21Here is a sample of how the brush paints with a mouse.

Next, to create the swirl of leafs in the sky you can either free hand draw it with a mouse or a tablet, or using the pen tool. I used a tablet, but I will show you how to with the Pen Tool as well.

1. With the Pent Tool set to “Path”, create a swirly path, adding a heart above the couples head.

221. Make sure your brush color and size are how you would like them. For me, black, and around 25px.
2. Create a new layer and Right Click > Stroke Path.
3. Set the Tool to “Brush” and check “Stimulate Brush Pressure”. Hit OK

23Pen Tool

24Mouse

25Tablet

And you are done! Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different colors and filters. For instance, the silhouettes do not need to be black. Here’s what mine looks like with a Color Look up layer set to Cobalt-Carmine over top it.