Create a Dark Human Photo Manipulation with Liquified Water Texture in Photoshop

In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create Liquid Human Photo Manipulation with Liquified Water Texture in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try :)

Along the way, we will be using custom water drop brush and combine it with liquify filter, as well as some vexel hair techniques. We will also be using a variety of selection techniques and some basic photo retouch tool to add extra effect to the image.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Model – by GosnayStock

Water Drop Brush


Step 1

Create a new document sized 1280px  * 800px with black background. Load the rock texture into Photoshop and we will use it create a base – use the quick selection tool to select a triangle shape as shown below:

Hint: I used a 54px hard brush setting for the quick selection tool, this way we can keep the edge selection rough, as well as adding some smaller selections around the main triangle selection.

Use a soft eraser, remove the edges as well as parts of the rock to create some depth:

Also use the burn tool (20% exposure) to darken some parts of the rock:

Add the following 3 adjustment layers to this rock layer as clipping mask:

Black and White



and here is the effect so far:

Make a new layer folder and put all the previous layers into it, duplicate this folder twice and resize them to a smaller scale, attach them to the left and right edge of the main base:

Step 2

Load the model image into Photoshop, cut out the model and paste it onto our document, resize it to fit the width of the rock:

Use a soft eraser, gently remove the bottom edges so it blends into the rock texture.

Use the Dodge tool (20% exposure), Slightly brighten the hair portion:

Again use the dodge tool, set the brush size to be around 7-10px, with around 30% exposure, brighten the edges of the model as shown below:

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping mask to this model layer:

Black and White



and you will have the following effect:

Step 3

Let’s add some water texture with the liquify filter. Firstly create a new layer and use a water brush you downloaded, paint some texture on the new layer, then use the liquify filter to warp it as shown below:

On the liquify filter setting, make sure you set the backdrop to use “Background”, this way you will see the black background instead of seeing the transparent the background:

You can also further apply the Twirl filter (Filter > Distort > Twirl) and add some rotating effect to the water texture:

You will have the following effect on the water texture:

Duplicate this water texture layer a few times, and scatter them around the canvas as shown below:

Hint: utilise the liquify filter, warp the water texture into different shape and size. Add the texture to different parts of the model’s body.

Add some more water texture with a smaller water brush around the model:

You can further add some water stream around the rock area for some surreal effect:

You can create a new layer under the model layer, and use a soft white brush to paint some back light around the model:

Step 4

Let’s add some vexel hair on the model for some dynamic effect. Use the Pen Tool to draw the following path:

Pick a 3px hard brush with 100% hardness:

Stroke the Path with the Simulate Pressure option turned on:

You will have the following effect after the stroke:

Use a soft eraser to remove the edge so it blends into the rest of the hair:

Duplicate this hair layer once, use the Hue/Saturation adjustment tool to adjust the lightness – this will create a layered effect for the hair:

Duplicate the hair a few more times, resize and rotate them, then attach them to the different part around the head area:

Step 5

We’re almost done :) For some final touches, we can add some cloud effect with the cloud filter (or a cloud brush) to the image:

Hint: use a soft eraser tool to remove some parts of the cloud to create depth and make some shape for the cloud.

You can also add some highlights around the feet area with a soft white brush:

I also decided to add some warm colour around the model, and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Photo Effect

Tags: ,,

  • Reggie

    I love everything about your website….as a Graphic Designer I use photoshop a lot,,( about 18 years) ….there is always something to learn…..


  • john

    Is only my impression or do you really love to use rock textures in your tutorials? ! It looks very nice :)

  • PSD Vault

    yes I do love rock textures :)

  • Glennbragazza

    Lovely! but you always put ‘and then i decided to add some ___’ at the end and i hae no idea how to do those things, such as in this one saying ‘
    I also decided to add some warm colour around the model’

    how would this be done (im fairly new to this)looks great!! which is why im asking lol :P

  • photoshop image masking

    Great useful tutorial. Your post is very much helpful for the designer. Very easy to follow step by step. I like your post very much. Thanks a lot for sharing !! 

  • Kwonnie

    Amazing effect but you should really go into more detail on the coloring process.

  • Null

    Get to the coloring details. Don’t skip us on that one.