Create a Surreal Fiery Burnt Wood Lady Figure with Vexel Hair in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create an Fiery Burnt Wood Figure with Vexel Hair in Photoshop. The main focus of this tutorial is the use of layer blending mode, plus the application of image adjustment layers. Have a try :)

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

PSD File Download

You can download the PSD File for this tutorial via the VIP Members Area for only $6.95/Month (or less)! You will not only get this PSD File, but also 70+ other PSD Files + Extra Goodies + Exclusive Photoshop tutorial there. Signup now and get exclusive :) Find out more about the VIP Members Areas

Ok Let’s get started!

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

Model – by liam-stock

Wood Texture


Smoke Brushes

Grungy Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 1050px with black background, create a new layer and paint some ground texture with a soft white brush: (don’t set the brush flow and opacity to be too high)

Load the model image into Photoshop, cut out the model and paste it onto the center of the canvas:

Hint: remove the rough edges with a soft eraser to make it blend into the background.

We want to add some dark spots of the model. Use the Burn Tool (50% Exposure) to the following positions:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 2

We want to do a few simple retouch to this model in order to prepare for future manipulation. Let’s add the following adjustment layers (all as clipping mask to the model layer):

Black and White


Mask on Levels adjustment layer


Create a new layer on top of those adjustment layers, as paint some dark red colour on it (set the flow and opacity of the brush to be around 20% to keep the colour subtle):

Create a new layer and use a soft white brush to paint some highlights on the lady’s hair: (set layer blending mode to “Soft Light” before you start painting)

Create a layer below the model layer and paint some lights around the edge of the body:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 3

Load the wood texture into Photoshop, grab a piece of the wood as shown below:

Paste the selection to our document on top of all previous layer. Then go back to the model layer and use quick selection tool to select the dress, hit Ctrl + Shift + I to inverse the selection, then go to Edit > Clear to the selection:

Desaturate this wood texture, you will have the following effect:

Set the blending mode of this wood layer to be “Overlay”, you will have the following effect:

Duplicate this wood layer a few times and move them to the rest of the body, make sure you remove any unnecessary wood edges using the selection method described above:

Step 4

Load the fire image into Photoshop, selection a piece of the fire with a 30px feather Lasso Tool:

Paste the selection onto the image on top of all previous layers, remove the edges with a soft brush, attach it to the lady’s hand. Use the smoke brush to paint some smoke on the fire:

Hint: Use Warp Tool on the fire to create a curvy shape, and set the smoke brush flow and opacity to be both around 20% for better effect.

Duplicate the fire layer a few times, set the blending mode to “Overlay”, move them up to the lady’s arm until it covers the whole:

Paint some smoke around the arm as well:

Step 5

Now we’re onto the vexel hair part! I personally love vexel hair because it always give the person an artistic looking :)

To do this, create a work path as shown below:

Right-click and choose “Stroke Path”:

Choose a dark hair colour (use Eyedropper Tool to extract from the lady’s original hair), then stroke the path with a 3px soft round brush:

and you will have the following effect:

Repeat the above steps, this time choose a lighter hair color and stroke the path:

Make several of those hair strokes, attach them to the outer area of this model’s head:

Keep adding more strokes, adjust their sizes and shapes as you go, eventually you will have the effect as shown below:

Keep working on the hair on the right side, make sure you adjust the length of the hair using free transform tool to create a flying effect:

Step 6

We’re almost done! For some final touch-ups, we can flatten the image and duplicate the background layer once, and apply the following smart sharpen filter setting to it:

I then duplicate this sharpened layer once, and add a Lens Flare effect to it: (you can choose a different one as the one I used, no need to use the same one)

Use the Grungy brushes you downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial, paint some texture around canvas as shown below:

Hint: DO NOT use a big brush, try painting small bits and pieces around the canvas, and use eraser tool to modify its shapes.

Optional Step: you can paint some feather texture using the brush you made from this tutorial (Step 7) for some more depth – make sure you adjust the brush size and opacity for the flying effect:

Add the below Curves adjustment layer on top of all layers:

and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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

Categories: Photo Effect

Tags: ,,,

  • @chelkkz

    that was awesome, with this tutorial can learn more about transforming a photograph! Thank you!

  • Magento Themes

    Absolutely brilliant tutorial. I have sent this link to my designers for reference.

  • roy cph

    thanks for sharing your knowledge,best tutorial website i ever seen..

  • Inkfreakz – Tattoo design

    wow awesome.
    thanks for sharing

  • Princ3Bunny

    awesome work^^
    about the tut, it’s very detailed, a detail to detail that is^^

  • Dan

    The final result preview at the beginning of the tutorial seems to be missing, I just get a red X in IE.

  • James Qu

    @Dan: I will fix this asap, thanks for letting me know.

  • Clippingshop

    Wonderful tutorial…but you would have used some other hair style…Thanks for sharing.

  • Rajesh

    wow ! do not have any words to explain only to say great Thanks for take your design such tutorial ! have a good day

  • GKM

    its amazing!! it is so helpfull,tysm for sharing it,

  • management information system

    Great with disqus..

  • james craig

    wow ! do not have any words to explain only to say great Thanks for take your design such tutorial !

  • Web design london

    Wonderful tutorial..

  • machine to machine solutions

    It’s very nice tutorial I will share it with my coligue’s & my friends.