In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this “Leafy Face” manipulation in Photoshop. We will go through techniques such as layer blending, layer masks, filter effects, and the use of adjustment layers. Have a try!

This is an intermediate level tutorial and some steps can be tricky.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

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

leaf-face-flatten

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OK Let’s get started!

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

Background texture

Face by faestock

Leaf stock 1

Leaf stock 2

Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 995px with white background. Load the background texture image into Photoshop and select the following portion:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection over to document and resize it to fit our canvas:

1 paste

Apply the following “Watercolor” filter to this texture layer:

1 water

Use a big soft eraser to remove the following portions of the texture layer to create some depths:

1 erase

Step 2

We will work on the face part of the manipulation in this step. Load the model image into Photoshop and cut out the head and neck part and paste it over to our document. Re-size and place it to the centre as shown below:

2 paste

Use a rough eraser (grunge or splatter), remove the edges as shown below: (Make sure you set the eraser flow and opacity to around 30%, so you can gradually work through the edges without overdoing them, also make sure you adjust the eraser size)

2 erase

Add the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to this face layer:

2 bw

Layer mask on the black and white adjustment layer:

2 bw mask

Levels

2 lvs

Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:

2 lvs mask

Curves

2 curves

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect

Step 3

We will start adding the leaves in. Load the left stock 1 image into Photoshop and use the lasso tool to select the following portion:

3 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our image and resize it as shown below:

3 resize

Change the layer blending mode to “Screen” for this new leaf layer:

3 screen

Repeat this process and add some more leaves to the areas shown below:

3 more

Step 4

Load the leaf stock 2 into Photoshop and select the following piece:

4 big leaf

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, and apply the following Paint Daubs filter:

4 paint daubs

Change the layer blending mode of this leaf layer to “Multiply”. Repeat this process and add 2 leaves on both sides of the face:

4 effect

Go back to the leaf stock 2 image and select another different piece. Again we copy and paste the selection to our document and reduce its size, then apply the following black and white adjustment to this layer:

4 bw

And change the blending mode to “screen” for this leaf layer:

4 screen

And here is the effect you will have:

4 effec 2t

Step 5

We will duplicate the new leaf layer we created in the previous step a few times. Keep their blending mode as “screen” and use the free transform tool to rotate, resize the layers, to form a line as shown below:

5 line

Add a few more transparent leaf layers to the top as shown below:

5 line 2

You can change the layer blending mode to “overlay” for those leaf layer and see what effect that brings you:

5 more leaves

Step 6

We’re almost done! We will fine-tune the colours of the image by adding a new Vibrance adjustment layer on top:

6 vib

And this is the final effect I have for this image: (click to enlarge)

leaf-face-flatten

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy going through it and find it useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!