bw-surreal-scene-flatten

Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this black and white, dreamy style sureal artwork in Photoshop. Have a try!

If you have been following my tutorials for a while, you will notice that I very rarely publish anything that is black and white – I love colours, but I think sometimes black and white style can produce effect that colour can’t – for example, a sense of dark and gloom.

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

bw surreal scene flatten1 500x267 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

OK let’s get started!

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

Female model

Cliff

Tree

Cloud

Planet

Step 1

Create a new document size 1300px *700px. fill the background layer with black colour. Now let’s start laying the foundation.

Load the “Cliff” image into Photoshop and use the Rectangular Marquee tool to select a portion of the cliff:

1 select 500x329 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

copy and paste your selection onto our canvas, resize it and position it as shown below:

1 paste 500x264 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Name this layer as “Rock 1″, add a layer mask to it and on the mask, use a soft round brush (20% hardness) to erase the edges of the rock:

1 erase 500x263 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

As you can see, I erased a large portion of the texture and left only a fraction of it – the reason I did it is because initially it was hard to judge what portion of the texture would be suitable, and I could only experiment with it until I get the right piece.

Add a black and white adjustment layer onto this rock 1 layer:

1 bw Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect:

1 effect 500x247 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 2

Now duplicate this Rock 1 layer twice (along with the black and white adjustment layer), name the duplicated layers as “rock 2″ and “rock 3″ respectively. Drag the duplicated layer around and position them to the left and right of the Rock 1 layer, as shown below:

2 drag 500x276 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Adjust the mask on those duplicated layer by using a soft eraser to remove the edges, especially the parts where each rock joins together:

2 erase 500x367 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 3

Now we pretty much finished with the rock texture. Let’s add the tree image onto our canvas. Load the “Tree” stock image into Photoshop, cut out the tree and the grass texture using the following channel mask technique:

(you can use other method if you prefer, but I think channel mask here is the most effective one.)

On the background layer, click on the “Channel” tab on the layer palette, then click on the “Blur” channel (the reason is this channel provides the biggest contrast)

3 channel Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Duplicate this Blue channel once, apply the following Levels adjustment to the duplicated channel:

3 level Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Use a black brush to fill the area:

3 paint 500x665 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Load the selection of this blue copy channel by going into Select > Load selection, then apply the following options then click on “OK”:

3 load sel Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, name the layer as “Tree Right”, resize it and position it as shown below:

3 resize tree1 500x267 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Erase the bottom part of the grass with a soft brush:

3 erase 499x319 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

And the following two adjustment layers to this tree right layer: (make sure you tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and white

3 bw Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

3 cruves Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Curves Mask

3 curve mask 500x265 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect:

3 effect 499x329 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Duplicate the Tree right layer once along with its adjustment layers (leave all adjustment layers as they are, apart from canceling the layer mask on the Curves adjustment layer). Name the duplicated layer as “tree left”, drag and resize this layer smaller, and position it as shown below:

3 duptree 500x168 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 4

Load the “Female Model” stock image into Photoshop, cut out the model and paste it into the centre of our canvas:

4 paste 500x260 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Don’t worry if your selection is not perfect, it doesn’t really matter in this tutorial.

Name this layer as “Model Original”, duplicate it once and go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen Edge and apply this filter a few times on the duplicated layer:

4 sharpen edge 500x310 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

As you can see this sharpens all edges of the model – an effect may look horrible right now, but will add extra details as we go deeper into the tutorial.

Duplicate the original model layer once more and drag it above the previous sharpen edge layer, make this layer a clipping mask  to the sharpen edge layer (right-click the layer, then choose “create clipping mask”), reduce the layer opacity to 80%, you will have the following effect:

4 duplicate ori 500x337 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following image adjustment layers to it: (make sure you tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Curves

4 curves Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Mask:

4 curves mask 500x263 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Levels

4 levels Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Black and White

4 bw Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

On the Black and white adjustment layer, use a soft brush eraser to do a single click on the spot where the flower is: (this reveals the flowers, adding a bit of colour to the image)

4 erase following Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Duplicate the original model layer once more and drag it above all the adjustment layer, change the blending mode to “hard light” and opacity to 30%, you will have the following effect:

4 effect 2 499x288 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 5

Load the “Planet” image into Photoshop, cut out the planet and paste it onto our document. Name this layer as “planet”, resize and position it as shown below:

5 paste planet 499x270 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

add the following image adjustment layer to the planet:

Black and White

5 bw Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

5 curves Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

We can also add some aura around the planet for more effect. To do this, load the selection of the planet layer (ctrl+left-click the thumbnail of the planet layer on the layer palette), apply the following refine edge option to it:

5 refine edge Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Create a new layer called “aura” under the plaent layer, render some cloud in it:

5 cloud 499x334 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Duplicate this aura layer once, then use the Warp Tool (Ctrl + T then right-click choose warp) to manipulate it so it looks like dropping down from the planet:

5 warp 500x323 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 6

Load th “Sky” image into Photoshop, copy a portion of it and paste it onto our document, above all previous layers. Resize the layer and position it as shown below: (Erase the Edge with a soft eraser, if necessary)

6 paste 500x262 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Add the following two adjustment layers to it:

Black and White

6 bw Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Curves

6 curves Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Optional: it would be good to add variety onto the image by applying more cloud texture. Make sure you black and white them as you add them in:

6 cloud 2 500x365 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 7

Now we’re getting into an interest part of the tutorial. As you can see the image so far looks ok, but it lacks that surreal, dreamy sort of effect. So to enhance those effect, we can use cloud warping, especially on the area just above the ground, below the model.

To do this, create a new layer above the last duplicated Model layer, use the Lasso Tool with 50% feather to draw a selection on this layer, render some cloud in it:

7 render cloud 500x272 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Then use the warp tool, manipulate the cloud as shown below:

7 warp cloud 500x273 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

You can them duplicate and re-size this cloud layer for more effect:

7 effect 500x206 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

I also added some abstract brush effect on the background, mixing it with the Warp Tool for more effect: (There are tons of brushsets on qbrushes.net, or brusheezy that will do the job)

7 warp abstract 499x319 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

This is the overall effect so far:

7 effect 2 500x269 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

Step 8

We’re almost done! In the last fine-tuning step, I add the following Reduce Noise Filter to make the image smoother:

8 reduce no Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

with the following layer mask:

8 mask 500x263 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

and this is the final effect: (click to enlarge)

bw surreal scene flatten 500x267 Design a Black and White, Dreamy Style Surreal Artwork in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you find it useful and learn something new!

Till next time, have a nice day!