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In this tutorial, I will show you the process of The Creation of “The Storm is Approaching” Artwork in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level Photoshop tutorial so some steps can be a bit tricky, but why not have a try!

The PSD file of this tutorial is available via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

Along the way, we will go through some photo manipulation/combination techniques, as well as some use of custom Photoshop brushes and image adjustments.

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:





Lightning Brushes

Water splash brush

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 800px with black background. Load the ocean image into Photoshop and use a rectangular marquee tool to select a piece from of the ocean from the image, copy and paste the selection onto our document:

Hint: Erase the top edge of the ocean with a eraser tool, or use a black gradient fill tool (Black to Transparent setting) to fade the top edge.

Add the following 3 adjustment layers to this ocean layer:

Black and White



And as a result you will have a rough sea surface (transformed from a relatively calm surface), as shown below:

Use the cloud filter, or a cloud brush (lots of these) on the internet to add some cloud/mist over the ocean layer:

Step 2

Load the cloud image into Photoshop, and copy and paste a portion of it onto our document, resize and position it as shown below:

Apply some “Reduce Noise” filter to this cloud – this will add a softening effect and reduce the cloud noise:

Add the following adjustment layers to this cloud layer as its clipping mask:

Black and White



Again we erase the bottom of the cloud so it fades into the background, and merge with the ocean:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 3

We will add a cliff onto the image. Load the cliff image into Photoshop and select a portion as shown below with quick selection tool:

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, resize and position it as shown below:

Use an eraser tool (with around 60% hardness), remove some parts of the rock as shown below:

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

Black and white


Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:


and you will have the following effect so far:

Use the water splash brush you downloaded, paint some splash around the edge of the rock as shown below: (reduce the brush size to a small scale)

Step 4

We will now add the model in. Load the model image into Photoshop and copy and paste it onto our document, and resize it as shown below:

Add the following 3 adjustment layers to this model layer:

Black and white


Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:

By using this levels layer mask, it will darken the lower part of the model and create some depth:

Add some highlights on the ground with a soft white brush painting on a new layer (set the layer blending mode to “overlay)

Add some cloud warping effect around the model as well:

If you’re not sure of how to achieve this cloud warp effect, check out this video tutorial below: (jump to 4:55 min)

Step 5

We can now use the lightning brush to add some lightning effect over the ocean:

And use some water splashing brushes to add some splashes around the lightning:

We will also add some mist/cloud above the ocean for some more dramatic effect: (using the same cloud warp method as above)

We can finish up the photo by add some colour effect with various image adjustment layers (such as colour balance, selective colour, etc) for some more effect, and here is the final effect (click to enlarge)

I have a video Photoshop tutorial showing you how to achieve this type of colour effect via image adjustment layers here:

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

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