Create a Surreal Natural Landscape Scene in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create a Surreal Natural Landscape Scene in Photoshop. This is an intermediate tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try :)

Along the way, we will transform a day photo into dusk scene, plus some image adjustment techniques and the use of pen tool for abstract lines.

When you need postcard printing for a client, these skills can assist with the creative process.

Here is a preview of the final effect: (click to enlarge)

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Ok Let’s get started!

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


Man on top of Mountain

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 740px with white background. Load the Cliff image into Photoshop, copy and paste the entire image onto our document, resize and position it as shown below:

Now let’s reduce the brightness and colour of the image a bit – firstly add the following two image adjustment layers to this landscape layer:

Black and White (set layer opacity to around 70%)



Layer mask on the Levels adjustment layer: (this will hide the sky portion)


and here is the effect so far:


Step 2

Now we can turn this day photo into a dusk photo with a darker colour scheme. So let’s add the following 2 adjustment layers:

Color Balance

Layer mask on the colour balance adjustment layer:


Layer Mask on the Levels adjustment layer:

and we will have the following effect after the adjustments:

Step 3

Load the Man on top of mountain image into Photoshop, cut out of the man’s body and paste it to the position shown below: (resize it with free transform tool)

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

Black and White



Color Balance

Use a soft black brush, carefully paint some shadow under the man:

and here is the effect so far:

Step 4

Now we can add some flying rock into the image. Go to the Man on the mountain image and use the quick selection tool to select a piece of rock:

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, resize it to a smaller scale:

Duplicate this rock layer a few times, resize and rotate each layer so they vary in size:

Merge those duplicated rock layer together, apply the warp tool on the merged layer:

Duplicate this layer a few times, adjust the size of each layer with free transform tool, from them into a shape as shown below:

Step 5

Now let’s add some lighting effect to the bottom of the flying rocks. Use a soft white brush to do a single-click on the position shown below:

Compress it down with the free transform tool:

and you will have the following effect:

Duplicate this layer once, and again use the free transform tool to expend its height, then perspective it a bit as shown below:

Step 6

Now let’s practice some Pen Tool skills with adding some simple abstract lines on the sky. So grab the Pen Tool and draw the following Path:

Stroke this path with 5px hard white brush: (tick “simulate pressure” box)

and you will have the following effect:

Duplicate this line layer a few times and free transform them, attach those layers together and form a shape as shown below:

Keep duplicating and free-transforming until you’re happy with the shapes:

I adjust the brightness and contrast of the image a bit, and here is the final effect for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

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


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • rajasegar

    Great tutorial and techniques well explained!
    Thanks for sharing…

  • ali

    it very very nice

  • Cool! Simply and beautifuly!

  • Sammysande

    Bro this was so awesome……

  • nice blog…

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