Human Photo Manipulation with Nature and Grunge Element in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the process of creating this create an intriguing manipulation by mixing nature and grunge elements in Photoshop. This will be an interesting experiment for you to use tools such as image adjustment layers and layer blending modes, as well as practice the use of liquify filter and brush tool.

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

This is an intermediate level tutorial so some steps can be tricky, but why not have a try!

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)


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OK Let’s get started!

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

Grunge Brushset (Pick a few from the list)

Model by ~Neriah-stock

Nature Photo

Step 1

Create a new document sized  900px * 1169px with black background. Use the the grunge brushset you download, paint some random patterns on the canvas as shown below.

Hint: You will need to set the brush flow and opacity to around 40%-60% in order to achieve more depth. You can use eraser tool to fade certain areas of the painting as well.

1 texture

Cut out the female from the model stock image and paste it over to our document, resize it as shown below:

1 paste

Use the Surface Blur to smooth out the model layer with the following settings:

1 surf blur

Then we can use the grunge brushset as eraser, remove the edges of the model layer as shown below:

1 erase 2

Please note that you can adjust the opacity and flow of the eraser tool to add more depth when removing the body texture:

1 erase

Step 2

We can now add the following adjustment layers as clipping mask to this model layer:

Black and White

2 bw

Apply the following layer mask on this black and white adjustment layer:

2 bw mask

and this mask will create the following “Highlight” effect:

2 after bw mask


2 lvs

Apply the following layer mask on this levels adjustment layer:

2 lv mask

Use a soft white brush, paint a shining dot over the mode’s eye, this will create a surreal effect for our image:

2 dot

and here is the overall effect so far:

2 effect

Step 3

We will add the nature pattern into our image. Load the nature photo into Photoshop and use the Lasso Tool to select a piece of the grass and flower as shown below:

Note: set the Feather value to 40% for this lasso tool.

3 sel

Copy and paste the selection to our document, apply the following levels adjustment settings to this new nature layer:

3 lv

Change the blending mode of this layer to “Screen”:

3 scr

and you will have the following effect:

3 after scr

We can duplicate this nature a few times and attach them to different parts of the body, as shown below:

3 effect

Step 4

We will add some liquify effect to our document. Create a new layer and use a lime/yellow brush to paint a line as shown below:

4 line

Go to the liquify settings under the “Filter” top menu, grab the forward warping tool and set it according to the following values:

4 liq

Warp this line as shown below:

4 liq 2

Then, use a soft brush to paint some soft dots connecting the lines:

4 paint dot

Step 5

We will now add some touch-ups for our image. We can flatten the layers and apply this following Unsharp Mask filter to sharpen the image a bit:

5 unsharp

This unsharp mask filter will make the details of the nature pattern stand out:

5 crisp

We can also render some cloud down the bottom with the cloud filter, or brush. Remember to keep this cloud effect subtle by reducing the layer opacity to around 30%:

5 cloud

I then adjusted the colour balance a bit with the colour balance adjustment layer, and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)


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

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

  • Amazing thoughts with perfection .

  • your tutorial is good value for me …Because we are Photoshop related work.

  • Jacky Risham

    Thanks for sharing a valuable tutorial

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