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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create “Barbarian Warrior” digital art in Photoshop. We will mix rock and metal texture, as well as fire into a warrior photo. We will be practicing layer blending, image adjustments, free transform tool and a number of other manipulation techniques.

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

This is an intermediate level difficulty tutorial and require prior knowledge of basic Photoshop commands, as well as using layer masks in Photoshop to complete.

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:

Barbarian Warrior by mjranum-stock

Rock Texture

Metal Texture

Fire Texture

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 1303px with black background. Load the rock texture into Photoshop and select a portion of it:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, drop its layer opacity to around 40%, and use the Perspective tool to adjust its shape:

Use a soft eraser to fade its edge as shown below:

Apply the following Levels adjustment to this ground layer:

Use a cloud brush, paint some subtle cloud effect over the background (opacity should be around 10-20%):

Optional: Use a particle brush to add some particles on the ground, as shown below:

Step 2

We will add some rock texture onto the background in this step. Select the following portion from the rock texture:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, re-size it to fit the size of our canvas. Desaturate the layer afterward and turn it into black and white:

Use a soft eraser tool, remove the centre and bottom parts of the texture as shown below:

Step 3

Load the warrior stock into Photoshop and cut the warrior out, and paste it onto our document. Place the warrior at the centre of the canvas:

Use a soft eraser to fade the edge of the warrior’s body, so that he blends with the background texture:

Apply the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to this warrior layer:


Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:


Color Balance

and here is the effect so far:

Step 4

We will add some metals around the warrior to act as shattered Armour after a big battle. Load the metal texture into Photoshop and select a few pieces from it:

Copy and paste your selection to our warrior’s body, make sure you set those layers as clipping mask to the warrior layer:

Change the layer blending mode of the above metal layers to “Color Burn”, this will create some scar/blood effect on the warrior’s body:

Keep adding more metal texture to our document – now use the “Pin Light” layer blend mode for those metal textures:

I attached the metal to the shoulder area of the warrior, and here is the effect so far:

Step 5

We will be adding some fiery effect to our image in this step. Load the fire stock into Photoshop, select the tip of the fire as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, use the “Screen” blend mode and reduce the size of the fire layer to roughly the width of our warrior:

This is the fiery effect you will aim to achieve:

Add some fire around the Axe as well:

Paint some dust effect on the feet:

Step 6

We’re almost done! For final touches, we can add the following adjustment layers on top:

Selective Color


And here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)

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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