The Creation of “Dragon Mountain” Digital Art in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps to Design “Dragon Mountain” Digital Art in Photoshop. This is a good example to show you a few simple methods to blending objects together in Photoshop, and edit them with various image adjustment tools. This is an intermediate level tutorial, have a try!

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The concept behind this work is that a dragon die centuries ago, and the body become part of the mountain. The time has come for the dragon to be resurrected by a unknown dark force.

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:

Mountain 1

Mountain 2

Dragon

Rock

Step 1

Create a new document with a dark grey background, document size 1280px * 800px. Load the “Mountain 1” image into Photoshop and select the sky and mountain part of the image:

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

Add a layer mask to this mountain layer, use a soft eraser to fade the following red area of on the mountain layer:

Add the following adjustment layers on top of this mountain layer:

Black and White

Levels

and here is the effect so far:

Step 2

Let’s add the dragon in. Load the Dragon stock into Photoshop and select the head and neck part as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection into Photoshop and resize it, use a soft eraser to blend the neck with the mountain:

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

Black and White

Levels

On the levels adjustment’s layer mask, use the following brush as eraser, remove the red portion as shown below:

This will give the dragon an ancient, decaying effect.

Step 3

We will add some rock texture onto the dragon. Load the “Mountain 2” image into Photoshop. Select a portion of the texture as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, set the layer as clipping mask and change the blending mode to “Overlay”, you will have the following effect:

Hint: Optionally, you can use the Black and White adjustment layer on this rock texture layer to adjust the colour tone.

We will add some flying rock around the dragon. Load the Rock image into Photoshop and select a portion as shown below with Lasso Tool:

Copy and paste the selection over and make a few duplications, resize and scatter them around the dragon’s header:

Step 4

I decided to add some meteor shower effect into the image. Let’s select one piece of rock from the Rock image:

Copy and paste it over to our document. Then create a new layer and paint a orange dot as shown below with a soft brush:

Paint a smaller with dot in the centre of the orange dot:

Use the free transform tool to distort the image as shown below:

Put those layers into a layer group, duplicate this layer group a few times and

I slightly adjust the colour with a color balance adjustment layer, and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)

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.