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



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:

1 sel

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

1 resize

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

1 mask

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

Black and White

1 bw


1 lv

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

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

2 select

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

2 erase

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

Black and White

2 bw


2 lv

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

2 brush

2 eraser lv

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:

3 select

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.

3 paste

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:

3 sel rock

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

3 paste 2

Step 4

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

4 sel

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:

4 dot

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

4 dot 2

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

4 distort

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

4 scatter

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.

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