Face up to fo­liage

Blend a photo with graph­i­cal el­e­ments to cre­ate a sur­real por­trait in Pho­to­shop

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This sur­real ef­fect may look in­tri­cate and com­pli­cated, but merely by mak­ing use of the graph­ics and back­grounds that ship with El­e­ments, it’s some­thing that any­body can do, and on any por­trait they like. We’re mak­ing use of a sim­ple graphic called Brass Leaves, which you’ll find within the hun­dreds of graph­ics, frames and ef­fects that come with El­e­ments, in our tu­to­rial. How­ever, if you pre­fer, you could al­ways use one of the other graph­ics.

By du­pli­cat­ing and re­shap­ing the leaves in dif­fer­ent ways you can build up an en­tire bush. Once that’s been done, all you have to do is du­pli­cate the cut-out face we’ve pro­vided and ‘clip’ it to each layer, be­fore ap­ply­ing a Drop Shadow layer style and chang­ing the colours. To round things off, drop in a suit­ably green leafy back­ground, also taken from the El­e­ments graph­ics li­brary.

Along the way we’ll re­peat­edly use one of Pho­to­shop’s most use­ful and un­der­used short­cuts – the hum­ble Alt key. Let loose on the Lay­ers Panel, it en­ables you to make speedy copies of lay­ers, styles, masks and ad­just­ments. It also lets you ‘clip’ a layer to the shape of the layer be­neath. Here’s how it works...

AF­TER

BE­FORE

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