MB Fantasy World

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This tutorial outlines the main processes I used in creating this image:


Apart from the figure most of the sources I used were my own:


I selected the figure and copied it onto a new layer then used a darker to lighter blue gradient to create a working background below it.

I used Hue/Saturation on the figure layer to shift the overall colour and give it a greenish tinge.

I then selected the head, pressed Ctrl+J to create a copy on a new layer and enlarged it slightly, then used the Warp tool to narrow the chin and make sure it still fitted convincingly on the neck.

I selected each ear, created a copy on a new layer, enlarged it and used the Warp tool to elongate the top into the pointed ear. The most stretched area at the top needed a little work round the edge with the Eraser to give it a clean outline.

I selected the mouth, placed a copy on a new layer, enlarged it slightly and used the Warp tool to give a more impish grin to it.

The eyes were slightly enlarged in the same way and the eyebrows copied, rotated slightly and warped to the slanted position.

In each case I used a soft-edged Eraser to blend the edges into the face. When I was happy with the changes I merged them all down onto the figure layer. If you don't merge things you end up with far too many layers, but I always save the merged version as a new file in case I need to go back later.


I painted bright green on an Overlay layer to colour the eyes, and on a Multiply layer I painted some darker shadows round the eyes, selecting the colour from the existing shadowed areas, then merged both layers onto the figure. I also added a texture (from a photo of a lichen-covered brick) to the whole body on a Multiply layer at a very low Opacity.

I cut out the rough shape of the cap, placed it on a new layer above the head and Warped it to fit. I used an Eraser to clean up the edges and get the exact shape and fit, then pressed Ctrl and clicked on the cap layer to select the cap and created a Multiply layer to paint on the shadows and a Screen layer to paint on the highlights, selecting colours from the cap itself.


I merged the shadows and highlights onto the cap and painted a shadow beneath it on another Multiply layer.

For the breeches I placed a scanned image of some patterned material over the figure and adjusted the size, then reduced the opacity and erased all unwanted areas leaving the edges slightly outside the body and legs. I brought the opacity back up to 100% and, as with the cap, I painted shadows on a Multiply layer and highlights on a Screen layer, reflecting the lighting on the figure itself, then merged them down.


I used a very small Smudge brush to pull down some threads along the bottom of the legs, and the belt was made from the same material as the cap border.

The tattoos were black patterns which I changed to blue/green on a Multiply layer and warped and erased where necessary to fit the contours and outline of the body. A slight Gaussian Blur was then added and the opacity adjusted until they looked right.


The ivy draped across the figure was from a photo which I resized and warped to fit the body, adding some different leaves where the existing ones did not look right. To create its shadow I pressed Ctrl and clicked on the layer icon to select it then created a Multiply layer below the ivy, filled it with a dark colour selected from the shadows on the figure, nudged it down and to the right a few pixels, added a slight Gaussian Blur, erased any areas outside the body and lowered the Opacity until it matched the existing shadows.


I then added the chains, belt buckle and earrings.

The wings were created from a single dragonfly wing which I cut out and then warped and erased pieces to give the ragged appearance and make then look different from each other. The extra bits were simply copied from the original, and the top pieces joined with a painted white line.


With semi-transparent things like this it is a matter of experimenting with Layer Modes and Opacity to find what looks best. In this instance I placed the wings behind the figure then duplicated them. The top copy is Overlay at 100% and the bottom copy is Normal at 50%.


I placed a toadstool at the bottom for the figure to stand on and painted the shadow on a Multiply layer.

The background is put together from a couple of photos of toadstools.

The stars are painted with a couple of home-made brushes on a Screen layer with the Opacity lowered to 75%.

The light rays are painted on another Screen layer behind the figure, with the opacity lowered to 40%.

On top of all is a blue Color layer with the opacity at 60%.

There are all sorts of other ways to create most of these effects, but these were simply the ones I used in this particular image. I hope some of them may be of use to you.