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Learn How to Design a Charming Collage Composition

Learn How to Design a Charming Collage Composition

Today we’re going to learn how to create a super creative collage effect, using a range of photo manipulation, blending and compositional techniques. You’ll learn how to correctly extract your images, layer up various effects to create a sense of depth and detail, and create a cool sketchy hand-drawn effect for your photos.

Final Image

As always, this is the final image we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Create a new file with a width of 1500px and a height of 2000 px at 100 dpi (Dots per Inch). Background Contents should be White.

Step 2

To start off we’ll use various textures to create a subtle distress background. First, add a group folder called “Texture”, then open “1.jpg” from these colored grunge textures . Place this within the folder, then hit Command/Ctrl + T and resize to cover the canvas. Name the layer “Texture 1″.

Reduce opacity to “30%”

Now add “8.jpg” as a new layer within the same folder, then hit Command/Ctrl + T and resize to cover the canvas and name it “Texture 2″.

Change the Blend Mode to Overlay and lower its Opacity to 65%.

Place “2.jpg” from the “source” folder as a new layer within the same folder. Resize and label it “Texture 3″.

Change the layer mode to “hard light” and reduce opacity to “45%”.:

Step 3

First off, let’s open the girl stock iii-Dxlogic in Photoshop. We will be using the girl from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Switch to your Channels tab and cycle through each channel in turn to determine which holds the most contrast – in this case it’s the Green. Drag its thumbnail over the Create new channel icon at the foot of the palette to duplicate it:

Now hit Command/Ctrl + L to access the Levels dialogue box and set the Input sliders as shown. Don’t sweat over the remaining background detail :

Now again hit Command/Ctrl + L to access the Levels dialogue box and set the Input sliders as shown.

Now activate Brush tool (B) choose black as foreground color and paint oner the remaning area :

Now load channel as selection:

Now first invert selection(shift+ctrl+i) now then activate vector mask .

Activate any selection tool, then hit the Refine Edge button in the options bar.

In the next window choose On Layers (L) from the View drop-down menu, then check the Smart Radius button and set the Radius field to 2.5 px. Now activate the Decontaminate Colors option and set the Amount value to 68% and hit OK.

When the Refine Edge command has finished you’ll notice an additional masked layer has appeared and the visibility of the original layer switched off. You can now drag the mask into the trash icon at the foot of the palette and click the Apply button on the following dialogue box:

Drag the girl onto your working file and the result should be similar to this:

Step 4

Now activate the rectungular marquee tool (m) and make a selction around the bottom of the girl.

Now hit Ctrl+t to activate transform tool and drag the encircled square in the red arrow’s direction.

Add a vector mask to girl layer.

Now, activate the Brush tool (B) and open the brush set “15 grunge ps brushes” by Sarytah. To load them, simply, right click on our canvas through any layer and then click on the drop-down button as shown below:

This will prompt the contextual menu to pop up and once you see that, just click on Load Brushes.

You will now be prompted to this directory: Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Brushes so make sure that you have put the brushes within this folder. Now locate the brush set and click OK. Right click on the canvas again using your Brush tool (B) and now you’ll notice that you have lightning brushes. Now, let’s choose a brush and start painting over the girl’s bottom part. See as below:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 5

Now,let’s open the WaterColor 33 in Photoshop. We will be using the texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the WaterColor 33 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “Texture 1″.

Now change the layer mode to “Multiply” :

Now Again choose a brush and activate vector mask and start painting around the texture. See as below:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create new Color balance adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Texture 1 layer and Color balance) to make a mask.

When the Color Balance box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 6

Now,let’s open the Blue diamond 2 in Photoshop. We will be using the Dimond from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Activate magic wend tool click on the white part of canvas then invert the selection (ctrl+shift+i) then move dimond to the main canvas.

Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T), then while the “Dimond” layer is selected and then resize it as shown below:

Now let’s work on it’s shadow so activate a new layer and name it “Shadow”.Then make a selection below dimond and fill it with black color.

Then goto Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur.When the Gaussian blur box opens, input the following:

Reduce opacity to 85%.

The result should be similar to this:

Step 7

Now let’s Draw some abstract shapes so activate a new layer and name it “Blue shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.

activate a new layer and name it “Pink shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.

activate a new layer and name it “Yellow shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.Reduce the opacity to 65%.

activate a new layer and name it “Orange shapes” then activate pen tool and draw some random shapes then activate gradient tool and fill gradient colors in our shapes.

The result should be similar to this:

Step 8

Now get back to girl layer and create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette .

When the Curves box opens, input the following:

Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.

The result should be similar to this:

Now again create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette.Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.

When the Curves box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Now create a new Hue/saturation adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette.Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Hue/saturation) to make a mask.

When the Hue/saturation box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 9

Now Let’s do some color adjustment with the Diamond. Now create new Curves adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Girl layer and Curves) to make a mask.

When the Curves box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Step 10

Now,let’s open the Vector Line Drawing Flower Pattern in Photoshop. We will be using the vectors from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Vector Line Drawing Flower Pattern then activate marquee tool and make a selection around a vector image then press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “vector back 1″.

Change the layer mode to “Darken” :

Now create new Levels adjustment layer from the bottom of layers palette. Press Alt+left click in between 2 layer’s (Vector back 1 layer and Levels) to make a mask.

When the Levels adjustment box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:

Follow the same steps and add some more vectors. See as below:

Select all vector back layers and make them a group (Ctrl+G) then reduce the opacity to 80% .

Step 11

Now, let’s open the Vector Line Drawing Flower Pattern in Photoshop. We will be using the vectors from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Now go to Select > color range.When the color range box opens, input the following:

Invert the selection (Ctrl+shift+i) and make a duplicate copy .

The result should be similar to this:

Now add a new layer below duplicate layer and fill it with white color (#ffffff) then select both layers and merge them together :

Step 12

Now activate marquee tool and make a selection around a vector and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “White flower”.

Add vector mask to the image.

Now activate Brush tool (B) with these settings Now let’s erase :

Brush size: 200px

Hardness: 0%

Opacity: 40%

Flow: 100%

Color: #000000

Now paint over the highlighted area.

Next, activate the Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd +T), then while the “White flower” layer is selected and then resize it as shown below:

Step 13

Again follow the previous steps which we have used to make “White flower” and drag a vector to our main canvas and name it “Color vector”.

Now activate Magic wend tool and select all white areas of flower see as below :

Then Fill different colors in them see as below :

Drag more vectors to the main canvas fill different colors in them .

Step 14

Now,let’s open the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 in Photoshop. We will be using the watercolor texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “water color Texture 1″.

Change the layer mode to “Multiply” :

Step 15

Now,let’s open the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 in Photoshop. We will be using the watercolor texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “water color Texture 2″.

Change the layer mode to “Multiply” :

The result should be similar to this:

Step 16

I love vector drawings so i decided to do one for me so I’m going to draw a Humming bird. First we need a reference image so I’m using this one. Then activate pen tool and start drawing around the bird.

When you have done with your drawing select a hard brush of size 3 then reselect pen tool and make a right click and choose “Stroke path” .

When the Stroke path box opens, input the following:

Again make a right click with pen tool and choose “Delete path”.

Now Add a new layer under that stroke layer and fill it with white color and merge both layer then drag the bird to main canvas.

Step 17

Now,let’s open the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 in Photoshop. We will be using the watercolor texture from this stock image so we will need to transfer it to our main canvas.

Click the Watercolors Pack | Volume 2 and press V to activate the Move Tool. Left-click the image and drag the image to the main canvas and change layer name to “water color Texture 3″.

Change the layer mode to “Multiply” and activate brush tool and add vector mask the erase the unwanted area.

Get back to bird layer and change it’s layer mode to “multiply” .

The result should be similar to this:

Step 18

Now activate Pen tool and make a right click near face and choose Stroke path : .

When the Stroke path box opens, input the following:.

Now again make a right click and choose Delete path :.

The result should be similar to this..

Add some more stroke to the body .

Step 19

In this step, we will learn how to create a vignette which will help enhance the focus on our subject.

First make a new layer and name it “Vignette”.

Now goto Filter > Distrot > Lens Correction.

then set the following settings:

Amount: -100

Midpoint: 50%

Now Just change the layer mode to “Multiply” and change opecity to 50%.

The result should be similar to this:.

Step 20

Now Create a new Solid color adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Solid color adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

Change the layer mode to “exclusion” and reduce opacity to “25% :

Now Create a new Color Balance adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Color Balance adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:.

Now Create a new Color Balance adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Color Balance adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:.

Now Create a new Color Balance adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Color Balance adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:.

Now Create a new Gradient map adjustment layer from the bottom of the layers palette .

When the Gradient map adjustment layer box opens, input the following:

The result should be similar to this:.

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About the Author:

Vikas Singh Adhikari (Vik aadi) is a 20 years old self-taught digital mixed media artist and a photographer from New Delhi India. The themes that are mostly seen on his work revolve around surrealism, pseudo-realism, nostalgic sentiments, and human emotion.You can contact him on his deviant art account: http://vikaadi.deviantart.com/ and his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vikas.theanimater

Leave a comment

23 Comments:

  1. vijay says:

    wow, speechless its look’s so beautiful to watch i really want this kind of tutorial coz i luv mixed media style so thanks for the lovely tut… :)

    • Tom says:

      Thanks vijay! I’m really glad that you enjoyed this tutorial. Did you have any favorite parts in particular?

      • vijay says:

        The best part is how he remove girls image from the background and the why he used all colors and different techniques i am following him from Photoshoptutorials.ws and usually he do surreal work but a mixed media from his side amazed me he is to good in this too.Hope near in future i got more tutorial related to mixed media.
        what the best part of your website is we always got something new and advance tuts you have most talented authors among the world.

        Thank you vary much for all these tutorials .

  2. Eric Vasquez says:

    Very nice tutorial! There are some great techniques here for all levels and the outcome looks fantastic. I think I may have seen this image in a digital art magazine somewhere? Well done.

  3. Ganesh says:

    Nice work..thanks..

  4. Greg-H says:

    Good! I like it :)

  5. Monno says:

    Nice work. I like it.. :)

  6. Aason says:

    This is a very nice combination and comparison with Chinese taste the wind! Nice work!

  7. i must say this is something very special for me to know about mixedmedia and catchy collage. thanks

  8. fidzzy says:

    WOW!! very very cool tutorial… thanks tom.

  9. charlotte says:

    this ‘tutorial’ was really really rubbish. the idea of a tutorial is to explain things and this pile of poo skips important information.

  10. Sayeed says:

    Extra ordinary tutorial. Liked it most. will be waiting for your next post.
    Thanks

  11. sara says:

    Excellent tutorial, congratulations for such a work! Many of us will learn a lot from it, and it is a great inspiration. A million thanks for this tutorial, it is really something to appreciate a lot.

  12. kathi says:

    Will this work with Photoshop Elements 10?

  13. David says:

    Being new to photoshop this tutorial is great, learning a lot. however I am having trouble with creating shapes with smooth curves like shown in Step 7.

    Thanks!

  14. Gladys says:

    I loved this tutorial, I’m gonna try it. But the sad part is that the links for the resources are not working anymore..
    Thank you!! :)

  15. Pablo says:

    I don’t see how this qualifies a tutorial.
    It really goes wrong at step 3. If I follow instructions it just wont work. So.. author seems miss some steps there or they are poorly explained.

  16. Pablo says:

    Founds out the problem. It says to change color levels on both green and green copy, but if do that color info is lost.
    What you are supposed to do, is change level on green copy twice.

  17. Sussie says:

    Hi,

    I have a problem with the last step, when I choose luminosity for the gradient map, and lower the opacity and the fill, it leaves the image hardly visible?

  18. Mustafizur Rahman says:

    Very nice :)

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