Create a Winter Scene with Photoshop Brushes and Textures
A while back I did a Fun Photoshop Blog called “Just Plain Fun Brush Effects!” and I find it is still one of my favorite pastimes, especially when I seem to lack that creative urge. Here is a fairly detailed “how to” on creating the first image. So here we go.
1. First start with a New Document – I used a 10 ” X 8″ size at 240 Resolution. This whole image uses the same gray blue color.
2. One of my favorite places for textures and brushes is from ShadowHouse Creations – almost everything he has is great. On a New Layer I loaded up his Tree Brush Set 2 and started with The Woods brush in a dark blue at the largest size. Clicked once in the foreground of my file and my image is started. Add a layer mask and paint out (in black with a soft brush) some of the bottom edge so it is not just a straight line across but looks like a little snow drifting.
3. Added a New Layer below the foreground tree and selected his Tree 9 from the above set – clicked once near the middle of the image to create a horizon with some soft trees showing by setting the layer opacity to 33%.
4. I had to add another New Layer and selected The Woods brush again. Click once, Free Transform (CTRL+T) and line up with the treeline in the first layer you created. Add a layer mask and paint out the tree sticking in the image so it is just a line of grass across the lower image.
5. In Tree Brush Set 2 add the deer on its own layer on top.
6. In ShadowHouse Creations Birds Brush Set 3 are the Birds – 14. Add on their own layer.
7. With Obsidian Dawn’s Grasses and Plants brush set, use grasses 1 and 8 and at different sizes to cover the sharp edge of the foreground line.
8. Create a group for all the brush layers -all but the background layer and name it Objects.
9. Next I added a sky image above the bottom background image. Add a layer mask and paint black on mask to cover all but the sky. I set the opacity of the layer to 19% as I did not want much color in the sky, just a feeling of blue. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer to further light it up if it is still colorful.
10. Highlight the Objects Group layer and add ShadowHouse Creations Texture ST-8 to give a really old feel to the image.(Go to File -> Place, locate your image, and click Enter. Adjust texture to fit image and click Enter to set. Finally right click and in menu select Rasterize to get rid of the Smart Object.) Set layer to Linear Burn mode at 63% opacity.
11. Florabella’s Snow 3 texture (the link is to her Facebook page with the free download on the left side) layer was added under this layer to add a snow falling effect. Highlight the Objects group and then follow the steps for bringing in a layer as in parenthesis above.
12. The last step involved adding two OnOne PhotoFrames (see sidebar for website at my Tidbits Blog) using Taufer Texture 05 and grunge 09. This gave the cool effect of snow appearing on the tree. A layer mask was used to remove too much white from the tree areas in places that did not look natural. So I don’t eave you at this last step and not know what to do if you do not own OnOne PhotoFrames, try BittBox Ice Texture 2 set to Soft Light blend mode, another one of my favorite textures and gives a very similar effect.
It looks like a lot of steps but it becomes very intuitive once you get going and a lot of fun.
For another winter look, here is an image I created just from brushes and posted on my Tidbits Blog back in September. Since it fits the theme for this blog, I am going to add this image again and give you the resource information to use some of these beautiful brushes. Same basic workflow as above: creating a New Document, adding objects and brush effects (in slightly different colors this time) on individual layers above, and adding interesting textures and frames or styles as a last step.
This images use tree brushes from Winter Trees by Melbrushes and Trees from c4grfx brushes. Textures from Shadowhouse Creations Old Canvas 4 and the Glitter Brush Set by Obsidian Dawn.
I guess you can tell I like to use tree brushes. This look will take a little more time but I love the overall calm feel to the image. Used the same tree brushes as above, from Winter Trees by Melbrushes and Trees from c4grfx brushes with a light gray-tan color. Then I added the best Flood Filter around – the Flood Filter from Flaming Pear to create the water reflection. I have not found any other plug-in that simulates flooding and reflections as well. In this case a simple reflection in Photoshop could be made with a Wave Filter applied. To create the foggy look, BB Brushes Fogs and Mists 12 was used in a soft white. A layer was added just above the white background to add a slight texture effect using a light tan color with Seu Davi brush 775 applied to the upper sky area at only 6% opacity. This layer was copied (CTRL+J) and flipped vertical so it shows up in the reflection area and the layer was set to 9%. Next a New Layer was created using beautiful gradient from Graphix1 Tainted Love gradient set called Contrast 30. The gradient was lined up to separate the sky from the ground and set to 49% opacity. Last, the little lights in the reflection were created in Topaz’s new Star Effects plug-in (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) but a similar effect could be created by using Frostbo’s Snow Drop brush (love this brush!).
I am constantly amazed at all the beautiful brushes available for free download and what great images you can put together with very little effort or artistic skill. Download these brushes and textures that I have indicated and see what you can put together. The sources listed are some of the best resources you will find and their websites are packed with lots of other goodies…..Digital Lady Syd