Royal Portrait
$34.99 $24.99
PRO CartCart
PRO Banished Mermaid
Difficulty: Advanced , Length: 3:30 Hr
• Create a Background
• Add Texture to Painting
• Building a Concept
• Adding Light Sources
• Advanced Coloring
• Matching Light and Color

Anything you can imagine you can create. From building a background made of many different photos to creating a mermaid, this 3:30 hour advanced Photoshop Tutorial has it all.

Bonus included action specially designed to make compositing your images together easily!

‹‹ View More PRO Photoshop Tutorials

Bundle and Save

Price for both: $34.99 $29.99
PRO Tutorial: Banished Mermaid
PRO Texture: Stone and Concrete

Making of The Mermaid

The background plates for this image were taken on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago during Hurricane Sandy. The waves were so intense that I was almost knocked down several times just trying to capture them. Not to mention that this was at 5:30 in the morning and that I had to cross a police barrier just to get the opportunity. It was freezing, and I was completely soaked after just minutes but it made for an amazing and one of a kind background.

The Mermaid was photographed in our Chicago studio, using strobes to match the lighting from the background. We set black seamless paper on the floor to mimic the shine of the ground, and set up a giant 86″ paabolic reflector behind the subject.

Once hair and makeup were done it was time for our mermaid to get into the scene. Because there was no wave in the studio, we set up a v-flat as a barrier, and I stood where the wave was and splashed water onto our mermaid. Her legs were bound so as not no separate and she was propping herself on an apple box to mimic the rock. It was an amazing photo shoot and an amazing day.

Afterwords we photographed several fish including salmon, trout, and a beta. The beta won out for the best tail, and with a bit of Photoshop everything came together to create what you see here.

Bonus: Included Compositing Action!

Creating a Mermaid Tail

A mermaid is hardly anything without a spectacular tail. In this advanced photoshop tutorial we spend over an hour going through every detail on how to create an amazing tail. Learning these skills will allow you to create anything you can think of. We don’t focus on just one technique, rather the skills necessary to achieve these effects.

Getting a human to blend into a fish is no easy task, and you are going to be along for every step of the way. Including the original sketching and painting of form through coloring and adding scales and texture. Follow along and bring this mermaid to life.

A Body of Scales

Sometimes subtlety is the best way to tell a story, and we wanted the skin of our mermaid to be covered in a light layer of scales. Not enough to distract you from the overall image, but enough to give the person who looks close a visual feast.

We create scales to add to the body, fins on her arms, gills on her neck and ribcage, and even webbing between limbs.

Amazing Hair

Learn how to merge several photos together into one image to create the perfect head of hair. In this case we wanted it to be wild and whipped from the waves, but you could use these same techniques on a glamour portrait.

Adding a Light Source

To make the background much more stunning we add a giant light source. This can be very hard to do because light effects everything it touches. Once you add your light source, you then have to color and light everything else in the image. You also have to make sure that all the lighting works with the image, and that light decays at the same rate throughout the image.

We go over our exclusive techniques for checking to see if your light is behaving in the right way, as well as provide a free bonus action to compare!

Coloring the Background

This landscape is intense! To keep it from being too distracting we colored it in a monotone that would bring out detail in the mermaid.

Follow along as we go through every detail on how to color and dodge and burn a background to bring it to the fullest potential.

Adding Details

It would be nice if birds just happened to fly by exactly when and where you wanted them to, but more often than not you have to take care of those details on your own. We go over adding great details such as birds, sand and gravel, light shimmers and more!

The Perfect Color Cast

There are many things to take into consideration when creating a composite, and one of the biggest is how light and color interact with one another. In this tutorial we show you what to look out for when creating your composite and how to make sure everything fits.

In this case we brought the reflection of color from the tail onto the water underneath. Taking care of these details can make the difference between a good and great image.

Final Image

Bringing everything together to create this stunning image is a lot of fun and an amazing learning experience. No where else in the world will you be able to learn these skills and techniques to bring your ideas to life!

  • Eddie Sebastian

    OH wow… I remember being in Chicago on one of the coldest on record , where you could walk under the waves on that pathway, cause they were frozen
    . So cold they shutdown the city…. This is a great looking Pro, Aaron… fantastic work as always, BrO!

  • Dianna McDonald

    So fantastic!

  • Cassie

    HELP! When I download the file I am unable to extract the tutorial images- It says failed. Any way to get the images again?

  • Naved Ahmed

    fantastic JOB !!

  • Aaron Nace

    Please email us here, we will get you a new copy, thanks!

  • Sushil Sharma

    Brilliant Stuff

  • Sushil Sharma

    love the tutorial

  • Amanda Johnson

    Holy cow 3:30 hours! That’s longer than lord of the rings lol. I know what I’ll be doing all day today! Thanks Aaron for these awesome tutorials :)

  • Karina Boissonnier

    My winrar also says it fails and that it’s unable to extract but i got everything and there wasnt any problem :O

    PS. I watched the tutorial it’s AWESOME ! Thank you Aaron !

  • Alfonso Bonvini

    Just bought it~! Very happy to have managed so till the sale was up!

  • Jacqueline Dover

    This was my first Phlearn Pro tutorial and… I loved it! Aaron, thanks for keeping it entertaining but even more than that, thank you for sharing your charmingly obsessive attention to detail! I thoroughly enjoyed watching your process. :) This kind of video is so beneficial to those of us who work alone and wonder whether we’re paying too much or too little attention to various aspects of our work. It was cheering to see that yes, it really does take this long, it’s not just me, and I also realized I need to pay a lot more attention to light and brushwork. Your “check” action is Brilliant! I’m just getting into compositing beyond merging exposures and I know my work is going to be so much better just for having that tool in my workflow. Thanks!

  • Anjani Millet Photography

    Aaron, don’t you ever get tired of being so dang awesome? And that promo has some badass music to it. Tick another of your bodacious accomplishments off the bucket list. And mine, too – I was – seriously – just about to hire a professional mermaid. Ha! Ha to that! Thanks, Aaron! – Anjani Millet

  • Luc-Andre Paquette

    When it takes longer to fake a photo than to shoot it on location is it still Photography or Image Manipulation?

  • niverik2k

    yes, because it takes a split second to take a picture. Just the act of developing film takes longer to do than to push the trigger to take a picture.

What is Phlearn PRO?
Watch this short video that explains what Phlearn PRO is all about!
Included in your PRO
Video Tutorial
Each PRO Tutorial includes a full length video tutorial, most are over 2 hours long. Pause, rewind, and fast forward at your command.
Source Images
We provide you with all the images you will need to follow along with the tutorials. We even give you brushes and actions if necessary.
All PRO Tutorials are available for download onto your computer. They don't expire, and you can take them wherever you go.
After completing your payment securely via PayPal, Google Wallet, or Credit Card you will receive your download link instantly via e-mail.
Our Amazon S3 Servers are just waiting to send your tutorial. The best servers mean the fastest download speeds, getting you learning faster.
PRO Bestsellers

Adam Elmakias

Phlearn got me out of my own slump. I was looking to learn some new PS skills but all the resou...
More Phlearn got me out of my own slump. I was looking to learn some new PS skills but all the resources online seemed to just be rehashed and reposted, then I found Aaron/ Phlearn.

I have learned a great deal from the site, but my favorite part is referring other people in a similar situation to the site.

Scott Goodwill

I found many new and unique editing and photography ideas that have opened up my portfolio into...
More I found many new and unique editing and photography ideas that have opened up my portfolio into so many new and fun directions. I really like how every element isn't just pitched as a new trick or gimmick but a group of many final elements that are layered to create a wonderful image. There is so much useful information on the web but it seems as though it is very condensed and clear on this website. The tutorial and clips are very easy to follow and help you produce your own creative ideas.

Chris Owyoung

As a photographer, I’m constantly working to hone my skills so I can create better and be...
More As a photographer, I'm constantly working to hone my skills so I can create better and better work for myself and my clients - Phlearn Pro and the community here are an essential part of this. I've spent countless hours and dollars on photography classes but I recommend Phlearn time and time again because I haven't found a better, more up-to-date, or affordable source of Photoshop knowledge than what's available right here.

There are plenty of talented photographers who are mediocre teachers and plenty of gifted teachers without photographic talent. Aaron Nace doesn't have either of those problems

Mark Jones

Living and working in South Korea, it has been very difficult to learn photography and photosho...
More Living and working in South Korea, it has been very difficult to learn photography and photoshop. Without any friends, or photographers to talk to, I would spend hours browsing the internet, desperately trying to find any tidbit of information that would help me improve. All I could ever find were scraps, the odd tip, conflicting information everywhere, critique without advice, and it was as frustrating as it was confusing.

By chance I stumbled onto Phlearn one day, and was amazed at the idea of the Phlearn PRO's, jaw dropping, beautiful images that I could watch being created from start to finish. I bought one immediately and stayed up late watching it. I was blown away! I now own more than ten. Not only did I learn vast amounts of new techniques, I learned how to look at my own work with a more critical eye, I learned how to make my images believable, and I set a higher bar for myself. As a teacher myself, I really believe Aaron is a great instructor. He's always engaging, fun, infectiously enthusiastic and he holds nothing back, he makes mistakes, he corrects his mistakes, overcomes problems and he will show you what is possible if you keep trying and work hard at your craft.

Sure, other photographers offer 'tell-all' tutorials, but I have found these to have less information and a much higher price tag. Here we have a community. Wherever I am, I'm only a few clicks away from the best photoshop tutorials in the world, and I come back to them often. I'm not a professional photographer, but I love to create and Phlearn has given me the power to create images I am really proud of.

Andrea Peipe

I had been editing with Photoshop for about 1,5 years already when I discovered Phlearn! It was...
More I had been editing with Photoshop for about 1,5 years already when I discovered Phlearn! It was pretty much at the beginning and if I remember correctly, I found out about it via Aaron's Flickr stream. It must have been around episode 25 or so and ever since then I have been hooked! I loved the old episodes and I love the news ones and I esp. love the Pro Tutorials because it makes you understand the magic behind it!

I used to watch tutorials on YouTube and could never really follow them too well so I gave up eventually, most of the time pretty frustrated because I wanted to improve my skills! Phlearn has showed me the inside secrets of Photoshop and how easy it can be if you know certain things! Thanks to Phlearn, I have improved to a whole new level and I will forever be grateful for that.

You rock, Aaron and Phlearn! <3

Mark Soon

I have only recently come to learn about Phlearn and Aaron Nase and boy, has this combo changed...
More I have only recently come to learn about Phlearn and Aaron Nase and boy, has this combo changed my world!

Having come from a CGI/3D animation background, I've long used Photoshop but in a very different way to how PS is used in photo manipulation and photography. The thing about Photoshop is that it can be used in so many different applications across multiple industries. These Phlearn tutorials are just so incredibly helpful even to a seasoned PS user such as myself.

I take my hat off to Aaron for being so generous with sharing his vast knowledge and experience with the software. I have never come across any other teacher who has been so thorough and in-depth with instruction. The tutorials are low-cost and Aaron has been so kind to offer this exceptional education to the general public.

If you have always dreamed about being able to perform magic with your photos, then you will not be disappointed with what Phlearn has to offer!

Pye Jirsa

Aaron Nace and the team at Phlearn have put together some amazing resources for photographers a...
More Aaron Nace and the team at Phlearn have put together some amazing resources for photographers and digital artists.

For photographers and artists interested in learning advanced shooting and Photoshop techniques, Phlearn is second to none.

Dru Lester

To start, Phlearn is amazing! I have searched the web over and over trying to find good photosh...
More To start, Phlearn is amazing! I have searched the web over and over trying to find good photoshop tutorials that actually went into depth on the tools and techniques for creating the type of photos I see in my head. About six months ago I found Phlearn and am so glad I did. I'm only on my 3rd Pro Tutorial, but have already learned more than I could have imagined in that short time.

Aaron Nace is such a good, fun teacher and really breaks down every step and tool used to create his photos. Not only that, but he shows you how to do things several different ways so you can pick the one that is most comfortable for you. If you're questioning wether or not to get a Pro Tutorial or if Phlearn is right for you, the answer is YES! Thanks for all you do Aaron and all the others who make Phlearn what it is.

Daniel Cook

Phlearn is one of those exceptionally rare places where you can learn from someone (Aaron Nace)...
More Phlearn is one of those exceptionally rare places where you can learn from someone (Aaron Nace) who is so good at what he does that he doesn't need to be teaching. But Aaron teaches because he loves to and he's a darn good teacher to boot.

The "PRO" tutorials on Phlearn over-deliver every time, sometimes reaching over 3 hours of pure content. These tutorials are vastly superior to anything available on any of the subscription learning sites or in any college.

The latest "PRO" tutorials have gotten scary good. It should be pointed out that only a hand full of people in the world can produce the level of work that Aaron does now. Naming these tutorials "PRO" is appropriate as he's a consummate pro at composite work rivaling photographers like Gary Land or Dave Hill.

Professionals like these aren't teaching their craft at any price. Yet through the Phlearn episodes, Aaron takes you by the hand and and gives you an education you can't get anywhere else (believe me I've looked).

Jandrie Lombard

Hi, my name is Jandrie, and I am a phlearnoholic. I have downloaded a total of 30 Phlearn pro&#...
More Hi, my name is Jandrie, and I am a phlearnoholic. I have downloaded a total of 30 Phlearn pro's, and every single one of them has been great. They go into detail, from start to finish. They don't only show the cool things, but also take you through the less exciting bits of making a great image. I have learned to take my time, and think about the image, does the image make sense.

The Pro Tutorials also showed me what was possible in photoshop, which is very handy when doing a shoot, so you know what you can fix afterwards. It also shows a great attention to detail. Since watching phlearn, my images have improved out of sight, and it's all down to Aaron and the team. I would say it's almost like having an unfair advantage. I can thoroughly recommend Phlearn PRO.
Random Tips

Want to shoot on a micro level but don’t think you have a lens for it? Take a wide angle lens 18mm or so and hold it to your camera backwards, get close to the subject and control focus with your distance. You will have no aperture control so work exposure with ISO and shutter, but you will be now shooting with a micro scope!