Photoshop Tutorial

Banished Mermaid

Difficulty: Advanced , Length: 3:30 Hr

Some mermaids dream of living on land. Others are banished there as punishment from the gods of the sea.

This image captures the beauty of mermaids and the ferociousness of nature. It’s aggressive and dynamic yet soft and vulnerable with subtle features. This Photoshop Tutorial is much the same, a complex composite to create an entire scene while not ignoring the tiny details that make the image believable.

$24.99

Learn advanced compositing techniques in this 3:30 hour long tutorial. Photoshop expert Aaron Nace will teach you how to build a concept, create a background, add fish scale texture to skin, match light and color, add light sources and so much more!

Click on the arrows above to slide through the PRO Tutorial Highlights. 
Each slide is accompanied by a description of what you will learn in the tutorial.

Banished Mermaid

Click on the arrows above to slide through the PRO Tutorial Highlights.
Each slide is accompanied by a description of what you will learn in the tutorial.

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? parabolic reflector behind the subject.

Making of The Mermaid

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? parabolic reflector behind the subject.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Body of Scales

A Body of Scales

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.

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.

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!

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!

Before jumping into an edit in Photoshop it is important to understand your goals for the image. Editing an image for retouch is very different from creating a composite image. In the first section of this tutorial we open the image in Photoshop and create a plan for editing. 

Outlining your changes will help you keep track of your editing process and insure you don’t miss anything.

Intro and Planning

Before jumping into an edit in Photoshop it is important to understand your goals for the image. Editing an image for retouch is very different from creating a composite image. In the first section of this tutorial we open the image in Photoshop and create a plan for editing.

Outlining your changes will help you keep track of your editing process and insure you don’t miss anything.

It is rare that you will photograph everything you want in a single frame. Sometimes people’s faces need to be swapped or you may need to add details from a different image. Learning to composite images together will allow you to take the best parts of different photos and combine them together, saving time on the photo shoot and giving you more creative options.

Learn to Composite Photos Together

It is rare that you will photograph everything you want in a single frame. Sometimes people’s faces need to be swapped or you may need to add details from a different image. Learning to composite images together will allow you to take the best parts of different photos and combine them together, saving time on the photo shoot and giving you more creative options.

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.

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.

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!

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!

When it comes to shaping in Photoshop it can be difficult to know what to do. In this tutorial we cover what should be avoided as well as tips on using the liquify tool. In under a minute you can drastically alter the appearance of your subject.

Shaping with Liquify

When it comes to shaping in Photoshop it can be difficult to know what to do. In this tutorial we cover what should be avoided as well as tips on using the liquify tool. In under a minute you can drastically alter the appearance of your subject.

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.

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.

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!

Final Image Details

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!


What's Included In Your Download

    • Complete Photoshop Tutorial – Over 3 Hours of Step-by-Step instruction
    • Original Images – Original Images Included for Practice and to follow along
    • Custom Phlearn Action - Amazing compositing action to speed up your workflow

Beginner Compositing 4 Pack

This special Beginner Compositing 4 Pack of PRO Photoshop Tutorials is perfect for someone who wants to learn Compositing in Photoshop fast!

Hand-picked tutorials teach retouching, compositing, coloring and Photoshop basics in a fun and easy to follow way. This pack includes:
• The Beginners Guide to Compositing
• The Best Way to Cut Out Hair
• The Perfect Composite
• Island of Morel

$109.99 $74.99

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