Based in Philadelphia, self-taught digital artist Rob Shields explores a wide variety of commercial and self-initiated projects.  To see a selection of his latest work and find out where his images are on display, visit his website.

Taking a picture of a pretty girl and giving it the wow factor with some clever details is one of the most popular uses for Photoshop. In this tutorial, Photoshop guru Rob Shields shows how to execute the style with real flair, applying digital painting techniques, compositing and layer masks to stunning effect.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

We will explore how layer masks can be used to refine the dripping paint effect and why digital painting is essential for cutting out the model’s hair successfully. You will also create custom gradients, learn perspective blurring to add depth, as well as applying background textures.

The goal is to create an image that is based in photo manipulation with accents of airbrushing and digital paint. You’ll find a graphics tablet very useful for some of the finer detail of this tutorial.

The model shot and background texture have been kindly provided by Photostogo and can be downloaded from our website. The stomach image is by NotSchockSchwere at DeviantArt, and strawberry images are available for free from Stock.xchng.

Time to complete

5-7 hours


Photoshop CS3 or later

Project Files

Click here to download this tutorial's project files

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