Now add an image of a sky with clouds. (This one is included on the cover CD and in the Zip file attached, named Clouds.jpg.) Once you’ve placed the picture, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue and Saturation. Change the values to -8 for the hue, -50 for the saturation, and 10 for the lightness. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter. Set the colour to orange and the density to 50%.
Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient Fill, setting the colours to dark grey and black, and setting the style to Radial. Change the blending mode to Color Dodge, then double-click on the thumbnail of the Gradient Fill layer so you can edit again. We need to move the centre of the gradient to create a sunset effect.
Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. Set the colour to black and white, and tick the Dither box. Now change the blending mode to Soft Light.
To create more clouds we need to modify a brush. Go to Window > Brushes and choose a regular brush. Apply the following presets: in Shape Dynamics, set pen pressure to 100%; minimum diameter to 21%, roundness jitter to 30%, and minimum roundness to 34%. Tick Flip X Jitter and Flip Y Jitter.
In Scattering, tick Both Axes, set the scatter to 67%, and count jitter to 20%.
In Texture, tick Invert, set the scale to 677%, tick Texture Each Tip, set the mode to Multiply, and depth and minimum depth to 100%.
In Other Dynamics, turn opacity jitter and flow jitter to 100%, with control set to Off.
Now you can start painting the clouds, using white, with some grey at the bottom of the clouds to add depth.
Now it’s time to place a photo of a waiting girl. This one is from Shutterstock (tinyurl.com/waitingprincess), but you can get a free one from tinyurl.com/waitingprincess1. Extract the background of the photo, and place the girl in your image. Add another layer beneath the girl image, grab a black brush (B), and start painting on this new layer to create a shadow beneath the girl.
Now add details, such as the birds, and select all layers and duplicate them (Cmd/Ctrl + Alt/Opt + Shift + E). With the duplicated layer selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, setting the radius to 20 pixels. Change the blending mode to Screen and reduce the opacity to 80%. This will give the image a nice glow, and make the effect more realistic.
Who: Based in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Fabio Sasso is a graphic and web designer. As well as running Zee, a small web-design studio, Sasso has an arts blog, Abduzeedo, which he uses for digital art experiments and tutorials.
Software: Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop CS2 or later
Time to complete: 2 hours