Ciara is an illustrator working from Open in North London. Since graduating in 2008 from studying graphic design at Brighton she has gone on to build up an exciting portfolio whilst working with an extensive range of clients.

In 2011 Ciara co-founded a new venture called Many Hands which is a online store offering customers the chance to buy exciting contemporary prints and products.

This tutorial from one of our favourite collage illustrators Ciara Phelan is all about mixing analogue process and digital photography to create a vibrant and playful photomontage.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

The theme here is this summer’s fashion: soft clean textures with clean lines to which we’ll contrast brighter vintage floral elements, pastel paints and vector shapes.

You’ll learn how to use a variety of tools in Illustrator and Photoshop to layer scanned elements with photos and hand-made textures, and how to use adjustment layers and masks to unite the colour palette and composition of an illustration.

I’ve used a model shot from iStock, but it would be easy to substitute one of your own with a similar feel. The same is true for the vintage flowers I used from my own collection. You can download the watercolour and Indian ink textures I created below though.

Time to complete

3 - 4 hours

Software needed

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator


Download the model shot

The watercolour and Indian ink textures can be downloaded here.

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