Step 3 Ensure you put each brush stroke on its own layer. To make the smoke more realistic, select the strokes close to the arm and use the Warp tool (Edit > Transform > Warp) to play around with the positioning of the smoke. Use the Eraser tool (E) to delete parts of the smoke around the arm to give the composition more depth. 


Step 4 Add a large letterform in front of the figure to add visual interest. I’ve used a ‘K’ in a font comprised of straight lines to contrast with the organic movement of the other elements.

Next we’ll do the paint effects. Download the stock image of a red bird by rml-stock from bit.ly/cm5cgX. Load it into Photoshop and mask out the background. Copy and paste the image on the right side of the stock and rotate it to an interesting angle that works with the composition, erase the rest. 


Step 5 The red paint is still not convincing enough. Use the Liquify filter (Filter > Liquify) and play around with the image by adding swirls and pushing it in different directions. This will add more flow to the image.