Digital painting “is my life, it helps me escape to another world,” says concept artist Neville D’souza, whose present addiction is painting characters.

Currently living in India, Neville says he channels a lot of emotion into his work, which is mainly created using a mouse and Photoshop CS3, as well as 3ds Max and Illustrator. 

In this tutorial, we’re going to take a simple model shot and transform it into a spitting, crackling beacon of fire.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

Using some of the most common Photoshop tools (like Smudge, Dodge and Burn) Neville D’Souza shows how to create a complicated artwork without relying on third-party plug-ins.

This lesson will also give you good practice with Photoshop’s Levels and Adjustment Layers – which can be extremely powerful if used properly – as well as Layer Masks and Blend Modes to create stunning, and yet sometimes quite subtle, effects. 

Time to complete

13 hours


Adobe Photoshop CS3 or later


The resources for this tutorial can be downloaded from here.

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