In this photo manipulation tutorial, Jennifer Cirpici explains how to create a figure that appears made from water, working from a stock photograph. 

Water is a difficult element to blend, but Jennifer’s tutorial proves it’s not as hard as it looks. She shows you how to achieve a stunning end result with many basic blending tricks, including painting lighting and shadow, and setting up a focal point with a gradient. She also shows you how to make a ‘rain brush’, handy to paint with if you don’t have stock images of water.

The effects here are often used in advertising for drinks or perfume, as water represents freshness, cleanness and the quenching of thirst.

Step 1 In order to transform the model into a figure of rain, we will need to get rid of all of her body, leaving just the clothes. Start by duplicating the layer containing the stock image provided (26251879.jpg), using Cmd/Ctrl + J or Layer > Duplicate. Make the original layer invisible. With the Pen tool (P), select her stomach and a part of her hand, zooming in to perfect your cutout. Then right click > Select Inverse (or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + I). Now the whole image, except her stomach, is selected. Add a layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Step 2 Now select a large area of the rain, then copy and paste it, creating a new layer. Move this new layer under the mask and name it ‘Rain Stomach’.

Move the rain to sit under the area you cut out. Then select the mask by clicking on it in your Layers panel. Go to Select > Load Selection and check the Invert box to select only the stomach area.

In the ‘Rain Stomach’ layer, do Select > Transform Selection and scale up the selection slightly. Copy and paste it above the mask in the layer stack. Blend it in nicely with the Eraser tool (E) and a soft brush.

Repeat step 2 on the rest of the model’s body. You can remove the rest of her skin and hair by selecting it and filling the selection with black in the layer mask. If you have trouble copying from the layer with the mask, use the original layer we started with.