Want to mix beauty with the grittiness of an urban environment? Digital artist Neil Duerden breaks out Photoshop and shows you how...

For this tutorial, I am going to create an urban-looking piece that will combine elements so it captures both the gritty nature of the urban environment, as well as elegance of the model. The masterclass will kick off with a few skin retouches, and then move onto the halo effects, which are a lot easier to create than they look, and great fun to do.

You will need to find suitable photography if you want to create a similar image, so decide upon a theme and gather your resources before you start. This means you have to plan your theme before you start and maybe do a few sketches just to get the ideas flowing.

Step 1
Pick a piece of suitable photography as your base layer. As we’re going to lose a lot of contrast and colour, I recommend a face.

Step 2
Draw a clipping path around your image, making it tight around the skin tones and a little looser around the hair. As this is only going to be used as part of the workflow, not as the final clip, don’t spend all day drawing around every strand of hair. Alternatively, use some masking software such as OnOne Genuine Fractals or Vertus Fluid Mask. Make your path a selection active area.