Photoshop tutorial: Paint with fire

Ignite your imagery with techniques that will create fiery forms.


Read next


RH said: so had a go at this and despite the vague description and some I think missed steps i came up with something that looks vaguely similar

Charles Bearded Angel Lingerfe said: Not a great tutorial. I'm in a class right now following this, and the directions are barely clear. I am getting an interesting result, but am still having trouble. 3/10

Jasmine Winston said: This is the most vague tutorial I have ever tried to do.

Siobhan said: I used this tutorial for this lord of the flies poster, very useful!

Siobhan said: I used this tutorial for this lord of flies post, very useful

Senan said: I need more practice

Senan said: need more practice

Senan said: hmmm..

Guest said: This fire painting work is excellent! The best I've seen so far. But the instructions are too hard for me to understand and follow. I think it'll be even greater if you can create a video tutorial with illustrations and the whole workflow for it instead. Thank you.

Christopher said: The b/w-looking flames in Step 4 shows the "Stroke" layer in NORMAL mode, but AFTER dodging & burning. In other words, his 50% gray swoops & flames from Step 3 are now shades of light & dark gray (b&w) because he dodged & burned them. But they don't look like this if the layer is Color Dodge mode. So that explains the black/white or pink/red confusion, anyway.What he means by "tighten the effect," I have no idea ...?

Jake said: Shane Elliott's response is very helpful. Talking about how you clean up in the bathroom isn't necessary and serves no purpose but to hurt others' feelings. A pen is a very useful tool for precision- I'd agree that it would help if you don't have one already.

Rash Ed said: what happen if you could smoke in every place you want?not joking,s happen by electric cigar sorif, Clipping Path.

Yulian David said: men te agradeceria si haces un videotutorial y lo subes a youtube, o a donde sea pero un video, ya que hayn algunos pasos que son muy confusos. gracias

Christian Kun said: Paul, Have u tried to deselect it before? As I know with the selection on we cant smudge the gray line. Hopefully this helpfull

1080pete said: I didn't have the comments loaded from newest before I made my first post. Apparently I'm not alone at all on how confusing this is.Please help explain??? Super cool project I want to complete.

1080pete said: Hopefully someone will respond here. I think there's some missing instructions in this. The first few steps are not real clear about the layers and how many we should have. Double clicking on the background layer does free it up but hitting OK doesn't hide it. Just renames it. The resizing is OK but whats after the comma? Extended the image up from the bottom? I don't suppose you'd add more clarity to this?

Janine said: Please write a tutorial with more specific steps! This is so confusing, i cant even go pass step 2. Want to try this so badly

Trond Halvorsen said: Both alt-click and doubleclick make it a layer. Alt-click bypasses the dialogue box.

CJ.MR said: good ~

zig zag to said: your adds are all over the tuts.. pretty crap really

Umar Jamil said: yeah got that! Thanks

BONBON said: Can someone please explain the steps 12-16 properly, I'm lost...Oh yes and im usin cs6


kagebunshin said: Steps are not specified or cleared. Like you should have grouped the other layers or make a group like that. Can't follow the instructions though. Sorry. I didn't get the "Double-ciick on the Background layer in the Layers panel to free it up so you can place layers beneath it. Hit OK and hide that layer." Usually you press alt+left click the background to make it to a layer right? And in your next pictures the white background is your main while the other layers are sublayers or grouped above it. Please explain thoroughly, though some might have gotten it, some can't.No offence or anything. Hope your feedback would be clear too though.

Bijutoha said: My first click on the arrow made me so happy , because I thought this is the new experience to see a tutorial . But next I disappointed. Dear ! need more details by your creativity .

Dana said: Fantastic detailed tutorial! My 10 year old has been wanting to work on this technique and this tutorial was perfect for her!!!

Jannatul Fardoush said: Massive attractive and creative tutorial, never seeing paint with fire, always I saw usual tutorial as name or design by fire. Really awesome one shared by you.

mishael said: can I email you somrtimes, Neville?

Theresa Jones said: This is my same problem. Did you ever figure it out??

abanoub said: wtf ?make it easyier please ..just explane the steps with photosstep py stepor make a videoplease >.

dan said: Awesome work but terrible tutorial. Steps dont match with the pictures and there's a lot of steps missing. Wish This tutorial was full and didnt lack important information

Tf1erce said: When opening the picture ive noticed that the canvas in this tutorial is a bit larger and i cant quite estimate the measurements. Can anyone please share which pixelxpixel they used or whatever measure they used. Thanks x

treanny said: In step 4 when i set my stroke layer on blend mode colour dodge it isnt black/white like the picture its like a light pink/red. Is this normal or have i done something wrong? Help.

tejashree said: stuck on step

albert said: hey, im having a problem with the step 14, ive done everything that says there but my "yellow" layers don't turn out to be yellow, they end up been blue, please help

Gabel said: go back to the first page of the projectthere you will find the downloading link for the picture

Harvinder said: Hi, Good creative even i tried to do by myself but i didn't exactly as you describe. Please help to improve step by step tutorial. Thanks

Shane Elliott said: They guy who wrote this tut said it takes 13 hours to complete. Patience when you try. :)

Shane Elliott said: I explained this in reply to Paul Craven above, if you are still interested.

Shane Elliott said: I find it much easier if you are using a pen instead of a mouse. The pressure tip makes a pretty significant difference.

Shane Elliott said: With steps 2 & 3, you are trying to create a 50 px gray outline of the image on a separate layer so you can smudge it. Draw it by hand if you have to, but you shouldn't have to.Once you magic wand the white part of the provided image and then invert the selection, you will have a selection drawn around the model. Create a new layer. Fill the selection with any color you want. Create the 50 px gray Stroke set to 'inside' as instructed. Change the "Fill opacity" of the layer itself to 0% (this is just below the Opacity % on the Layers palette, it says "Fill: 100%" so change it to zero). This should just leave you with a 50 px gray stroke visible. Right click on the layer and choose "Rasterize Layer Style". Boom. You have 50 px wide gray outline of model on a separate layer. Now you can start smudging. It is must easier to do with a pen tablet than a mouse because you can use the pressure sensitivity to feather more easily.

Teebee2604 said: I'm stuck at Step 2! How do you get the the stroke shape on a separate Layer, without the whole of the figure as well?

Arth said: To put stroke on different layer. keep the image selected and create new layer. now apply stroke, you will have stroke on a different layer now. :)

Arth said: If you have so much experience then why cant you figure it out lol!!!!!I have only 5 years of PS experience and I figured out how this pic got so clean edges and nice curves :P Use eraser to erase thick lines and then continue using the smudge tool!!! and no matter how hard you try you never get same results!!

Lirpae said: nice

Anon said: Not great. Some nice ideas but to much info missing

Ali said: Great.

Luovahulluus said: Very confusing and difficult to follow. You need to be more specific with your instructions and maybe post a picture on what layers you are creating.

Anon said: Excellent work!

Anon said: Oh yes, obviously the problem is with the information posted and not your inability to follow instructions, or your artistic level. Many people can paint like Picaso, yet they will never paint a Picaso. Your results will differ regardless of how many years of PS. Just because I can wipe my ass for 30 years, doesn't make me a proctologist

Tbone187 said: Thanks for the tips mate...great work btw...

SnowMage said: beautifull!!!!!

Spencer Zettersten said: Cool. But... My end result looked alot cheesier then this. More specifications would've been better.

Gourabguddu said: need more specifications

Aesiz said: yes, at least i guess, i did it in cs5. To obtain the stroke on a new layer you should use color range ancreate it, hope it helps you

D R said: I tried this and the result was nothing close to the image here. Something in the steps seems fubared I think maybe (could be me though)15 years of PS experience.

Donna Baxter said: omg...never mind...ID10T error :)

Donna Baxter said: The link only gives me the image, not the instructions for the project. Help?

Umar Jamil said: Where is the image located?

mike hudson said: i need some help here...i cant seem to open any of this i doing something wrong....thanks

Paul Craven said: Can this be done in cs6, whenever i do the stroke, how do i get the stroke on a diferent layer. at present it won't allow me to work on the stroke as it stays on the image.

David Bradforth said: The resources for this tutorial have now been linked above. Apologies for any confusion.

Tomas said: pls...i just can't find the 24165569.jpg . where is it located in the download zone?

Amaekil said: lol ignore me, i skipped the 1st step as i added my own back ground :P

Amaekil said: looks awesome but on step 5 you say to turn off the ‘Gradient’ layer & select the ‘Color’ layer??

jan said: where is the download zone please?

Andrew Ho said: Where is the download zone?

Paulo Mendonça said: amazing work !!!!!

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Read Next...