Category: Creative images

Altering reality in Photoshop

Design ideas and design process

The creative images task brief called for 3 images which used Photoshop to “alter reality”. I was inspired by a recent concert photoshoot I did to produce a series of cohesive images which embodied the atmosphere of concerts.

This image uses the clone stamp tool to create a kaleidoscope effect/double vision effect.

The second design employs the motion blur filter to generate a feeling of speed and movement.

The last image utilizes masks to form a double exposure effect, this allowed me to merge to elements. A close up of a person throwing their head back, eyes closed, enjoying the music whilst contrasted with the raging crowd.

After asking friends and family for feedback, people felt most drawn to the kaleidoscope image. I also felt it was my most effective design idea. To create this design I used the clone stamp tool to reproduce the subjects face again and again in a circle formation. This took inspiration from the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody music video scene.

Original Image
Using clone stamp to create subject clones
Bohemian Rhapsody music video scene








I used a soft edge to make the clones blend into the background and adjusted their transparency. I then set the blend mode of the clones to screen. Once I had my clones in place, I adjusted the colour balance in adjustment modes to make the original subject stand out more than the clones.

Applying ‘light’ blending mode  
Colour adjustment mode









To add a grunge 90’s punk effect I overlayed a photoscan copy texture and applied the screen blend mode again. This added some film-like grain and texture.

Applying a photo-scan texture and using the screen blend mode









Software Tutorials

YouTube is plethora of priceless information when it comes to Photoshop tutorials. I utilized many videos, facilitating my visions for the 3 designs. A key concept which cam up again and again in my design process was blending modes and how to apply them. I used these in all three images, gaining most of my knowledge from the YouTube video below. The video creator explained how to intuitively apply blending modes in different circumstances and how to recognize which mode works best, which I found invaluable since I had never worked with them before. I’ve used Phlearn’s videos before for other tasks in this module and always find them intuitive and easy to follow.

These two videos were also really constructive. One taught me how to use motion blur to create a sense of motion. Another taught me how to utilize the clone stamp tool. I had never used the clone stamp tool before, yet this tutorial (kaleidoscope effect) made me realize its potential and how quick and easy it makes copying certain parts of an image. This was crucial in my design because it allowed me seamlessly blend copies of my subjects face into the background with the exact same selection.

This last tutorial I used to create a double exposure effect, which is a commonly seen design concept however it was my first time producing one so I found following a YouTube video extremely beneficial. This video explained how to use masks as well as applying blend modes to specific parts of an image. In the future I would like to develop my skills in photoshop to be able to manipulate images in non-destructive manners and also how to incorporate the healing brush as it’s  a great tool for performing retouching and object removal such as removing unwanted people from the background.

Design resources and articles

My Pinterest inspiration board

I started off by scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, searching for inspiration and anything which would spark an idea. After a lot of investigating, I came across one creator who’s work really related to the brief of ‘altering reality’. Nick Fancher is a photographer and designer from Los Angeles, known for his editorial portraitures and work in the music industry. His work has a kind of alien, abstract surrealist feel to it, which was exactly the type of effect I was looking to achieve in my designs. I was able to relate to his work through his commercial work for music artists and band posters, as they have similar conventions to concert photography and posters.

Metal Hammer | Lamb of GodChelsea Wolfe - When Anger Turns to HoneyAmy Lee | Evanescence

Los Angeles | Columbus Editorial, Music, Commercial Photographer (

I looked at his portfolio and blog, where he posted videos and posts showing his process – how he edited his photos and how he navigated his ideas and final choices. I found these blog posts fascinating. They inspired me to push myself to see if I could produce something as surrealist and visually interesting as him. Another resource I found very helpful was a more technical website. 46 Best Photoshop Actions With Creative Photo Effects (  was a website I found myself revisiting often to browse the extensive list of creative ways to edit photographic images.

Learning throughout the module

After reviewing my quiz results and comparing my work in the autumn module to the spring module, it was clear that I have grown in confidence using the Adobe Software. I feel able to fully bring my ideas to life, rather than feeling my creativity was being restricted by the software. I have definitely improved my skills in Illustrator as it was something I hadn’t ever come in contact with, and my quiz at the start of the module noted that I was still a little behind in that application. Design Skills has allowed me to delight in self-led research and prove to myself that there are enough resources out there to be able to fix problems myself and independently navigate my learning journey.

Photoshop: Creative images task

Design ideas and design process

My first design idea for this task was to combine black and white with coloured elements. Nearly all the images used are my own that I had taken before, so I decided to pick the one that would be most visually interesting using this effect. Therefore I picked a photo that had red elements which I felt would really stand out against the black-and-white filter. In order to create this effect, I used one of the tutorials provided in the brief by adobe, which explains how to combine black and white and colour elements without destroying the original image. My second design idea was to edit an element of an image to manipulate reality. My thought process was to cut out the inside of the tree, using the quick selection tool and replace it with an image of a snowy landscape, to make it seem like the tree leads to another place. My third design idea was to remove the background of an image to again, manipulate reality. My idea was to use the quick selection tool and layer masks to remove the background and replace it with an image of a starry night. However, I feel my most effective design is my fourth idea which was to distort an image by adding a glitch effect.

For this design I watched a tutorial I found on youtube to help me create the effect. I started by turning the image into a smart object and then decreasing the saturation so that the image appears black and white. I then duplicated the image and adjusted the colours in the advanced blending options.

Decreasing the saturation to make the image black and white.

I then moved the top layer to the left slightly to reveal a glitch effect.

Adding the glitch effect.

I then wanted to add more distortion to the image by selecting sections of the image and adding a wave effect.

Using the wave tool.

I then selected more sections and pulled them out to make the image look cut in and out of, and below is the final result.

End result.

Software tutorials

For my first design idea, I used one of the tutorials provided in the brief by adobe, which explains how to combine black and white and colour elements without destroying the original image by using layer masks. I found the tutorial useful as it provided step-by-step images with short descriptions of what to do underneath, which allowed me to go at my own pace. For my second design idea, I watched another tutorial provided in the brief which explains layer masks and multiple non-destructive ways to edit an image. I found the tutorial useful as it provided me with useful knowledge on the multiple ways I can use layer masks that I didn’t know before. For my third design idea, I used the tutorial provided in the brief on how to use layer masks to remove a background using the quick selection tool. The tutorial also shows how to deselect an area with the quick selection tool by holding down the alt key, which I found very useful. I also used my own tutorial I found on youtube to help create the glitch effect on my fourth design idea. The tutorial goes through how to convert a layer into a smart object and how to change the colours in the blending options to create the layered glitch effect. You can access the video here:


Design resources and articles

Additional resources I used include an article I found online that goes through the different ways you can edit photos on photoshop. It goes through all the different elements from adjusting colour balance to using the spot healing tool. You can access the website here: This website helped refresh my understanding of photoshop as I hadn’t used the software in a while and had forgot some of the basic tools and adjustments

I also used this article:  to help me with my magazine double page spread. The article helped me understand the basic arrangement of a double-page spread and what common components appear.

I also used the website pixabay to add any extra images I didn’t have in my camera roll, such as the starry night image.

Learning throughout the module

Overall, I have now learnt how to edit images in photoshop without destroying the original image by using layer masks. I have also learnt how to use guides in InDesign to help me layout my work in a neat and concise order so that all my image and text elements are aligned properly. Furthermore I learnt how to use After Effects which is a completely new software for me. I now know how to animate text, how to add shapes, how to add effects through adobe bridge, and how to create gifs through media encoder. In addition, through my illustrator task I learnt how to over lap letters, how to re-size letters and how to create 3D text in illustrator, all through researching and watching different tutorials on YouTube.

Creative Images-Photoshop


The task was to develop creative images by editing them in Adobe Photoshop. In this post, I will explain my design process of the three designs.

Design 1: Use of Adjustment Layers

I chose an image of a stack of pebbles after exploring Pixabay. I used this image for my designs.

Stack of pebbles







First, I opened the file in Photoshop and adjusted the colour balance of the image. I did this by clicking on Image, then Adjustments and then selecting the Colour Balance option. 

Adjusting the colour balance of the image

After adjusting the colour balance values, I altered the brightness and contrast of the image. The Brightness and Contrast option is also found in Adjustments.

Adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image

Lastly, I increased the vibrance and saturation of the image. The Vibrance option is found in Adjustments. 

Adjusting the vibrance and saturation of the image

After editing the image, I was pleased with the result as the image was dull and gloomy before. 




Design 2: Combining Black and White with Colour

For this design, I added a Black and White adjustment layer. It is found in the layers panel, in the fill or adjustment layers option, which is situated at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Adding a black and white adjustment layer to the image

Then I selected the layer mask of the adjustment layer and used the brush tool with black colour to paint over the areas where I needed colour. The black colour reveals the image below the mask, while the white colour adds the mask. 

Using the brush tool on the layer mask to reveal the image below

I was quite happy with the final result as the stack of pebbles stood out from the rest of the pebbles. 


Design 3: Blending Modes

First, I created a new layer above the image. On this layer, I added colours with the brush tool on some of the pebbles. 

Adding colours with the brush tool

Next, I changed the blending mode of this layer to Overlay. The blending mode options are found in the layers panel, which is situated at the bottom right corner of the screen. 

Changing the blending mode to overlay

Lastly, I reduced the opacity of the layer so that the colour values match with the colours of the stack of pebbles. 

Reducing the opacity of the image

I was satisfied with the result as now some more colour was added to the image. 


Final Designs

Design 1: Use of Adjustment Layers


Design 2: Combining Black and White with Colour


Design 3: Blending Modes

Design Resources



These tutorials helped me improve my software skills. I discovered all the adjustments layers and blending modes and learnt how to use them effectively. I also learnt about layer masks. These tutorials were very useful for my design process.


During the course of this module, I learnt many new software skills in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and After Effects like changing the background colour, creating logos, formatting texts, editing pictures, drawing vector images, adjusting image quality, creating gifs, working with layers and many more. The skill I enjoyed the most was animating text in Adobe After Effects. These skills are useful for my other projects as well.





Altering Reality with a Couple of Clicks

Photoshop is arguably one of the most popular pieces of design software, used by over 90% of professionals. In the industry, photoshop is primarily used for small clean-ups and corrections, but what can we do with it when unrestrained and opened up to a new plane of imagination?

Design ideas and design process

Design 1

Final Edit
Final Edit


For the first edit I wanted to make sure I had a good grasp on the tools I learned from the ‘Editing Images’ task. I decided to make a collage style image so that I could focus on each of the individual elements, and then putting them together. To begin, I created a new fill layer on the document, and set the colour to a dull yellow colour. Then I needed to create the arch shape, in order to do so, I used the shape tool to draw a rectangle and circle then combined them to create the arch. Next, I created a new layer and made the fill a light sky blue and used a downloaded brush to paint clouds, effectively making a sky background. To apply this only to the arch, I masked it by selecting the blue layer and holding down option (alt), which gives the option to create a mask that only applies to the layer below it, in this case the arch shape. Now that the background was complete, I inserted the main subject. I did this by using the select subject feature on the original image, then copying the selection into my main document. To get his elbow outside of the arch, I created a layer mask and used the brush tool to erase the corresponding mask area. For the flowers, I decided to go with pink and white as they provide a nice contrast to the background while also complementing the subject’s shirt. I places the flowers in and arranged them in a way that frames the subject. To create some depth, I repeated the same steps as before the bring the areas of some of the flowers forward. As a finishing touch I added some text as there was a lot of lank space, as the subject is a member of a group I like, I added some text relevant to that aspect.

Design 2

Final edit

After refining my skills with my first edit, I decided that I wanted to try and create something more complex and more diverse in terms of the tools that need to be used. Whilst looking for tutorials I came across one on how to make a flower face cut out image and chose to follow this one. I started by importing the photo into photoshop and using the pen tool to draw paths around the areas that I wanted to cut out. Then I right clicked on the path and chose ‘make selection’ then pressed M for the marquee tool make the path into a selection, after this I right clicked again and chose ‘copy via cut’ to separate the selection from the main photo. I also created a solid black layer under the original photo to serve as a background for the cut out areas. Next I used a bevel & emboss effect in the cut out areas to give them more depth. I then placed in the flowers I wanted to use and changed the hue and saturation of them so that the colours and brightness would match well with the purples and blues in the photo. I arranged the flowers as I wanted them to appear in the edit, then went to the main photo layer, held down control and clicked on it to create a selection, then went to my flower layer and created a mask on it and pressed control + I to invert it. This allowed me to then use the brush tool to paint over parts of the flower that I wanted to appear i front if the photo, to create the effect that the flowers are growing outwards. To finish it off, I reselected in the visibility for the cut out parts and readjusted them in a way that was distinguishable from the rest of the face, but not too isolated.

Design 3


Final Edit

This edit is far simpler in comparison to the first two, however I thought it was important to not only focus on changing the main subject if the image, but also pay attention to the background and how it can alter the impression a photo makes on us. I started this edit by cropping the original image and placing it into photoshop as well as the new background on another layer. I then went to Select > Select and mask, then pressed select subject, this selected the person in the image, I could then use the sliders to refine the selection if I wanted to. This then created a mask which isolated the subject and brought it in front of the new background. Now I had to change the lighting of the subject to match the background. I did this by going to Filter > Neural filters > harmonisation, which analyses the two images and adjusts them to match. However after applying the filter I wasn’t satisfied, so went back and adjusted the saturation and CMYK sliders until I was happy.

Software Tutorials

As I have no prior experience with photoshop, I mainly used lengthier Youtube tutorials that went into more depth and explained each tool. I had no confidence with the tools, however after watching and following the tutorials, I feel that my skills have made a significant improvement.

As the first edit built practised knowledge I learned from a different task, I did not use a tutorial so that I could make sure I actually understood what I was doing.

This tutorial on how to make a flower face image guided me through the second edit. It mainly utilises creating masks from specific selections so that they can be added to or subtracted from, for example when choosing how much f the flowers I wanted to have ‘outside’ of the face. The tutorial was very clear and showed the progression through each step well, so it was easy to follow along and see the effect of each step which was a major aid in learning about what he use of each step was.

Changing a background of an image was much easier than expected thanks to Adobe’s analysis software, Adobe Sensei. This has made things such as selecting the main subject or the background of an image much easier, and needing less fine tuning from the designer themselves. This also applies to matching the lighting of the subject to the new background using the neural filters. Even though this technology is making these editing process much easier, it is still important that we implement our own flair and opinion, for example when using the harmonisation filter, I did not think Adobe’s result worked, so had to make adjustments myself.

In future projects, I would like to begin using tools that I have not used in this task, and explore further into the full range of photoshop’s abilities.

Design resources and articles


My sources of inspiration for these edits were these projects that I found on Behance while looking through the ‘Photoshop’ tag. I really liked the first two images as they caught my eye straight away with the bold colour palette and layering of the different layers. This helped inform my decision to implement this effect in my own design, as well as the the bevel and emboss feature that is used on the skin cut-outs.

The second two photos are my inspiration for my third edit. I found the one with the mushroom was so fun and really tells a story just from one picture. On the other hand, the cloud edit is dramatic in a way that leaves you to think, and the way the lighting matches both the person and the background made me want to try and achieve that effect in my own work.



Learning across the module

As a whole, this module has immensely improved my design skills and sparked new interests in different softwares. The first part of the module began to develop our understanding of each piece of software, and now we have developed our skills and are practicing them as professional designers would. I think this development is really shown throughout my work, not only in the final piece but especially in the process, the steps that I am taking to reach the end goal have become more refined. This shows me that I have achieved one of the goals I set for myself at the end of the first submission: “I feel that I need to improve my efficiency in using the program by learning more keyboard shortcuts past the realm of basic ones like the selection arrows and the pen tools”. The other goal for myself,  “I would also like to improve on the way I view my own work, because at times I find myself being caught up in details that don’t end up being necessary, and trying to overcomplicate designs to make them look more complex when they don’t need to be.”, I think I have improved on this, but have yet to fully conquer it, though this only means I have more opportunities to learn.

TY1SK- spring board blog post

  1. my design and process: 

For the photoshop task, I decided to choose creative images. This caught my eye as it would teach me how to alter an image in 3 ways. The process started with choosing a photo. This was an important step as I wanted a photo versatile enough so that I would have lots of options on how to alter the photo. Initially I wanted to use a flower as the contrasting colours could be used to make an interesting effect. However, most flower images had little backgrounds with not much going on. In the end I settled on a flower field that had a big sky and lots of colours and shapes. 

The first task was to combine colour and monochrome. I had so many ideas for example, I wanted to make the sky the only thing monochrome to make a nice bold contrast between the sky and the clouds. However, I didn’t think it was very powerful and didn’t really say anything. Instead, I selected most, but not all, of the field of multi coloured flowers and kept them in colour whereas everything else was turned into black and white. This gave the image power with the impression of there’s a silver lining under every dark cloud. I was very happy with the end result. 

For the next task we had to alter the image in some way. I chose to change the colour of the sky; this was hard due to the blue of the sky peeking through the trees. This inspired my next task to change the reality of the image. So, I downloaded some images of dinosaurs and made them into Png’s using photoshop. I then added them to my image giving the illusion the 2 dinosaurs are looking at the flying dinosaur. 

  1. software tutorials:

For this task I had to use many tutorials and articles to assist me in creating these images as I have little knowledge on photoshop. There were 3 main sources I used. 

Getting started with Photoshop in 10 minutes (Beginners Tutorial) 

This explained many things, for example, how to

 use and make layers. This was very important as using layers is possibly the most important tool in photoshop. Without this video this task would have taken much longer. How to Create Stunning Black & White Images in Photoshop 

This was another video I used to teach me how to use the monochrome effect. Even though it technically only taught me how to create black and white images, along the way I saw where the other effects lived and how they worked. 

  1. Design recourses and articles

Over this task I had to gather inspiration I did this via creating a mood board on BeHance. This helped me gather inspiration and adjust / improve my work as I went. An example of this is, when I was creating my black and white task I struggled to put some emotion into my image. By consulting my mood board and adding to it, I gathered an idea of what I wanted it to say. 

  1. Learning across the module

Over the course of this module I have gathered many new skills. Such as, after effects. Learning After effects was extremely hard. The videos on how to use the program were very uninformative and made me more confused. This was certainly the hardest task I had to do. However, by the end I knew how to use key parts of this program effectively. Another key part I learnt was premier pro. This was challenging as it was another program I had never used before. However, there was a lot more Resorces to teach me how to use it. By the end of the screen casting task I moderately understood the software and could use it confidently. 

photoshop- creative images

Design ideas and design process

This task was asked to cut out part of the image and my original image that I have used to make this is a scenery of the mountains. I used the magnetic lasso tool to outline the part that I wanted removed and edited it out with the tools. This part may have been the most challenging and required a few trials before getting it correctly.

This task is where we were asked to produce part of the image into black and white. I chose to only leave the mountains in colour so that it stands out more in comparison to the rest of the image. In order to create this I used the magnetic lasso effect to chose what I did not want in black and white and added it to a new layer, to make the image black and white the tool was found in adjustments.

This is the task where I developed the most on photoshop. In order to create this image I cut out the background and added a new layer to remove the sky out from the image and added and image of the galaxy to replace the sky. For it to look better, I went to image and changed the brightness and contrast. For the rest of the image I used colour balance to improve the image and make it have more vibrant colours.

software tutorials

The software tutorials were very useful for the photoshop tasks as I have never produced either of those before so they were of great help. The first tutorial was about how to cut out part of an image from the whole image. There it showed how to use the magnetic lasso tool properly for when in need to remove some properties from the background. At first I found it quite complicated but with the use and understanding of the tutorial it made it easier for me. The second tutorial was on how to make the background black and white which was also something I had not tried as a tool before therefore it was interesting to find out how. However, I feel that I still have room for improvement for cutting out an image and could look much more accurate in some areas for the next task. The tutorials did help me learn two new skills which was very interesting.

learning across the module

In this module I have learnt several skills mostly ones using the magnetic lasso tool where I used them to cut out images and make images in black and white. These tools were found to be of great use in the tasks and for tasks to come along afterwards. Furthermore, I have never created a table using indesign before therefore this was a new skill I learnt too. One of my favourite skills during the module that I learnt to use was creating a 3 dimensional effect for my logo- initials on illustrator which was fun and fascinating to create.

Creative Images in Photoshop

Design ideas and design process

Combining black/white and colour

For my first design, I selected an image of a girl with paint on her hands and face. I wanted to make the paint the main focus of the image so I decided to keep only those parts in colour.

I used the quick selection tool to select the parts of the image I wanted to keep in colour (the paint on the girl’s hands and face)
I then refined my selection by pressing the ‘select and mask’ tool where I could select or unselect the detailed areas around the fingers to make sure everything was selected
I then pressed cmd+j on my laptop to create a new layer with my selection
Then I locked the new layer, went back to the first layer and selected the ‘black and white’ option to change the background.

Overall, I was happy with this result as the colours of the paint, being the main focus really stands out from the black and white background which is effective when drawing the viewers’ eye. This task helped me to understand how to use the quick selection tool and to see how I could refine my selection by clicking ‘select and mask’ to include the fine details of the hand and face.

Altering the background of a photo

For my second design, I took an image of a dull landscape, where I wanted to replace the sky for a bright blue sky.

main image to change background of
background I want to use
Using the quick selection tool, I selected the sky, then clicked on ‘select and mask’ to refine my selection so that every detail is captured
I pressed cmd+j on my keyboard which created a new layer for my selection
I then moved the new layer over the original one so that it could be seen
I then adjusted the hue/saturation and brightness/contrast levels to maintain the same colour, light and shades throughout, matching the foreground with the background

The results were successful as the image looks realistic as if it had a bright blue sky to begin with. This task helped me to become more familiar with the quick selection and ‘select and mask’ tool and to adjust the hue/saturation levels to match with the original image. To improve, perhaps I could have moved the sky down or enlarged it as you can see the foreground of the background image which does not match the colours exactly.

Altering reality of a photo

I selected an image with a doorway where I could replace the entrance with another world to alter reality
I chose this image of a road with a vibrant sky to contrast with the white of the original image
I cropped the image to fit into the size of the door frame

From here onwards, I experimented with different ways of seeing how I could create more depth into this frame as it seemed to look too flat and simple.

I first tried selecting the frame to create a glow/shadow effect, however, it did not match with the different tones and lighting the image in the door had
Next, I wanted to create a beam of light using the pen tool, filling it in and changing the opacity, however, the lines seemed too sharp and again, there was the issue of flat tones and lighting which did not match the scenery
So instead, I experimented with the brush tool, matched the colours to the ones in the scene, reduced the opacity and drew over the door areas where the image touches to create a reflection as if the door really does lead you into that road
I also created highlights over the floor to create a grand entrance towards the doorway


The results of my third design were quite successful as the brush tool enhanced the features of the sunset as if it was really projecting outside into the room, however, I do think with some more detail, for example, adding more shadow around the door frame could bring a more in-depth alter reality.

Software tutorials

These tutorials were very useful in the fact that they were quick and easy to follow. Even though I have use photoshop in the past,  I was not familiar with all the tools so these tutorials helped me to get more familiar with the quick selection tool when changing the colour of a specific section or changing the background of an image.

How to Color Part of an Image in Photoshop! Partial Black and white in Photoshop! Partly B+W

How to Use Layer Masking: Photoshop | Adobe Creative Cloud

I did not use the third tutorial in my final design, however, it did help me to understand more about lighting and the direction it travels which I incorporated in my third design.

I would like to further my skills and knowledge of using the drop shadow tool in photoshop as this could have brought out some of my designs more and add more depth to it.

Design resources and articles

This page inspired to me choose an image with a variety of bold colours to make them stand out more by making the rest of the image black and white.

I was inspired by this page to enhance the background by changing it entirely to a bright blue sky and match it to the same tones as the original image.

I was inspired by the first two images on this page when creating an altered reality of overlapping a scene on top of another one to look like you could walk through it.

Learning across the module

Across the module, I have improved my skills in photoshop such as using the quick selection tool to remove/change backgrounds. I have also learnt how to use the clone stamp tool to help me remove unnecessary objects in the background. I have also improved my illustrator skills in creating a variety of different shapes for my text using the effects tool. Furthermore, I really enjoyed creating the gifs in AfterEffects and since I had never used that software before, the tutorials I watched were very useful and I feel confident in using this software again.

Exploring Filters and the Brush Tool in Photoshop

Design Ideas

For my week 3 task, I continued my software skill development by creating three creative images in Photoshop. This task aimed to help me to explore further and expand my creativity. From the last term, I demonstrated my design skill on the topic of a podcast cover. Therefore, I decided to accomplish another topic choice for this time. I always wanted to create artworks for my cat, but I never had a chance. This task was an opportunity for me to achieve it. In my last term, I watched a bunch of videos to help with my skill development. Nevertheless, I nearly forgot all of them that make me realised the balance of quality and quantity. Instead of watching numerous tutorial videos, I decided to focus on one skill topic and practise in-depth. 

The first two design are both oil painting portraits of my cat. I watched the same tutorial video but with different authors to compare their approach towards this topic. For my last design, I made it a review practice of what I have learnt in Photoshop so far. I combined all the skill and created the final piece.

Design Process

Design 1

I first used the lasso tool to select the head area and applied a content-aware fill to replace it with the background colour. After that, I cropped the head part of my cat by using the lasso selection tool again. I copied and pasted the head on the painting. I then applied a layer mask onto it and started using the brush tool to erase the unwanted edges. Before applying the oil paint stylisation, I added one more layer of unsharpen mask. It can bring back the details of the image. I further adjusted the level values and colour balance to match with the painting itself.

Design 2

For my second design, I repeated the same procedure as the first one. Dispiratively, I used the stamp tool to copy the collar pattern as one of the clone sources after using the content-aware fill. The shadow underneath adds depth to the head part and creates dimension to the painting.

Design 3

After I decided to use the painting ‘Summer is icumen in’, I then inserted my cat image and started resizing and adjusting its perspective. Apply the oil paint filter to make the image look like having painting strokes on it. It was different from the last two design. I altered the levels of stylisation to match with the original painting at the back. The cat looks like it is floating in the air, so I used the brush tool to draw a shadow and blend the colours. I additionally used the eyedropper to help me get the exact shade in the painting to prevent colour differences.

Software Tutorial

This video is a tutorial on how to create an oil painting portrait for your pet. The author applies different layers of filters to edit the image from a digital form to an oil painting. I followed his instruction of stylising the pet image with an oil paint filter. This filter can add a brushstroke texture to the image and creates harmony with the original painting. Apart from using filter layers, he makes level and colour adjustments to the image to achieve a more satisfying result. The level adjustment depends on the original value of the photo. It is impossible to copy all of his value changes because we were using different pictures. Therefore, I had to adjust to other value levels to see if it works in my case.

This tutorial video has a similar process as the previous one. However, one point that is worthy of drawing attention to is the use of the stamp tool. Although the content-aware fill can approximately cover up the head, the texture near the neck will get blurred out. As a result, the author finishes its touch up by using the stamp tool. He uses the stamp to copy the pattern of the collar and starts pasting them around the neck. For my second design, I followed his way of creating an oil painting portrait. Compared with the first tutorial video, his method can keep the detail part of the collar and makes the whole piece look more well-finished. Overall, I prefer this tutorial more.

The following tutorial is an introduction video of the brush tool. The brush is the core tool that I used in my third design, so it is essential to learn about its functionality. This video talks about the importance of adjusting different brush hardness levels. A softer brush can build up layers and create smooth edges. It usually uses to blend colours. A soft brush can also embellish an image easier. On the other hand, a higher brush level can draw out a sharp line, so it generally uses for outlining. Therefore, I adjusted the brush hardness to 0% when I was blending.

After finishing this task, I am interested in exploring further with the brush tool, especially experiment with different types of brushes. I have experience in drawing in Illustrator but never tried to draw in Photoshop. Accordingly, I will start to develop my drawing skill by practising with the brush tool or watch some drawing time-lapse videos to observe how people utilise the brush tool in Photoshop.

Resources for Research and Inspiration

My main inspiration for this task is the series of oil paintings named ‘Dogs Playing Poker’. General artists usually express an image by painting a human as the character, but Coolidge used personification to paint dogs playing poker. This surreal approach is interesting to investigate and discover. Therefore, I put this idea into my first two designs, editing my cat head onto a human portrait.

All of my designs focus on the style of an oil painting. When I was searching for the image option, I chose portraits that painted during the Renaissance. I found out they usually had a bulky collar that covers their neck. This clothing decoration can make the process of editing easier because it avoids extra works.

Recently, oil paintings with a soft pastel colour scheme have become a famous aesthetic. I have an album on Pinterest where I collect this kind of oil paintings. It is also the inspiration for my third design in this task.

To conclude the topics I have done so far in Photoshop, I tended to research vintage and retro themes. In the last term, I designed a series of vintage podcast covers. For this week 3 task, I used renaissance paintings as my inspiration. It might be a good idea for me to explore other kinds of approaches, such as combining neon colours and glowing effect to create a futuristic style.

Creative Images – Photoshop

This term, we have undertaken various tasks that have allowed me to improve my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and AfterEffects. The task that I enjoyed the most during this term was the Photoshop Creative Images task. I created three images that I am happy with.



For my first idea, I wanted to create an image that altered reality so I chose to manipulate an image of a man floating through space. To start to design process, I browsed for stock images on Pixabey and found one of a man that looked like he is ‘floating’, and one of the stars that I could use as the background. I removed the man from the background of the original image by using the pen tool to create an outline around the figure. By selecting a new layer via cut, I removed him from the background and deleted the layer that i didn’t need. I then brought the images of the stars into photoshop and placed this layer underneath the figure. I then adjusted the brightness, contrast, and saturation of the images to make them look more authentic, and work in harmony with each other.




The second image I chose was of a woman’s face submerged by water and flowers. The effect that I wanted to achieve was flowers covering one-half of her face. To achieve this effect, I used layer masks and the brush tool to make a ‘shadow’. Firstly, I created a new layer mask and selected the part of her face that I wanted to remove. I then imported a picture of flowers and placed it underneath the existing layer so that you could see the flowers through her face. I used the selection tool to scale and position the flowers to fit the image and adjusted the existing layer mask, using the black and white brushes. I wanted to manipulate the image to make it look like the flowers were on top of the water and her lips were overlapping the flowers. I found it difficult at first but managed to get the hang of it after some time (and some tutorials). When I got to a point where I was happy with the mask, I tried to make the flowers look more realistic by adding a shadow. To achieve this,  I used the black brush tool at a large size and 0% hardness to recreate a shadow around the flowers.




This design was my favourite that I created during the task. My idea for this image was to create a feeling of movement within an image. This was heavily influenced by Şakir Yildirim’s image called ‘crawler’. However, I did not follow the exact technique he uses to create his images. To make this image, I found a picture of a boy walking from a side-on perspective and imported it into photoshop. I then used the direct selection tool to copy his figure into a new layer and duplicate this layer many times and positioned them in such a way to look like the boy is walking from one position to the other. I kept one of these separate and placed it in the middle, and grouped the rest of them together. I merged these layers together and used the ‘motion blur’ filter to blur the figures, and did the same thing with the figure in the middle but made him less blurred to make it look like he was coming ‘back to life’, or transforming from one figure to another. the final figure on the far left and right I kept as normal but used the blur tool to blur the edges. This made the figure blend in more with the background ensuring that it didn’t look cut out of the image.



I found the tutorials provided to us helpful to get started with this task. They refreshed my memory and I found it useful to focus on layer masks and using nondestructive techniques in my work.  Using these techniques made it so much easier to go back on my design choices, and saved me from having to start all over again if I changed my mind. I often find that watching tutorials before taking on a task actually helps with my idea generation itself, and inspires me to get started.

I found the following tutorials particularly useful when working in Photoshop for this task. When using the tutorials, I tried not to follow them exactly but used them to get a rough idea of how to achieve an effect, and tried to find my own way of working. Each of these tutorials provided me with a better understanding of how tools within Photoshop work and inspired me to use Photoshop in different ways.


This tutorial on creating shadows in Photoshop came in helpful for my second design with the flowers to replicate the effect of a shadow. I used this in an attempt to make my image look more ‘real’ so  I tried to follow the way light would naturally behave in real life. This tutorial inspired me to think about the perspective of light, and the depth of the image while I was editing. The tutorial covers how to create shadows on different surfaces. he uses the brush tool at 0 hardness, which is the technique is the technique I used in my own work. He also goes over how to create shadows for a curved surface, and more complex objects, which I didn’t need for this task in particular but will come in helpful in the future.


This tutorial helped me to grasp a better understanding of layer masks in photoshop and how to work with two images, one on top of the other. During the tutorial, she used the pen tool to create a stroke to select the parts of the original image that she wanted to remove, and uses the bevel and emboss layer style to make the cut outs look more 3D. she uses a layer mask to remove parts of the existing image to make the flowers appear on top of the face, giving a realistic effect. This tutorial was helpful to figure out how to make the flowers in my own design overlap with the face of the image.




This tutorial introduced me to the motion blur effect in photoshop, one that I wasn’t already familiar with. I found that it was a really simple and easy way to introduce a sense of speed/ movement in my own image which was precisely the effect that I wanted to achieve. It also helped me with using layer masks, cutting out objects with the quick selection tool.


The second image that I worked on for this task was inspired by the album art for Shawn Mendes’ album cover. I really love this album cover and wanted to create an image with the same sort of feeling. I wanted to edit an image that inspired by, but not a direct copy of the original. I used an image of a woman rather than a man, and only including half of her face instead of placing one half on top of the flowers.

There is a collage artist called Marcelo Monreal who also creates similar portraits, of people and flowers which also heavily influenced this design. I find that his work very appealing aesthetically but also in the way it makes me feel. His portrait creates this feeling of contentedness that implies the subject is at one with nature, which is how I would like to think my image would create too.  You can find some of Monreal’s work here

My third design was inspired by the work of Şakir Yildirim. In particular, the portraits created using the liquify tool in Photoshop. Looking at his work inspired me to introduce a sense of movement, or duplication into my design. Yildirim’s work, specifically in ‘crawler’, creates a sense of motion, or almost a sense of transformation depending on how you interpret it. I find it fascinating that you can capture, or manipulate this very real sensation within a 2D image, which is the idea behind my third and final design for this task. You can have a look at Yildirim’s work here and find out how he uses Photoshop to achieve his portraits here

Overall, I really enjoyed this task. I have been able to improve both my skills and confidence with using Photoshop while creating some fun images that I am quite proud of.





Creative Images on Photoshop



POST 1: New Background.

For the ‘New Background’ image, I was aiming for a bright, bold background and a dark coloured foreground. I wanted the background to be obvious that it had been replaced but also blend with the foreground picture so it looks as though it still belongs there. To achieve this effect, I used an image of purple and blue lightning, I wanted the image to still be realistic but also slightly altered. To create this image I removed the original background from my own picture using a clipping mask. I then added in the lightning background and added a ‘hard vivid’ filter on both of the images so the background would blend with the picture. When applying the filter ‘Hard light’ to the photos, It changed the opacity of the hoodie on the foreground photo so it was slightly see through, although this was unintentional I still quite like the outcome of the effect. I am proud of the final outcome and think the neon blue and purple create a striking visual.

Original lightning picture from Pixaby
Original photo – Taken of me
Using the clipping mask
Clipping mask applied
Background inserted
Hard light filter applied

POST 2: Black and white with colour.

For this image design I wanted to create a striking and eye-catching effect using a bright colour and a contrasting  black and white background. To create this effect using photoshop; I created two layers and applied a black and white filter. I erased parts of the second layer (the black and white layer) where I wanted the colour to show through. I think the outcome of the final design is strong and bold; the colours work well together to create this effect. I like how the orange colour of the lanterns ‘pop’ against the background.

Original image – Taken by me
Black and white cut out
Final design


POST 3: Altered reality.

For this design I wanted to create a 3D, altered reality effect. I wanted it to look as though the clouds were coming in through the window, I also wanted to create ‘dream like’ connotations. I achieved this by using soft colours such as light pink and white. To create this altered reality effect, I used a clipping mask on the window image cutting out the window background and replacing it with a pink cloud background. I then added in cloud images in a random order around the border of the photo to create the illusion that the clouds were escaping out of the window and into the room. I added a colour balance to the window image so it matches the soft pink tones in the background. Overall I am happy with the final outcome as it creates the desired dream like effect.

Original window sill image from google

Cloud background image from google
Border cloud image from google
Window sill image with pink tint and clipping mask  applied
Pink tint
Pink cloud image replacing background
Final image outcome



To help me create all three of these image designs on photoshop, I used tutorials recommended to us from Adobe and videos from YouTube. I have a basic understanding of the tools on photoshop but I am not that confident on how to use a majority of the tools. These videos helped me build my confidence when using photoshop tools used to create the three creative images.

When creating the ‘New background’ and ‘Altered world’ images I used the below clipping mask tutorial to help guide me and I have learned a lot about this process as a result. I now know that using a clipping mask helps control the visibility of a layer, It allows parts of the layer to be shown whilst other parts are see through. It also allows for better visibility accuracy, helping to create a polished finish. I will use a clipping mask in future projects. I would also like to use this tool on more complex images which will  help me develop my skills further. Creating these images also helped me develop my erasing skills, this was especially relevant when creating the ‘black and white with colour’ photos and has helped me focus on practicing my accuracy. During the creation of these images, I enjoyed learning new skills on photoshop. The task allowed me to experiment with different colour filters and colour balance as is shown in all three of the images.

I enjoyed creating these images and hopefully I will continue to develop on my creative images skills and use my new skills in future projects. I would especially like to practice more ‘altered reality’ and ‘new background’ styled images.



I took inspiration, especially with colour, for the designs from pictures I found on instagram and Pinterest. I also used images from Pixaby, Google images and my own images to create these designs.


I took colour inspiration for the first post (first created image below) from galaxy themed pictures I found on Pinterest and instagram. I originally wanted to replace the sky with a galaxy background but came across a picture of lightning on pixaby which I decided to use instead as I thought It would look more striking. The three images below were my main inspirations for the first design, I liked the mix of dark and light colours used in all three of the photos which I wanted incorporate  in my design. I was also aiming to create similar  ‘outer space’ and ‘mystical’ connotations that these images convey. The last photo also inspired the third post that I created.

first created image
Inspiration 1
Inspiration 2
Inspiration 3



Before creating the image below (second created image), I looked at a few of my peers work and images from google for inspiration. I chose one of my own images with bright colours so when turned to black and white the colour would standout and ‘pop’ creating a similar effect that the images below convey. I chose to use these images as inspiration as they have bold connotations and use simple yet eye-catching colours. Overall, I think any colour in contrast with a black and white background would stand out but I choose to use a photo with orange as It doesn’t blend in as easily with the background. I would like to explore this technique further using more complex images.

second created image
Inspiration 1
Inspiration 2
Inspiration 3



I took inspiration for the third post (Image created below) from the pictures below that I found on Instagram. I wanted to create a dream like altered reality, I achieved this by using soft colours like the colours used in the pictures below. Originally I wanted to create an image similar to the first picture below, however I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could make a 3D illusion (see inspiration 3). The clouds in the pictures below were a big inspiration for my piece, I wanted them to have a pink soft tint to add emphasis that it is an altered reality image.

Third image created
Inspiration 1
Inspiration 2
Inspiration 3