Digital collage: Floral Portrait Step by Step in Adobe Photoshop | Marcos Morales | Skillshare

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Digital collage: Floral Portrait Step by Step in Adobe Photoshop

teacher avatar Marcos Morales, Graphic designer, Digital collage lover

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Searching images


    • 3.

      Cutting the portrait


    • 4.

      Masking the portrait


    • 5.

      Tip for cutting flowers


    • 6.

      Making the collage adding the flowers


    • 7.

      Making the collage arranging elements


    • 8.

      Making the collage details


    • 9.

      Exporting for social media


    • 10.

      Final comments


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About This Class

In this class we will make a floral portrait using digital collage techniques in Adobe Photoshop. We will start from the empty photoshop canvas until we get a finished exported illustration. I will explain the process of making it step by step. You can download and use the same images that I use or work with your own.

If you want to check out my illustration work, you can go to or to for my graphic design studio work.

Meet Your Teacher

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Marcos Morales

Graphic designer, Digital collage lover




A graphic designer and illustrator originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently living in Bergen, Norway. Digital collage lover since 2007. 

If you want to check out my illustration work, you can go to



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Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: hello in this class will make a floral portrait by using digital clash techniques in a dollar photo shop. We'll go from the empty Photoshopped campus until we get a finished exported illustration. I'll explain the process of making it step by step. You can download and use the same images that I use or work with your own. You can later share it in the project gallery and get feedback from me and on their users. This'll Glass uses techniques that are quite simple, so don't worry if you're a beginner. My name is Marcus Mariota's I'm a graphic designer and illustrator originally from Argentina and currently based in Germany. During the last 10 years, I've been working in many different projects for motion graphic, sprained editorial objects, and since 2015 I've been given a small workshops throughout Europe, which is super fun for me. I'm sure in these classes to help you find your own style by practicing different techniques and guiding you in the digital Kalash work. I hope you take this class and let's start 2. Searching images: you can use any image you want, but these are some tips that might help you find an image that will make it easier for you to work with. I'm right now at unspool ash that come purifying thousands of free images that you can use for your collages and I'll type studio portrait. So I get him interests that have a nice, sharp studio quality tip number one will be to find images are sharp. We have to be able to see the edge between the model and the background. This will make it easier to cut. So, for example, out tried to avoid using images like this one as the subject. It's mounting in the background. It's going to be really hard to find Beatrice did. Number two will be to find a model or, ah, an image that has not too much of a messy here. Why, because separating messy here from the background. It's a challenge that we will not cover on these classes specifically, but there thousands off good hair removal tutorials or making selections with hair online that will explain you step by step. So, for example, this will be quite a challenge for our for our class? Um, yes. So I will try to avoid using this kind of hair for now or if you use it. Um, we have two options. The background could keep the same color of the background that the photo already has. That's ah solution. Or trying to find images where the hair, like this one is very contrasted from the background color and tip number three trying to avoid using images with low quality or were the subject. It's very far away from the in the frame. So if it's too small in the frame, that will make the edges first hard to cut in the beginning. And second, they might blurry a little bit or pixel ate when we try to, uh, recites them. I have already downloaded a couple of images that you can use in your project, and you will find it at the Project and Resources Tab. You can download them and use them to practice in this class, so we already have the portrait for our Kalash. Now look for the flowers and I mean flicker, and I'm going to five flower vintage. I really like flicker because you confined images from old books, all libraries and collections that have some images are not what you will usually find and go, for example, and you can also filter by license. So we're going to go to commercial use and modifications allowed. And now we're going to start opening images that we like this one. See, Thats wand. Give it a try, click and opening a new tab. You can spend hours doing this and you will see here this download Aiken and always go for a regional. That will be the biggest size. As you can see here, it says public domain. This one also public the main and this ice it's quite nice. You can spend hours looking for images, so go ahead and look for the ones you like. I have already downloaded some images that I think could work for you. Um, if you want to use them, there are also in the project and resources time. So there you have, um, but feel free to get whatever image you want 3. Cutting the portrait: Now we have our model and we have some flowers. It's time to start making the collection. I'm going to use this image for now, so I'm going to drag and drop it on my photo shop icon or right click open with a double photo shop. So I have it here, and first thing I'm going to do is to select this. There are many ways of selecting info to shop. What we're going to use now is the pencil. It's Ah, tool that needs has a learning curve. But once you dominated, it's an awesome to It's my favorite to win 40 shop, so we're going to click on the pencil and how it works it. You make one point and the second point you hold it, and now you drag it without letting go on your click so you can start making curves, and these girls can generate a path or a shape for our selection. Will need to use a path. So up here, make sure it's s path, and I'm going to start as close as possible. See, here it's as 100%. I'm going to go a little bit closer, and I always go a couple of pixels inside the subject. So if I have ah, background, then I don't get some of this big cells that would change the color. And I will see a line all around my subject. So I go. A couple's off excels inside, so I click. Hold in drag, click Holding Try. It doesn't really matter if I'm losing 23 p excels. I'm going to speed this up, and once I'm done, I go to the first point, and now thes blue line shows my path. What I'm going to do is to press, common or control enter. So now we have a selection. What I can do now is to copy based it whatever I want to. So I'm going to press common sea or edit copy, and now we need to make our campus, so we need to make a decision on how big it's going to be on what we're going to use it for . I tend to use the print presets and make my files at least a three, because I never know if I'm going to print it someday or not. So I rather work be and then resize, for example, from one to share it online. Then do it the other way around. Make something small and today I want to print it. I cannot do it. So I'm going to choose a three access here size 300 Resolution and Archie. So I'm going to go create. And now I can go to edit Paste and there we have it. You see, there are some details here that they're not perfect, but we're going to solve them afterwards. So I'm going to resize this. As you see, every time I have my selection tool, I click on it and I have these transform controls. That's because with this tool selected, I have show transform control and auto select layer. This is super helpful because at some time you have many, many layers and you don't really know what you're flicking on. So with this, I immediately get to transform controls and I can resize it, turn it around, do whatever I want to. So our first element, it's already on the page. Now we're going to start working with masks 4. Masking the portrait: No, we have the model in our cameras. What we're going to do is to make a mask. So before what we did was to copy and paste her into our campus. Now we're going to use a similar process. But instead of copying and pasting and losing pixel information from all around here, we're going to just tell photo shop. Okay, there are some parts that we want to hide in some parts that we want to show. So I'm going to go back again to the pencil and I'm going to get closer. I know that the part that I'm going to get rid off it's this eyes and nose part. So I'm going to make a shape. Let's say I'm going to come from here now. Really? Sure, But that's fine. And I'm going to start going around trying to respect, like, the face shape. No, really, sure that, and to try it, it's not really working, Czar Breast, Kamen said. See, and doesn't matter where I close it, it's closed. So now again, common. Enter and I'm going to click on my layer, and I'm going to tell photo shop. Okay, I want to make a mask now, but usually when you make a mask with this photo shop will think. Okay, He wants this part. This is the important part. I'm going to hide the rest. So now we have to tell Photoshopped the opposite. This is the part we don't want. I'm going to show the rest. In order to do that, I'm going to press Ault or option and go to this little I come here, make sure you have your layer selected and click on it while holding the cult or option. Perfect. So now we already have a hole there. I'm not that sure that this is the shape I want. I might fix it a little bit when I start dropping the flowers. Um, but for now we'll do this same thing. We can use that other parts of our Kalash. So see, now we have in this layer this part in black, which is what's hiding, and the rest off this small second layer, it's Oh, what? So what I can also do is to use any brush m get my black color that comes by default harness 100%. And look at what happens when I paint there is part parts that are being hidden, and if I paint with white, it comes back. So this is very cool. So when you're not sure if what you're doing, it's going to be a final decision. You can use masks because you can always come back to to the rial image to save somehow. So what I like doing. Sometimes it's grabbing. The last two make a random selection and now, making sure that this is selected, I come to the brush. No, I paint so it gives it a little bit off handmade cut and not so digital. But for now, we're going to leave it like this, and we're going to go and get all our flowers, get them, cut again with the pencil and drop them in this campus. In the next video, I will show you a little trick that I used to select and cut things faster. 5. Tip for cutting flowers: I'm going to give you now a small tip or trick for you to make faster selections. This doesn't work with everything bad for images like this. It's quite helpful. So I'm going to drag and drop on my photo shop icon. This image flowers for and you see these image have a lot off hard parts to go with mental . This would take quite some time. So what I'm going to do is to use the Magic one in some other tools to make a selection off these flowers without having to go around. So I'm going to go to my magic, want to or the W and with my layers selected, I'm going to click on the white part, not on the flowers, but on the background and see what happens. I have a selection that I can improve by whole holding shift. You see, now we have a plus. I can if I press, although we have ah, miners depress shift to keep on adding parts that are not selected. It's quite okay, doesn't matter. So no, I have selected the white part when I have to tell photo showpiece to select the flowers because now we have the background, so I'm going to go to select in verse. And now I can copy, pasted, edit copy that it faced. And here we have them. So we'll see that there are still parts that are not perfect like here and here. But the worst part is that we have a wide line old around our selection. We need to get rid of it. So I'm going to the lit this and I still have my selection going on here. The marching ants. So I'm going to click any off this election tools. So I come back to my selection properties and I'm going to right click and go to select and mask. And now I'm going to give the radius one pixel, see what happens. See how now the marching ants went inside the shape and I can also refine this election with the shift edge checking goal out or inside my selection? Let's say that's fine and I don't know, OK and edit copy and it placed. See, now we got rid off that white line. And of course, if we still have some off these things, I can quickly use any selection toe like for example, the Marquis two or the lasso and I could just go around it, and they needed these takes quite some steps, but once you get used to playing around with those options, you'll find that it's quite simple to use. So here we have it. That's a small tip for cutting flowers faster or any other image. 6. Making the collage adding the flowers: I have already cut some flowers and leaves on based them in my converse. So what I'm going to do now is to hide them, because now we don't need them. We're going to focus on this one again. We're going to use masks as we want some parts to be on top, off the face and some parts inside the face. Some help. So I'm going to select this, um, get these flowers and move it a little bit until I'm happy with the position and Barrows. And now I'm going to make a mask, so I will make sure it selected and go down here. Click on it and we have a white mask. This means that it's showing everything, but now there's some parts, for example, down here that we want inside the face. So it looks like it's coming out from the face. So what I'm going to do is to press common and hold it and click on the mask that we have on our model. And look what happens now. We have the marching ends going around here. If I take a brush now and click on my flowers mask, as you see by default. It's black and white. And look what happens if I paint with Black, I'm going to start hiding. So these already makes a little bit off the effect that it's inside, right? So I'm going to press common D to de select. I want to check it out there. That's fine. And now what I'm going to do is to makes some parts off it come out. So it makes this effect that it's like a little bit on the border. So I'm going to go again to my mask and changed white and no paint. So this one could be. I think I'm going Teoh, hide this one. Someone two years later, another one there. Or maybe not how Interest cover press common zero. To see my whole campus thing that's looking quite fine. We'll see if we can try to bring this'll if out. So I'm going to press the brush and I'm going to just take a look off the shape of this live hour paint with White to recover it to see how it is. And now I can think, OK, shoot. I go in manual mode and paint the's black. I think that could work. Or I could use any other selection toe to make a selection to work as a border before I paint. So, for example, usedto last one tool and now I can paint with black and they'll make it's a little bit easier common D to de select. And there we go. That kind of works. There's this small white part that I don't like somewhere into the white. I think there perfect. So now we have these going on that looks like it's a little bit inside. What we need to do now is to give this a border. So it has the effect that there's a little bit of, um, that the edge has a little bit of depth. So how can we do that? There are many ways to do it. This doesn't mean this is the correct way. But we can also get, um, these max shape, press common and click on it and no have this election, and we can use it for our own benefit. What I'm going to do is to grab any off the selection tools so I get into my selection properties and not going to Neuf with the arrows and see what happens now. It's a little bit on the left and give us a perfect shape that we could use to make this border. You can also go a little bit higher if we want. Let's let's leave it there and now I can go ahead and create a new layer and put it on Dernis. It is so now I will grab brush and I'm going to paint. So these marching ants are holding our paint inside our selection, and now it's a matter off trying to. If you want to make it realistic or not, that's your choice. So I'm going to pick a color from her face by holding out or option. Now I will try to paint until I find something that I'm happy with. Paint a little bit. As you see, I'm using a soft brush with harnessed to zero. This is just oh, pick a caller from here pain barrier itself. Lee, you're in another tone oppress common D to de select in common zero to look it from outside , and I think that could work for now. It's fine, so we can now rename this layer this model flowers. Okay, so we have it under control. And no, I'm going to again use the mental. But instead of having a path, I'm going to use a shape. Why? Because I wanted to be filled with color. So I am going to make a shape. Howard. Just guess it here. Doesn't matter how bigot gets on this part. I just want shape going to go to my selection tool. Look for it. I'm going to drug it behind everything. Look it from outside now. If I double click it, I can start playing with the color. And again, this doesn't need to be realistic. This is a matter of what you like and what you don't like. You're gonna also we could call them from here. I think I'm going to go with something not so crazy. Maybe a skin tone. Things outlook quite fine. And now we can apply a grade into this. There are many, many ways to do it. We can do it manually by painting with a big brush, very soft, big brush. Or we can try to make a Grady int on this shape that we have. So I click on the shape while having my letter selected and now we have somebody returns to change. I'm going to select the Grady int one. And as you see here have my grading controls and the angle. So I'm going to move this little will. So I guess where the tones are. Example. Here, this is the dark one, and I'm going to double click there and again, I'm going to select the color You're darker. One into prison. Okay. And double click on this little square and pressing No work for now. So you know, we have our floor is gone from inside out to face. We have our inside of face and no, we're going to start adding some details, shadows and some other things to make this collection it good. 7. Making the collage arranging elements: we're going to continue now by using the layers that we have hidden and start your in. It's some style and to try to adjust them to our composition. So I'm going to bring this one behind her. Maybe it's time to organize the layers a little bit because it's going to start to get messy. Um, no, I'm going to try. This is a matter off what you like and what you don't like. I'm going to try to see how elements fit on the page and how I can kind of merged them together, for example, by covering some parts of them. Um, I like putting things behind some things on the front, so this is a matter of playing around a little bit. I also really enjoy taking elements. For example, this one that I already have a press ault or option. I dry and drop it right. Click on the layer mask and the lead layer mask, so I have a complete and now I can reuse it, put it behind, make this small mess off flares that you don't really identify that it's exactly the same. We get smaller and let's try something I really like this Red. So I'm going to try to give a right ish tone to these flowers, so I'm going to double click them and go here to color. Overly. I can go here to the color and pick one of these ones. So you know, one. And now I can start playing with the blending modes you don't need to memorize or to know exactly what each one of thes makes. With the time when you use them, you kind of have an idea what they will make. But you can go trying. I'll say, I'll use this and multiply or even normal and take the A pass iti a little bit down. So you kind of guess that it's one of these flowers Kind of like that. And I'm going to put this one behind thing that looks better. Okay, this is a matter of trial and error, So going to use this to I can also duplicate this one. Make it smaller. I can go to edit, transform, flip horizontal and put them together the same with this one. I can do placated by holding old, make it smaller, turning around a little bit, put it behind so it can be mixing with other elements the same here. Perfect common zero to see it from outside. Perfect. So I'm going to press common iss, um, to save it. I do that all the time. Once you get used to it, it's It's very cool to keep on doing it. So you don't loose your progress if your computer crash is or I don't know, whatever happens. And now we're going to add a background to this. What I like to do is to press the eye to get the color picker, choose a tone from one of the elements of my composition, then make it softer, go to my background layer, impressed common delete and see it automatically feels the background with the color. That's one way of doing it. You can also make a shape layer. You can come here, choose to call him from up here and make a big shape and take it to your background. You can never click it and select the color you want. There are many, many ways of doing photo shop, and there's not one right way to do something. It's more how you get used to do it and what it's better for your workflow 8. Making the collage details: we're almost there. I'm going to add some final details. So what I'm going to do is to create a new layer so you can go to layer inhuman layer or do it from down here. Okay and get a brush and I have selected many, many rushes. If you're paying for the other is description. If you right click, go here and then to get more brushes, you will be taken to the handover page and you'll be able to download many, many amazing brushes. You I work menu. You take some time to check which ones you like and then separate them in. Folders, for example, have brushes selected for style. These are the brushes that I use the most, and it's a little bit like with funds with for a freeze, you end up using just a couple of them. You can have thousands, but a D in the ones that you always use are just a couple. So I recommend that you take the time to select those you like and keep them in one folder . So I'm going to use this one now. It's a cow's real watercolor with pull brush to, and I'm using a welcome into us. Um, tablet. If you don't have one, you probably won't be able to notice the change in the sensitivity right now, if you press a little bit, it just paints a little bit. And if you press harder, you will get mawr off it. So I'm going to do it again, You layer. Now I'm going to just at some details, some brush strokes make this bigger. Maybe something on the back. And this is up to what you like or what you don't like. But I like adding some extra things made by drawing. Not really sure about this one Won't delete it making you layer and do it again. My brush looks a little bit better. Good again. Cool If you don't have Ah, a pen tablet. Wacom Whatever Brian use You can also go online, for example to fix, obey, not come and look for a water color. You have a lot of images that you can download and then place them on your kalash to fake the watercolor effect. Or you can also go for free brushes, water color, and you will find websites like Russia see, or many others that offer free brushes that you can install on your computer. Um, so, yeah, you have some alternatives. So this here and just at some text going to go to my text tool and ride flowers in my head . It isn't two lines. Just a little sub told detail there it's not necessary. Take down the veracity of little bits, merges as you see I'm using the same color. Asked the background. I think it makes everything look in the same atmosphere when you pick colors from elements that you already have on and shape here. I don't know. This is just decoration. Okay, So I'm quite happy with how it looks and yeah, I think we we have it. 9. Exporting for social media: So we have our Kalash Now let's say want to, for example, export this to use it on instagram or online? Whatever. What you can do is to go to file on you. And now I have some save presets off sizes that I you should use. You can also do it by hand. So let's say you have a square post 10 80 per 10 80. So what I'm going to do now is to grab everything. There are many ways to do it, but in this case I'm going to do it like this. I'm going to grab everything with my marquee tool. I'm going to go to edit copy marriage. What this does is that it copies as you see everything now copies older layers. Now I'm going to paste it. I tend to resize things slowly I several times a little bit smaller Now, As you see, the background is different. This is white on this is this yellow and as we have used a plain background with no texture , no nothing. What I can do is directly go to my background layer, press I for the color picker and selected. Now it's on the background could be that it's on the front. So you just press here to change the position and with my background selected address. Press common delete and there you go. So now the background has the same color as your image. Now you can go to file, save us and you can say posed square. And you say we does shape their maximum quality Cool the same way you can export it for a story or whatever size you want to do it. In this case, it's very easy because the back home we used as Onley a plane color. If you would have a texture, things will change. Since, as we have used just a plain color, it's very easy to make the background continue. 10. Final comments: we go to the end of the glass. I hope you could follow along and make your own Kalash. If so, please great a project insurance so you can get feedback from me and other classmates. I relieve that practice in my making. Many styles can help you find your own, which I think its final goal. I'll be teaching more classes, explaining different Kalash styles in the near future. So if you like this class and want to follow me Oh, really appreciate it. Thank you for making it this far and hope to meet you in another class.