Painting Landscapes in Photoshop 4

Part 4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

In this final part of Painting Landscapes in Photoshop. I’ll show you a step by step of how I painted Riverbank 1 and a few more brushes I created. I’ll also show the steps to creating clouds and the water.

First, here is the final painting.

Riverbank - Kathie Miller

When painting in Photoshop, I don’t take an existing photograph and manipulate it. I paint in the traditional way as though I was painting on canvas. My first step is to sketch it out.

Painting landscapes in Photoshop tutorial - Kathie Miller

I just need a general map of where the different elements go. This will be on a layer above all other layers to refer to when I need to.

 

On a new layer, I added a gradient from dark blue down to light blue. I don’t need to cover the entire page.

Painting landscapes in Photoshop tutorial - Kathie Miller

 

This is the brush I created for the clouds.  I changed the color and size as I went. Occasionally using the smudge tool for a softer look.

 

 

Painting Clouds

Painting clouds in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

On a separate layer above the sky, I start with a color almost the same as the sky but a bit more gray for the shadows.

 

 

Painting clouds in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

I then chose a color slightly lighter with a little violet tapping this color here and there. I then give this step a very subtle motion blue to give the clouds movement.

 

Painting clouds in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

I reduce the brush size and choose a lighter color. I have not used pure white in any of these steps.

 

 

Painting clouds in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

The final step is the highlights. I used a near white with a hint of yellow. Then go back over it with a smudge brush to soften it all down.

 

 

 

The sky complete

Painting clouds in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

 

 

 

On a new layer, I start creating the farthest hill. This required another type of brush. One that would give me the illusion of tree canopies.

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie MillerThe farthest hill complete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trees on the next hill needed yet another type of brush

 

 

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

The next hill complete, now on to the trees on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

I used the same brush as above but changed the size, scatter and of course the colors.

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees on the left used this brush

I used this in a variety of sizes and colors. These trees are closer and needed to more detail.

 

 

 

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

Here’s a close up of the trees on the left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting the Water

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

 

After the top of the painting is done, I merge all the layers, copy it and turn it upside down then move it down, then move it up to match the shoreline.

 

 

 

 

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

Reflections are not always a perfect copy of the scene above. It depends on the angle of the viewer. So you may not see all of the sky or all of the trees. The reflection usually mirrors the distance and slowly gets darker as it comes closer. The reason for this is as it gets closer to the viewer, you can see more straight down to the bottom. So on a separate layer above, I need to add a gradient from transparent at the top to a darker color at the bottom. I then lower the opacity until it looks good.

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

I give the water a horizontal motion blue. How much depends on how glassy you want the water. Using the smudge brush, I pull the colors into each other here and there to create the ripples.

 

 

Painting landscapes in Photoshop - Kathie Miller

 

I add details with a tiny round brush for more ripples, then soften them a bit so they aren’t so harsh.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this 4 part series and that it inspires you to try it. Once you understand the dynamics of creating brushes in Photoshop, the sky’s the limit and you can create anything from fur (another demo) to dragon scales.

If you have any questions about this blog or maybe I left a step out and you got lost, feel free to contact me and ask away. I’m always happy to help where I can.

 

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