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How to Create a Queen of Hearts Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

I'm the owner and founder of PIT Designs. I love creating digital presence and creative digital solutions for our clients.

Posted 7 years ago on July 28th, 2016. Last modified on April 7th, 2022

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a Queen of Hearts photo manipulation. 

First we'll build the background with an ornament image and a rock one. After that we'll import the frame and create the effect inside it with the Clouds filter and a nebula image. Later we'll add the model and the crown and blend them together using adjustment layers, masking, and brushes. 

We'll create the cards with different hearts and arrange them to create a dynamic scene. Then we'll use several adjustment layers and paint the red light to complete the final effect.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

  • Background 
  • Rock 
  • Frame 
  • Model 
  • Crown 
  • Nebula 
  • Cards

1. Build the Environment

Step 1

Create a new 2000 x 2000 px document in Photoshop with the settings below:

new file

Step 2

Open the background image. Drag this image into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V):

add background

Step 3

There are some unwanted details on the background, and they might mess up
the final effect. To fix it, make a new layer and set it as Clipping
. Use the Clone Tool (S) to remove the indicated details.

background clone
cloning result

Step 4

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer to make the background color red. Change the Shadows settings:

background color balance

Step 5

Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the background. On this layer
mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the effect around the middle
where the main model will be added.

background curves
background curves result

Step 6

Use another Curves adjustment layer to make the background darker. Paint around the middle to reveal the light there:

background curves 2
background curves 2 result

Step 7

the rock image. Use the Move Tool to place it in the bottom of the
document and use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to narrow it as
shown below.

add floor

Step 8

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the rock floor. On this layer
mask, use a soft black brush to reveal some light in the middle:

floor curves

Step 9

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer to add red to the floor:

floor color balance

Step 10

The floor doesn't look well blended with the background. Create a new
layer and use a soft black brush to paint the shadow on both sides of
the floor to fit the shadow on the lower background.

floor shade

2. Add the Frame

Step 1

Isolate the heart frame and add it to the top center of the background. Use Control-T with Warp mode to bend the heart a little.

add frame

Step 2

Double click the frame layer, and choose Drop Shadow:

frame shadow

Step 3

Make a Curves adjustment layer to match the lightness of the frame with the background:

frame curves

Step 4

a new layer and set the foreground and background to #5c0301 and
#fd0000. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to grab a square and go
to Filter > Render > Clouds:

clouds filter

Move it onto the frame area and use a layer mask to make it fit inside the frame:

clouds masking

Step 5

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the effect, making it appear more subtle:

clouds curves

Step 6

Open the nebula image. Drag it onto the cloud effect and change its mode
to Overlay 100%. Use a layer mask to erase the part outside the frame:

add nebula
nebula overlay mode

Step 7

Use a Curves adjustment layer to make the effect more visible. Paint on the left side so that it's not affected by this adjustment layer.

nebula curves

3. Add the Model

Step 1

Open the model images pack. Choose the first image and Control-click the mask to load the selection. Hit Control-Shift-I to
invert the selection. Still keep the selection, choose the main image
(not mask), and use the Move Tool to place the isolated model in the
middle of the scene. Reduce her size using Control-T.

add model

Step 2

Add a mask to the model layer and use a hard black brush to remove some remaining white edges:

model masking

Step 3

Go to Edit > Puppet Warp and change the pose of the pointing arm following the eyes' direction:

model puppet warp

Step 4

Go back to the model original image. Select the head only and add this head to the existing model, making it much bigger than the body.

add big head

Use a layer mask to blend the head with the body:

big head masking

Step 5

Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill it with 50% gray:

Burn Tool new layer

Select the Burn Tool (O) with Midtones Range, Exposure about 15-20% to
darken the model's cheeks a bit. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and
the result with Overlay mode:

burn tool result

Step 6

Hit U to activate the Custom Shape Tool. Choose the Heart shape and set
the foreground to #dc1c17. Draw a shape onto the lips area and change
the mode to Multiply 100%:

add lips heart

Step 7

Duplicate this layer twice and move them to the eyes area. Use a layer
mask on each of these layers to remove the part covering the eyes.

lips heart multiply mode

Step 8

Make a new layer and use a medium-hard black brush with the color #d03733 to paint more hair for the model.

add eyes hearts

Step 9

Select the model layer and the related ones and press Control-G to
make a group for them. Change this group mode to Normal 100%. Use a
Curves adjustment layer to darken the model, and then on its layer mask,
use a soft black brush to show some light on the body and dress.

model curves

Step 10

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones values. On
this layer mask, use a soft black brush to remove the red effect on the
model head and lower body, leave it visible on the middle dress part.

model color balance
model color balance result

Step 11

Create a new layer under the model one and paint her shadow on the floor with a soft black brush.

model shadow

4. Add the Crown

Step 1

Isolate the crown and add it to the top middle of the model head, making it a lot smaller than the head.

add crown

Step 2

Use a Curves adjustment layer to darken the crown:

crown curves

Step 3

Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the crown color:

crown color balance

Step 4

To make the red light from the frame reflected on the crown, make a new
layer and use a medium-soft brush with red color and a small size
(about 3-4 px) to paint along the crown contour. Set this layer as Clipping Mask to make this step easier.

crown red light

5. Add the Cards

Step 1

Open the cards image and isolate the 8 of hearts card from the background.

isolate hearts card

Step 2

We're aiming to create cards with different numbers of hearts. To do it, first
create a new layer above the isolated card one. Use a medium-soft brush
with the color #d5d1c6 (picked from the card) to paint on the card and
hide the unwanted hearts. Name it "painting".

hearts card painting

Use the Heart shape with red color to draw different shapes of heart on
the separate layers. I've made the card with one, two, three, four or
six hearts. With the card with one big heart in the center, select the
isolated card, the painting layer and the heart one and use the Move
to drag these three layers into our main canvas. Merge them into a
new one and use Control-T to tweak it, making it curvy and bendy.

add big heart
import big heart card

Step 3

Use the same method to
create the cards with different hearts. You can mix the handmade hearts
with the original card to add to the scene. Make them fly around the
model, and arrange some on the floor. The Warp mode is very useful
in this case, so don't be afraid to go wild with it! Apply a Gaussian Blur
of 6 px (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to some of the cards on the edges to create depth of field.

add more cards

Step 4

Make a group for the cards and add a Curves adjustment layer to darken these layers.

cards curves

Use a soft black brush to reveal the light on the cards, especially on the middle ones.

cards curves result

Step 5

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer to match the cards' color with the background.

cards color balance

6. The Final Adjustment

Step 1

Create a Gradient Map adjustment layer and pick the colors #e10019 and #00601b. Lower the Opacity of this layer to 20%.

gradient map

Step 2

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer and change the Midtones and Highlights settings:

whole scene color balance
whole scene color balance result

Step 3

Use a Curves adjustment layer to change the color and contrast of the whole scene.

whole scene curves

Step 4

Create a new layer and use a hard brush with a red color (I've chosen
#fd0000) to paint red light on the model's body and on the cards near
the frame. The nearer the card, the stronger the light. Also paint red hair strands on top of the model's head.

red light effect

Step 5

Make a new layer and change the mode to Overlay 100%. Use the same brush
to paint glowing red light on the cards around the frame.

glowing red light

Congratulations, You're Done!

I hope that you've learned something useful for your future projects.
Feel free to leave your comments in the box below—I'd love to see them.
Enjoy Photoshopping!

final result

Source: Photoshop Tutorials +