Creating a Nature Inspired Digital Piece in Photoshop

Nature is everything that was not created by man. Living things and life are in the context of philosophical or ideological way of thinking. But man acts as a part of nature and designers. Nature is set in relation to human existence. This tutorial will teach you how I created the digital piece “Man as a Nature Designer.” I will show you how easy it is to manipulate images into appearing real and unique.

Artist: Manuel Platzer
Time: 30 Minutes
Skill: Beginner

Pro’s: Easy to follow tutorial with a beautiful unique outcome.

Final Preview

Step 1: Preparation

I had a idea of how I wanted the final piece to look, so I started scribbling on a piece of paper and after a while I decided to start looking for photos that would relate to my idea for the piece. The first photo I searched for was a portrait photo, but I decided to take a photo of my girlfriends brother instead.

The second photo I was looking for was a grass related stock photo. I was looking for something green and with different kinds of textures in the piece, I ended up choosing a, “Grass and Clovers” stock photo. You can download it here.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make use of some brushes to add some creativity to the idea that I had. After scouring around for a while, I came across some Coffee Stain brushes that I knew was right for the job. Download them here

Now that the preparation for the piece is completed we can finally move on to starting the manipulation.

Step 2:

Open up your portrait stock photo that you have in Photoshop, in my case its my girlfriends brother. Once the photo is opened create a new layer by going to Layer>New>Layer and then select a medium sized soft brush from the tool palette with your color as black and brush around the face of the person. Set your layers opacity to 65%

Step 3:

Now we are going to be darkening out our composition to push it into the more realistic depth side. We are going to add a curves layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves and then set the curves layer like I set mine below to get the same effect.

You should have something like this below.

Step 4:

In this step we will be pushing out some light in the piece, in step 3 we darkened out the composition and in this step we will be lightening the piece. We will be adding another curves layer, go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves and then use the settings below.

This is what you should have.

Step 5:

Now we will be taking the step to turn our composition into a Black and White image. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Black and White, use the settings below to get the same effect as I did.

This is what you should have.

Step 6:

Now we will overlay our grass and clover stock photo that you downloaded earlier to start adding the effect of the flowers and nature.
Add the grass and clover stock into your composition and make sure it is positioned above the rest of the layers. Set the blending mode to Hard Light and keep the opacity at 100%

Step 7:

Now that we have our overlayed image, you are free to erase the parts you don’t like, but I am going to go ahead and add another adjustment layer by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. Use the settings below to get the same effect as I did.

This is what you should have.

Step 8:

Now you can be creative and add any additional elements to the piece that you like. I copy and pasted some of the clovers in the stock image itself and placed them all around the place.

Step 9:

Last but not least we are going to make use of the coffee stain brushes that we downloaded earlier. I used a relatively small brush to add some details.

Final Preview

Example Piece

Here is just a example of how easy it actually is to apply the tutorial to a different scenario. It took me 10 Minutes to incorporate.

Click here to see the most beautiful digital artworks from the best photography resources.

Manuel Platzer is an Austria-based creative and shows the full range of his works at