Being able to create and use brushes effectively is crucial in mastering Adobe Photoshop. This tutorial will cover some of the options available when using brushes and will also explain some useful photo manipulation techniques. FULLVIEW
Create a new document with dimensions 1100x1200 and fill the background layer black then create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N). Select the gradient tool (G) and use a gradient similar to the one shown. Here we are using a gradient as the first stage in creating the background. When making a simple background a gradient is a good way to start, try experimenting with both the linear and radial gradients.
Make sure radial gradient is selected then drag the gradient to achieve the effect shown below then the layer opacity to 50%. The bright yellow and orange part will act as the backlighting for the image.
Create a new layer then go filter>render>clouds then the blending mode to overlay and the opacity to 50%. This will give us a background that looks a lot more natural.
Select the image you want to use, the image I used can be found here: GIRL. Paste this image into your document. Using the pen tool and the polygonal lasso tool extract your image from it's background. I won't go into much detail on how to do this as their are enough tutorials out there showing you this. However If you download the PSD file I have included, you can copy the image I already cut. This is an important technique to learn as it is often required when editing images.
Click on the girl layer then in the layers panel add a layer mask. Now select the lasso tool (L) and the feather amount to 40px. Draw a selection round the image like shown below.
Now invert the selection (Shift+Ctrl+I) then fill this in black (Shift+F5). This will blur the edges of the image. Layer masks work by hiding the areas of the image covered by the dark parts of the layer mask. Using layer masks is an efficient way to work because if we had just d the unwanted parts of the image we would not be able to this later, however with the mask we can go back and it anytime.
Next duplicate this layer (Ctrl+J) then filter>blur>gaussian blur with a value of 10px. the blending mode of this layer to overlay. This is common technique used for photo editing as it will both smooth the person's skin and make the image more vibrant.
Create a new layer, select the brush tool (B) and using the 9px and 13px brush with 100% hardness create dots, all in line vertically similar to the the image below. This will our new brush, although there are hundreds of free brushes available from the internet it is often more useful to create your own.
Make a selection by holding Ctrl and clicking on the image next to th brush layer in the layers panel. Next click edit>define brush preset and name your brush Strand. Hide the the brush layer. You will notice the brush is quite large, I did this so I can use it for projects where I'm using a larger canvas.
With the brush still selected click on the brushes editor. Select smoothing and shape dynamics then in the shape dynamics settings, them so that they are the same as the image below. The pen pressure option will, when stroking a path similute the pressure of pen, basically fading it at both ends, so with the setings we have selected, it will fade the brush, the angle and also decrease the size nearer the ends of the path.
Create a new layer thenselect the brush tool, the brush size to 100px. Now select the pen tool (P) and draw a path like shown below. By holding and dragging after each point, a smoother curve can be obtained. Next right click on the path and select stroke path, make sure brush and simulate pressure are selected then click OK.
Select the erasor tool (E) and first using a hard brush of about 60px with 100% opacity erase parts of the line to make it look like some it goes behind the girl and some in front. Next using a soft erasor brush with size of about 400px and opacity of about 25% erase parts of the lines in order to smooth them. Use the image below as a reference.
Repeat steps 11 and 12 a couple more times until your image resembles the one below. Make sure each line is in a different layer. Next select these three layers with the lines in them by holding Ctrl and clicking on the layer names. With them all selected hit Ctrl+E to merge them.
Right click on this layer, select blending options and add a gradient overlay, use the default orange and yellow gradient. the blending mode of the gradient overlay to color dodge then click Ok. You will notice it is still black this is because the color dodge doesn't have any effect because there is black below it. To this, under opacity in the layers panel, the fill opacity to 0%, this will only the opacity of the fill and not the layer style. A lot of the time it is more efficient to add a color or gradient overlay rather than just filling the layer because this way you can go back and make s.
Create a new layer then select the gradient tool, set it to linear and use the same yellow/orange one we used before. Drag this from the top to the bottom then set the blending mode to color and opacity to 75%.
Create a new layer and this time set the gradient going from a color of your choice to transparent, see the picture below.
Set the gradient to radial then drag what will look like a fuzzy ball. the color you used for the gradient then make another ball and do this a few times.
Set the blending mode of this layer to color and the opacity to 75% and you're done.