This tutorial was originally posted on but due to technical reasons moved to The tutorial remains a copyright property of Lorelei (me!)

The requests for Fantasy Art tutorials are enormous, I still get emails and Pms from people asking to do more Fantasy Art tuts, so here is one more, called “Plasma” (Star, not the TV!) which I hope you’d enjoy.

1. Make a new canvas, we used 600*480 px here, but the size is of course optional.

2. Select the Gradient Tool, using two shades of blue (see below), fill your canvas, so that the darker colour will be on top.

3. Take a photo of a girl. Traditionally I am using Becca‘s photo from her Deviant Art account, but you can replace her with any semi-sitting figure of your choice. Crop the figure and paste her unto your canvas. In needed, resize her so that she will fit in.

4. To get rid of the visible crappy cropping, and to give the girl more emphasis, add blueish glow to her by going to Layer >> Layer Styles >> Outer Glow and applying the following settings:

This is what you would get:

5. Make a new Layer. Make sure your primarily and secondary colours are black and white. Go to Filter >> Render >> Clouds

And, if needed apply the clouds effect a several times to achieve the desired randomly “clouded” effect.

6. Reduce the opacity of the layer to semi-visible.

7. Press Ctrl+T for free transform, and then right mouse click and “Scew”. Drag the left corner of the clouds layer, as shown on the illustration below:

Press “Enter” when you are done, then Ctrl + D to deselect the layer.

8. Duplicate the clouds layer. Select the upper layer and go to Edit >> Transform >> Flip Horizontal.

9. Select the girl’s layer from layers panel and drag it to the top, so that it would be your utmost upper layer.

Remember to remove the parts where layers turn to be on top of one another.

10. Take a photo of a lake with water circles. We used this one from Digital Free Photo, but again – this is optional.

Paste the layer unto your composition, so that the circles in the water will be “around” the girls or your main figure.

11. Using the Eraser Tool, remove the lower part of the girl’s layer, so create the illusion as if she is really sitting inside the water and the water circles are “from” her.

12. Set lake’s layer blending options to Luminosity.

13. Drag the Layers of the clouds on top of the water later and using eraser tool with soft edge (100px) remove the sharp parts, so that only the “steaming” clouds will remain, no edges.

14. Now to the hard bit – creating the plasma cycles.
Make a new layer (this is important) and place it on top of all the others.

15 Using the Elliptical Marquee tool, draw and ellipse. While the ellipse on the new layer is selected, Right-mouse-click and choose “stroke”. Apply the settlings below for the stroke effect:

16. Press Ctrl + T to free transform, and then right-mouse-click >> Prospective. Try to distort the round layer you have to it would look like the line is surrounding or flowing around the girl.

17. Using the Eraser tool with big soft edge, remove the “farther” part of the round, behind her head, like this:

18. While this layer is selected, go to Layer >> Layer styles >> Outter glow and apply the following glow settlings:

19. Duplicate the layer a several times and each time transform the round using the prospective settlings, so that the circles chaotically surround the main figure’s body.

20. Remember to leave the “front” part of the circle visible and erase the “back” part of it. This is more or less what you should have by now:

21. Flatten the Layer.
22. Go to Image >> Adjustments >> Levels and apply the following settlings to give the image an overall bluish hue:

23. Duplicate the layer.
24. While the upper layer is selected (and your background colour in the palette is set to white), go to Filter >> Distort >> Diffuse Glow and apply these glow settings.

25. Reduce the opacity of the “glowing layer” to 20% (or less, depends on your image).
26. Flatten the layer again to merge both layers into one.

27. Using some star brushes (download free on deviant Art resources page), apply the stars chaotically around and allover the glowing cycles.

28. Select the background layer (the artwork, not the stars) and to to Renters >> Lightening effect, apply the following spot light effect twice.

29. Get back to Stars layer, and go to Layer >> Layer Styles >> Outer Glow, and add the following glow using white #ffffff colour.

30. Duplicate the stars layer.
31. Go to Filter >> Blur >> Radial Blur and apply these settings.

You may choose to reduce the opacity of this layer if you feel the rounded blurred effect is too strong. That’s it, your artwork is ready:

Download my poorly cropped Render:


Fantasy Art Photopshop Tutorial – Plasma in the Lake

  1. Wow..this is great…methinks this will inspire me to get my creative head back on as I have not done anything for some time now…AND it was one of your Tuts that got me started in the first place. I just love the peacefulness about this picture, yet it is vibrant. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Great job Liza! I really like this one too! The rings around the girl are really vibrant and fun! I can’t wait to try it sometime.

  3. great tut ,still got a long way to go before I could start doing these great fantasy art worx. heheeehee

  4. Wow, thanks for the feedback guys, I am really happy to hear you liked it, I was not sure if the tutorial is actually any good when I posted it, well, hopefully it will get accepted on Good-tutorials

  5. I absolutely love this tut!!i’m definetly trying this one!!i’ll post my results once i’m finished!!thanks a lot Liza!!!

  6. I would have seen more blending on the girl and a darker background, but I think it’s very helpful to some people!

  7. Ravenwolf, your stars and cycles look far better than mine, they have more of a natural flow and I really love it. i think u could have blended the girl in a bit more, the image is very colorful and stands out, BUT – overall i think you have made an awesome job!

  8. @ Lorelei, Hehe, it’s funny to hear you say “the girl” because that is

    Anyway yeah I was thinking it seemed like it may be too bright, but I forgot to fix that, your image was originally with dark clothing, so it didn’t look so out of place. I will have to change that sometime.

    @ Dreleen, yeah they are fun! I have some planet-y ones with stars and moons etc. and thanks!

  9. @ Nike; you can find those brushes at Deviantart in the download sector.

    @ Lorelei; this is definately one of you best tutorials Lorelei. There are some good effects used in this fantasy art which will become helpfull among the most of us in making other designs. Actually no remark on this tutorial. Great job

    @ Ravenwolf. I also like your creation alot. Maybe you should have used a bigger landscape so the composition would be a bit nicer. But overall also a great job.

  10. Thanks tammsyshere for your comment about our site and for sharing your result. it looks stunning, i really love the colours you added, looks more vivid. the stars looks more like snowflakes to me, but it is really really beautiful!

  11. Thank you! You deserve a lot of credit though, for sharing your creativity and making things so easy to understand. Much appreciated.

  12. Nice work there indeed tammsyshere. You’ve used a nice model for this tutorial. Hands for example want to touch the water etc…
    Maybe those stars are like Lorelei said, not really stars, and some of them are too bright. But that’s nothing compared with the whole art.

    Hope to see more of your work soon

  13. Thnx for the good Tutorial. i usually dont try the more advanced tutorials but on this one i whanted to make a try. I ended up a bit offroad, but this is the image i created whit inspiration from your tut..

  14. hi, The tutorial is lovely, Props due,
    I had a little go myself and wanted to change it to make it different, it goes a little something like this,
    Oops just realised I have untidy edges, must work on the cutting from background thing!

    1. hy
      which software r u using to make this kind of pics
      plzzzz mail me the link of that software

  15. Does anyone know how to get in contact with Lorelei ?
    I need to see if she can work on a project I need done asap!!!
    Please tell her to hit me up at :

    Please forward this to her Thank You!


  16. LORELEI!!! This might be your best tutorial yet!!

    I am going to try this one today here in Mexico and see how it comes out. But its absolutly awesome and well detailed.

  17. Great tut. However, I am still unable to reproduce the glow effect behind the girl. I feel some steps are either assumed or I am just too daft to follow the steps. In step 9, I don’t know how to remove the overlapping layers of the clouds as suggested. In step 22, I was unable to get the levels instruction to do anything to my image (no change with the settings made). If only someone can advise on how to get the great glow behind the image, that would be sufficient for this novice. All I keep getting from the lighting effect is a spotlight on the image (from the front). I got other steps (the glow rings, stars, etc). Thx for your help.

  18. What I do for glows sometimes is dupe in a new the layer, shrink the image a tad so it sits behind the original, go into the layer options put an outer glow on and adjust the color and other settings like size and opacity.

    BTW its always good to post a pic of your project and its issues so we can see what you are talking about.

  19. Nice result but the strong lite doesn’t really do with the dark muted back ground. Id tint her down a bit and blend her in a little more. Love the render btw

  20. Well this was my first attempt at this one. I still have much work on cutting out hair to make it more realistic but overall I am happy with it. I wasn’t sure which brush set to use and grabbed one that wasn’t too bad and I need to work more on the perspective of the rings to create a more realistic effect but here it is …

  21. Pretty much followed the tut down to the letter, I can tell because I have more white near the center of the light source and stuff that it causes over exposure, so if your not using black like the tut has you may want to correct for that.

    For the stars I found that just setting a size jitter, a opacity jitter, and scatter was a quick way to get it done, so hope nobody actually sat there and plotted them one at a time .

    Here is what I came up with.

  22. obisi, if your layer is cropped and has a shape, just make sure this layer is selected, go to Layer >> Layer styles >>Outter Blog and apply even the default settings by just checking the box near “outter glow” and pressing okay. i love your result, its quite original and well done!

    Dark Chibi, welcome to the forum I think the glow circles are maybe not glowing enough but i really love ur result, it’s glorious!