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!

  23. I like the second one how she is coming out of the water…

    and yeah i did “plot” the stars..but I am meticulous like that have to get everything where I want it.

  24. hy lorelei.i’m realy happy that you apreciate my work…..thast’s a picture of mee & my husbant on our wedding day…..i think i’ll thry some more of your tutorials…i reall love the fantasy tutorials …thank’s for them…bye

  25. hi, great tutorial but i was get stuck at flatten the image..what does it mean “flatten the image” and how to do it..

  26. I think I used lighter shades of blue… and the fact that the girl is initially colored in a shade of violet played quite a lot of havoc with the outcome. It doesn’t go well with the lovely atmosphere around. -meh- Still, I love the way it seems as if she’s emerging out of the water, and is suddenly surrounded by sparkling bands. ( woot for my imagination, lol~! )

  27. Jade, it looks really great for your first time, in fact it would have been an awesome outcome even for 10th time i think the circles should have been slightly brighter (or higher contrasted) but other than that looks superb! thanks for sharing your work with us!

    1. Hiiii
      i just want to know which software you were using for this pictures effects,i mean the tool
      plzzzz mail me the name n link for that software/tool

  28. the biggest problem for me is the rings. just to make it more colored and more neon-like i suppose lol

    thanks for the GREAT tutorial lorelei, this is my FAVORITE i have learned so far in photoshop

  29. This is what I have I throw. This is my work.

    I ask pardon if I have lacked a lot to it paginates. I have been very busy.

  30. Lorelie I first saw this tut in August and thought WOW.. you have some extremely interesting photo tuts, ideas, suggestions etc.. I can go on and on…

    I have my hands in so many different things, however, I am back to learn what I should have months ago…

    Keep up the good work, you and your team!!!

  31. Congratulations, I really like the design that has done so. ^__^ I liked also that of Hayden Panetierre. And others, thanks.

    My like More tutos Fantastics news, thanks.

  32. can u please send me the psd file for this grt work. i am a beginner in photoshop please help me.. i tried this one bt could nt manage to get even the half of it. please pleas please send it to me(tubuhereatgmaildotcom)

  33. Just came across your blog today, which subsequently led me to this page. I absolutely love this tutorial and I’ll be sure to try it out

    Also, glad you allow others to post it as long as a link is included, i’ll be sure to add it onto GirlGamers It’s awesome. Think I’m gonna have fun

  34. Once again thanks for the tut, I started it out ok, then somehow I went in forty other directions on it. I had problems with a few things but it was because I am still learning the tools and options. But I wanted to post the image I made but I have yet enough post to do so. So I will have to make a photobucket account for it.
    Untill then you can see it at my website…

  35. I have some trouble with the rings, when I transform and add perspective I got 2 rings the one before transformation and the one I transformed?!? I did it like it says in tut, I tried to restart photoshop even restarted pc but every time when I try to add a percpective I end with two rings, and the first one I can’t erase. Can anyone explain why this is happening? Pleeeeeeeseee

  36. HI… I got lost with the star brushes step… im fresh new and i dont know how to get them… i download a star brushes set but i dont know what else to do.. i tried to open the zip file but i really dont know how to use it… i was so happy doing the others steps of the
    Please help me… i really want to finish it!!!

  37. great work guys how amazing the image as well as your brain also man.but how can i down load vedio tutorials please tell me i want to grow in my work

  38. Comrie19, just select one of the layers that crisscrossing now, and using a big eraser tool brush with soft edge, remove the bits that lay on top of the other layer. it does not have to be all that neat since there will be background that will also help to “swallow” the mishaps. Also, you might want to add stronger glow effect to your girl, because you didn’t crop it very good, but adding stronger glow will help to fix this problem because them you won’t see the edges so clearly. Hope this helps, you are doing a great job so far!

  39. Hi.. A great tutorial. but, I’m stucked @ almost last but the hard part.
    @ Step 17, I created the ring, adjusted the ring, but now when I use eraser tool for removing farther part behind the girl. It starts to fill up that ellipse?? I’m using Photoshop CS3. Can pls someone help?

  40. Could you fix some of the broken image links please? finding out how you did everything myself makes everything so much harder

  41. hi, can you help me for step 10 or 11. because i can’t do step 10 or 11 can you give me detail step.


  42. I had a lot of fun with this tutorial! It covered basic things i didn’t know and then it showed me some tougher techniques that i’m still tweaking.
    thanks for your time to do this!

  43. Muito legal esse tutorial ! Parabéns ao autor ! Usei com meus alunos e foi um sucesso ! Abraço. Prof. João Marcelo – RJ/Brasil

  44. Hi! I love this tutorial but I have a problem, when I have the circle I use the eraser but the line move where I move the tool. HELP ME What I can’t do?
    sorry for the words I can’t talk english good, thank you

  45. I had gone through your tutorials. It was fantastic a have no words to describe it.Thanks very much for the this tutorials page.I think people who cannot afford to to join classes can do so in this tutorial.

    1. To be honest we don’t allow re-publishing of our tutorials, as Google can penalize us for duplicated content, but it’s fine if you translate it to another language and post elsewhere, with a link back to us, as original source. Thanks!

  46. Wow it’s worked out verry good for me thanks for the great tutorial. I’ve been get better in photoshop by it.

  47. AHH!! Does anoyone have that pond photo she uses? That link doesn’t work, and it’s the perfest picture for the photoshop i’m doing

    but i was wondering how you remove the parts where the layers are overlapping
    the cloud layers….

    but i was wondering how you remove the parts where the layers are overlapping
    the cloud layers…. step 9

  50. Hello

    Thank you for this fab tutorial, I’m in the middle of making a wedding present but i am stuck on the lightening part of the instructions. The image of the settings is too small for me to see, please could you give me the settings? The subsequent image is also small.

    Much appreciated.

  51. hi! verry nice i could’nt not to try it but my result was not like you the glow of the circles didn’t work i really was Disappointed because it’s look very nice and i want to know how to do it

  52. Great tutorial, please update the image links the last few steps the images are no longer available. Can’t see the settings.

    1. Also, on your final image your blues are vibrate almost like a lightsaber style rotoscoping. Mine nor the one girl who posted the picture came out like that. Maybe because I could not see those last few steps. Who knows. Hopefully the OP still checks this.

      1. Great tut loved it. I dont know if you read this anymore but the last few steps are missing and the lighting effect gets applied to the girl image if you dont know what the filter settings are and she kinda looses her skin tone. Can you fix this tut?….much appreciated, great job!

    1. guys the three pics, i cant see get their numbers and values, so I cant apply the lighting effect… plz help

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  54. WOW!!! that’s a really informative article, I am very much inspired. Your tutorial helps me as like my mentor, i am looking forward to more informative article form you.

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