How to Create a Forest Self-Portrait Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop

Post pobrano z: How to Create a Forest Self-Portrait Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Photo manipulations are a fun way to test out fantasy compositions and dramatic self-portraits. And you can place yourself into one easily by using a few simple tools in Photoshop!

So in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a magical self-portrait using stocks and 3D assets in Adobe Photoshop.

Get inspired! Find more stocks for your photo art on Envato Market.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used in the production of this tutorial

How to Create Self-Portrait Manipulations

This year I’ve embarked on a personal project to place myself into more of my art. Not only has this been a great experience for learning about Photoshop, but it has also helped improve my overall confidence.

And if you want to make cool and creative self-portraits, you should definitely just go for it! You can see more of these self-portraits on my Instagram.

Forest Theme

For this portrait, I wanted to place myself into something more magical—a cool forest manipulation with a bit of fantasy and allure. To facilitate this, I recently bought an LED light from Home Depot ($20) and immediately got to experimenting with new pictures.

Let’s take a before and after look at the manipulation with the stocks we’ll be using:

Before and after photo manipulation

Feel free to use your own self-portraits for this tutorial. Even smartphone pictures will do—just make sure you have enough light and clarity.

To save time on this extensive manipulation, I’ll be giving you a pre-edited version of my self-portrait made with frequency separation techniques and the background already removed.

But if you’re looking to get inspired by the photo shoot perspective, feel free to check out my previous tutorial:

Let’s begin!

1. How to Set Up the Composition

Step 1

Start by opening a New Document in Photoshop at 1500 x 2217 pixels and 72 dpi.

Feel free to increase the resolution if you plan on printing your portrait.

Copy and Paste the Forest Stock (with an image size of 1920 x 1848 pixels) onto a New Layer above the white background, resizing it to make it much bigger with the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).

This will be our new background. So go ahead and Delete the white layer below it.

Position the image so that it favors the left side. This will create an interesting perspective to place the portrait and other details.

Add the Background photo

Step 2

Now open the Self-Portrait Stock. Double-click the background layer to make it normal.

Paste the self portrait
  1. Use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to select the white background, and then hit Delete on your keyboard to remove it. If the selection spills over into the picture, just remove those areas by using the Lasso Tool (L).
  2. Hold Control-A to select the entire image, and then Copy and Paste it onto a New Layer above the forest. Place the picture within the center of the composition.

When I originally took these pictures, I had no clue how I was going to use them. So you’ll notice that my picture is cut off on the left side since I was leaning up against a wall.

Because of this, I have built the entire composition keeping this in mind, so we’ll need to cover up any awkwardly cut areas next.

Step 3

To cover up those missing areas, we’ll use some simple leaves. Open the Leaves Stock in Photoshop. Follow the same steps as before.

Add the leaves stock
  1. Remove the dark background by selecting and deleting it with the Magic Wand Tool (W).
  2. Then Copy and Paste the Leaves Stock onto a New Layer above the portrait. 
  3. Resize it for a much smaller fit as shown above, using the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).

Step 4

For more balance, let’s create more copies of the leaves layer.

Duplicate (Control-J) the leaves layer twice, and then flip both copies. Select each layer, and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to flip it.

Flip the leaves layer

Now fill in both sides of the portrait with leaves.

Add the leaves
  1. Place the layer for the first copy above the original leaves layer. Then position the actual leaves underneath the first set to fill in the area beneath them. 
  2. Select the second leaves copy and position the layer underneath the portrait layer. Resize it for a much smaller fit (and more depth of field) with the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).

Now that we have the leaves all set, we can move on to adding butterflies.

2. How to Use 3D Assets From Envato Elements

A crucial part of this manipulation is the monarch butterflies. So I’ll be using amazing 3D assets from Envato Elements to help achieve this effect.

By using 3D assets, I’ll be able to position the butterflies at the exact angles I need for this composition. This means I can achieve a more believable and realistic effect for an incredible result.

Step 1

Start by locating each butterfly. Here are the three stocks I’ll be using:

Now View the 3D Render for each stock. Once it loads, position the butterfly at the angle you need. Move it up, down, or sideways to see different views.

Then download that angle.

Butterfly GIF

For this particular set of butterflies, here are all five angles I’ll be downloading.

You’ll receive each butterfly as a transparent PNG (with accompany shadows), which you can easily place into the manipulation.

Butterfly angles

Step 2

Let’s add the butterflies!

Copy and Paste each butterfly angle onto New Layers above the rest. Resize each butterfly using the Transform Tool (Control-T).

Add first butterfly

Then add as many butterflies as you’d like. Since insects are usually drawn to light, I’ve made sure to face the butterflies towards the light. You can also rotate or even flip the images for more variation.

Continue resizing them in different areas for more depth of field. The first butterfly, for instance, is the largest because it’s closest to the viewer.

Add more butterflies

Try to tell a story with the butterflies. Rest a few on the leaves or even place one on my fingertips as shown above.

When you’re through, Merge the butterfly layers together.

Step 3

The setup for our manipulation is almost complete!

Our last step before we blur, relight and color the composition is to add more hair. For this portrait, I’ve already airbrushed any imperfections and even removed my right arm for a better composition.

Now I’ll use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection of the curls on the right. Hold Control-J to Paste a copy onto a New Layer, and then resize the hair using the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).

Add more hair

Do the same for the left side to cover my shoulder.

Then Merge the hair layers with the portrait layer. You may need to reposition the leaves layer above the portrait/hair layers to allow this effect.

Now we have glorious extensions!

Hair extensions complete

3. How to Create Depth of Field

Let’s move on!

With all of our elements in place, we can start to relight the composition and add depth of field. This will help create more realism and make it look as though the photo was actually taken within a forest setting.

Step 1

Start with the background.

Select the forest layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Add a Radius of 3 pixels and hit OK.

Blur the forest

Step 2

Now the leaves. Let’s slightly blur the original Leaves and Leaves copy layers next. Select each layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Then add a Radius of 2 pixels and hit OK.

Blur the leaves

Step 3

Let’s make the leaves in the background appear farther away.

Select the Leaves copy 2 layer and go to Filter > Blur Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 4.8 pixels and hit OK.

Blur the background leaves

Step 4

Last, we’ll blur the front butterfly.

We’ve already made several butterflies fly out of the shot to create a lively and active scene. Now we can blur the front butterfly for even more depth.

Use the Lasso Tool (L) to make a quick selection around the front butterfly. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, adding a Radius of 5 pixels.

Blur the front butterfly

Here’s a look at our composition so far!

Composition preview

Great! Let’s move on to lighting.

4. How to Adjust the Lighting

Now that everything is in place, it’s important to get the lighting as perfect as we can. Keep in mind that every photo manipulation requires extensive relighting for a more believable look.

If you’re using your own stocks in this case, just follow the same methods, but tweak the settings to your personal desires.

Step 1

Let’s start by darkening the background.

Select the Leaves copy 2 layer. Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Adjust the curve as shown below for more darkness and contrast.

Add a curves adjustment

Step 2

Adjust the color of the background leaves even further.

Select the Leaves copy 2 layer and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Right-click the adjustment to set the curves as a Clipping Mask to the Leaves copy 2 layer.

Adjust the curves for the Green and RGB Channels as follows for a greenish effect.

This play on the contrast also creates an interesting color effect! Pretty cool!

Recolor the leaves

Step 3

Now adjust the lighting for the middle ground leaves.

Follow the same steps as before by setting new Curves Adjustment Layers as Clipping Masks to the remaining leaves layers.

Start with the original leaves. Make them reflect the bright lighting seen from my light bar. Adjust the curves for the RGB, Green, and Blue Channels as shown below.

Brighten the leaves with curves

Step 4

Move on to the bottom leaves (Leaves copy).

Set a New Adjustment Layer of Curves as a Clipping Mask to the layer.

Adjust the curves for the RGB, Blue, and Green Channels as shown below. This time we don’t need as much light because the LED light is above this specific section of leaves.

Darken the bottom leaves

Step 5

Time for some shadow! To keep this part from being too confusing, let’s break it down into simple sections, just as we did with the lighting steps.

Start with the butterflies.

Set a New Layer as a Clipping Mask to the butterflies layer. Change the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply. Then use a Soft Round Brush (0% Hardness, 30-60% Opacity) to paint black shadow onto the butterflies.

Concentrate the shadow on the wings and body. Then lower the Layer Opacity to 58%.

Add shadow to the butterflies

Add another Clipped layer above it set to Multiply.

Now use a deep earthy red #271416 to paint more shadow onto the butterflies, setting the Layer Opacity to 76% when you’re done.

Keep this shadow layer softer, making sure the shadows are placed in the opposite direction to the light source.

Add dark red shadow

Step 6

We’ll add shadow to the leaves by following the same method.

Create New Layers set as Clipping Masks to the Leaves and Leaves copy layers.

Set the Layer Blend Modes to Multiply, and then use a Soft Round Brush to paint black onto the leaves. Make sure the shadow covers the bottom leaves completely. Then cover the top row. This will create more dimension.

Shade the middle and bottom leaves

Frame the light source as best as you can. Then adjust the Layer Opacities as needed (50-75%)

Step 7

Next, we’ll shade the hair and body.

Just like before, add a New Layer set as a Clipping Mask to the portrait. Set the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply and use a Soft Round Brush to paint brown #864a3b and dark red #271416 colors onto the hair, face, and body.

Chisel out the shadows for a more dramatic look. Adjust the Opacity as needed.

Paint shadow on the face and body

Here’s what we have so far.

Composition and lighting preview

5. How to Blend the Colors and Lighting

Great job so far! Keep going!

Step 1

Now that we have the base shadows down, it’s time to fine-tune our composition for a more seamless blend.

In these next steps, I’ll be using a mixture of digital painting techniques and Adjustment Layers to achieve the desired effect.

Add fill and color lookup
  1. Fill a New Layer above all the others with orange #9c6b00 using the Paint Bucket Tool (G), and lower the Opacity to 36%.
  2. Set the Layer Blend Mode to Vivid Light.
  3. Add a New Color Lookup Adjustment Layer. Set the 3DLUT File to Crisp_winter.look and lower the Opacity to 39%.

Step 2

Intensify the shadows even more.

Paint more shadows
  1. Create a New Layer set to Multiply above the rest. Use dark reddish browns like #1a070e and #140b01 to paint shadow (Soft Round Brush – 0% Hardness, 100% Opacity) all around the subject, leaving out the top leaves and LED light. Lower the Opacity to 21%.
  2. Then fill a New Layer with blue above the previous. Set the Blend Mode to Pin Light, Opacity to 65%, and use a Layer Mask to remove the middle and leaf areas.

Step 3

One of the coolest lighting effects you can achieve is by playing with glitch images.

Here I’ll be using #38 from this Glitch Effect Overlays pack for a cool rainbow reflection. Copy and Paste the image above the blue layer and set it to Overlay.

Add the rainbow effect

Lower the Opacity to 40% and use a Layer Mask to remove any unwanted areas around the face.

Step 4

Almost there!

Before we move on to the final edits of this manipulation, let’s quickly edit the colors, brightness, and contrast.

Create a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance with the following settings:

Add a Color Balance Adjustment

Then follow up with a New Adjustment Layer of Levels. Set the following values for the Red, Green, and Blue Channels.

Add a levels adjustment

Here’s the result so far.

adjustment result

6. How to Finish the Manipulation

The last steps for this manipulation will pump up the lighting, refine the details, and use more Adjustment Layers to bring everything together.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Step 1

Here is when I’ll start to use digital painting techniques to transform this selfie into a magical portrait.

Start by creating a New Layer above the rest. Use the Brush Tool (B) to paint directly onto my face and hair. First, I’ll use a Soft Round Brush to paint more brown shadow underneath my hair, while adding some brown around my forehead too.

Paint makeup and shadow

Then I’ll switch over to a Hard Round Brush (B) to adjust my makeup (eyebrows/eyeliner) and paint more sharp details for my hair. I’ll also take this opportunity to clean up any areas around the leaves where the light should be reflected. Feel free to use the Eyedropper Tool (E) to sample colors from these areas as you refine more details.

Step 2

Let’s add more light!

Create a New Layer set to Overlay. Use a mixture of Soft and Hard Round Brushes (40-70% Opacity) to paint white onto the composition for more light.

Create rays of light coming from my hand and bounce the light around the forest. Push this effect as far as you want for a powerful glow.

Paint more light

Step 3

In between adding more light, remember to continue refining these details. Use a Hard Round Brush to draw sharp edges around the butterflies, leaves, and hair. I’ve even drawn simple details like loose curls and sparkly dots around the composition.

Paint sparkly highlights and details

Add highlights to the hair by painting white lines onto a few flowing strands, and then use the Eraser Tool (E) to softly diminish the edges of each highlight. Feel free to add another New Layer set to Overlay for even more white light.

Make certain areas pop out from the shine of the LED light. Paint white light onto the butterflies, jewelry and LED for more intensity. Later on, I’ll also paint a few blue highlights on the hair, leaves, and butterflies for a cool effect.

Paint more glowing light

Step 4

As we start to finish up, we’ll use Adjustment Layers again to tweak the colors. I have quite a few layers to go, so let’s run through them quickly.

Add a New Adjustment Layer of Channel Mixer. Adjust the settings for the Red, Green, and Blue Channels.

Chanel mixer adjustment layer

Then add a New Adjustment Layer of Gradient Map. Create a blue #0a00b2 to turquoise #01fffc Linear Gradient and set it to Lighter Color. Lower the Opacity to 8%.

Duplicate (Control-J) this adjustment. Set the copy to Saturation and the Opacity to 10%.

Add a gradient map adjustment

Step 5

Now create a New Adjustment Layer of Curves. Adjust the curves for the RGB, Blue, and Red Channels as shown below.

Add a curves adjustment

Step 6

Now for the last two Adjustment Layers.

Create a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance. Set the settings to the following values below:

Color balance adjustment layer

Now bring out all the rich colors. Add a New Adjustment Layer of Saturation.

Then set the Saturation to 15.

Add a saturation layer

Step 7

One more step to go!

For a subtle fade, create a New Layer above the rest. Select the Gradient Tool (G) and use it to create two passes of Linear Gradients that go from color to transparent.

Start with a rich blue color #181f40 that moves from the bottom upwards, and then select black and create a black to transparent Linear Gradient moving downwards.

Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Difference and the Opacity to 18%.

faded blue layer

Feel free to keep this composition as is, or crop it if you’d like. For a tighter perspective, I’ll use the Crop Tool (C), and make sure I adjust it so that my eyes are almost aligned with the middle.

Crop the manipulation

All Done! Great Job!

Congratulations on creating this forest-inspired photo manipulation. I hope you are inspired to tackle your own self-portraits for one-of-a-kind selfies you’ll always remember.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, let us know! Share your comments and results below.

For more photo manipulation tutorials like this one, check out these links:

Cool Forest Self Portrait Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial by Melody Nieves

The backdrop-filter CSS property

Post pobrano z: The backdrop-filter CSS property

I had never heard of the backdrop-filter property until yesterday, but after a couple of hours messing around with it I’m positive that it’s nothing more than magic. This is because it adds filters (like changing the hue, contrast or blur) of the background of an element without changing the text or other elements inside.

Take this example where I’ve replicated the iOS notification style: see how the background of each of these boxes are blurred but the text isn’t?

That’s only a single line of CSS to create that faded background effect, just like this:

.notification {
  backdrop-filter: blur(3px);

Now it’s worth noting that browser support for this CSS property isn’t particularly well supported just yet (see below). But we’ve been trying to do this sort of filtering stuff for a really long time and so it’s great to see that progress is being made here. Chris wrote about the “frosted-glass” technique in 2014 and way back then you had to use a bunch of weird hacks and extra images to replicate the effect. Now we can write a lot less code to get the same effect!

We also get to pick from a lot more filters than just that frosted glass style. The following demo showcases all of the backdrop-filter values and how they change the background:

Each of these boxes are just separate divs where I’ve applied a different backdrop-filter to each. And that’s it! I sort of can’t believe how simple this is, actually.

Of course you can chain them together like so:

.element {
  backdrop-filter: blur(5px) contrast(.8);

And this could make all sorts of elaborate and complex designs, especially if you start combining them together with animations.

But wait, why do we even need this property? Well, after reading up a little it seems that the go-to default example is a modal of some description. That’s what Guillermo Esteves was experimenting with back in 2015:

See the Pen PwRPZa by Guillermo Esteves (@gesteves) on CodePen.

I reckon we can do something much weirder and more beautiful if we put our minds to it.

A note about browser support

The backdrop-filter property is not well supported at the time of this writing. And even in Safari where it is supported, you’ll still need to prefix it. There’s no support for Firefox at all. But, really, do websites need to look exactly the same in every browser?

This browser support data is from Caniuse, which has more detail. A number indicates that browser supports the feature at that version and up.


Chrome Opera Firefox IE Edge Safari
No No No No 17 9*

Mobile / Tablet

iOS Safari Opera Mobile Opera Mini Android Android Chrome Android Firefox
9.0-9.2* No No No No No

Further reading

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A Strategy Guide To CSS Custom Properties

Post pobrano z: A Strategy Guide To CSS Custom Properties

CSS preprocessor variables and CSS custom properties (often referred to as „CSS variables”) can do some of the same things, but are not the same.

Practical advice from Mike Riethmuller:

If it is alright to use static variables inside components, when should we use custom properties? Converting existing preprocessor variables to custom properties usually makes little sense. After all, the reason for custom properties is completely different. Custom properties make sense when we have CSS properties that change relative to a condition in the DOM — especially a dynamic condition such as :focus, :hover, media queries or with JavaScript.

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How to Learn to Draw: Stage Two, Precision

Post pobrano z: How to Learn to Draw: Stage Two, Precision

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

You can draw, you know it. You can hold a pencil, you can lead lines, but somehow they don’t want to listen to you. As long as you draw something that doesn’t require precision, something chaotic, it works all right. But any time you try to draw from a reference, the proportions are so off that it’s scary. 

Why does it happen? Is something wrong with you? Your eyes are OK, your hand is OK… why can’t you just draw what you see? It looks so easy!

A lot of things that we do in life seem easy only because they’re automatic to us. But if you tried to explain them to someone who’d never done them, you’d understand how complex they are. Just try to focus on your steps when walking!

Automation is great—it lets you do certain things effortlessly and almost magically. However, in order to reach this state, you need to put an effort into it first. When first learning how to drive, there’s so much to focus on that it’s totally overwhelming. But after some practice you’re able to talk and listen to the radio when driving, and you still have enough attention to see that pedestrian.

Professional artists make drawing look easy, but it’s only because it was hard for them earlier in their lives. When you force yourself to draw complicated things over and over again, and they don’t turn out as intended, it’s because you ignore this simple fact—you must learn how to do it in order to do it.

This is the second part of the drawing basics series. In the first part we were learning how to control the tool so that it didn’t disturb your future exercises. If you still have problems with it, don’t start this part before finishing the previous one! It’s very important to do it at your own pace. Come back here when you’re really ready, otherwise you’ll make it harder than it needs to be.

Also, if you’re new to this series and you’re sure you don’t need to practice pure manual skills, read that first part anyway. You’ll find there a very important introduction and general tips about learning.

What There Is to Learn

There are things that you learn consciously, things that are fully explainable. Precise drawing isn’t one of them. It’s one of the „mind skills”, meaning it’s learned by your mind rather than consciously by you. For example, as a child you learned how perspective worked. That’s why now you’re not scared of the world constantly moving and changing size as you move. But do you, consciously, know the rules of perspective?

These „mind skills” are very easy to learn—and very hard at the same time. They’re hard, because you can’t learn them consciously. You can’t read a book about them, and you can’t listen to a lecture, come back home and just know them. You can’t learn them—it’s only your mind that can do it. 

And the mind learns best through repetition. That’s the simplicity of this. You just need to practice, and practice a lot, until it starts being automatic. That will be the sign that your mind is grasping it! Easy, isn’t it?

Well, if it were that easy, you would already be a master of copying references. Haven’t you practiced it many times? Your manual skills certainly developed, but your problem with proportions hasn’t been solved. It’s because you were practicing many kinds of exercises at the same time. Even if you progressed at one of them, it wasn’t noticeable because of other mistakes.

This is what this stage is about. I’ll show you simple exercises, each focusing on a slightly different part of the problem. This way you’ll clearly see your progress, and even though these drawings won’t be anything worth admiration, you’ll be able to transfer the skill gained here to your „real” works—not only for copying references, but for everything!

What you need to keep in mind when practicing:

  • Never forget that you’re doing it because you want to. Nobody’s forcing you, and you don’t have an obligation to draw well.
  • It’s perfectly normal when it turns out bad. You’re learning! If you were expecting your drawings to turn out great every time, why would you learn? There’s nothing wrong with the outcome, but with your expectations about it.
  • Each exercise is based on skills gained in the previous one. Therefore, the last ones may be impossible to do before you practice some more. Don’t push yourself—take it easy. Being too ambitious may slow down your progress!
  • It will take time. It doesn’t require much time every day (see the previous part for more info), but it needs to be a constant, regular practice.
  • There may be moments when you feel uncomfortable. This feeling of „mental stretching” is a clear sign that you’re working on a long unused „mind-muscle”. It may be painful, in a weird way, but this is a direct signal that you’re learning something new! Learn to embrace this feeling, and don’t use it as an excuse to do something more pleasant.
  • Take a break from drawing serious things for some time. This way you’ll prevent yourself from being disappointed (if you expect to be much better after one session of exercises), and you’ll have a pleasant surprise when you’re ready.
  • Always start a session with a warm-up, also described in the previous part.
  • Use continuous lines only for small shapes. For drawing in a larger scale, use the „soft lines” described in the previous part.

1. Measure the Distance Between Dots

Let’s start slowly. Draw two dots with a random distance in between. Then draw another dot, trying to use the same distance. Repeat it many times in various directions, and feel free to use diagonal lines, too. Try a different distance every time you do this exercise. The longer the distance, the more challenging the exercise.

Draw dots with the same distance between

This exercise:

  • „warms up” your mind for working with proportions
  • is focused on seeing distance, a base of proportions 
  • is extremely simple in construction—there’s only one type of mistake you can make here!
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 1

2. Copy the Length of Lines

Draw a line of random length. Then try to draw it once again under the original. After finishing a column, repeat them on the sides. The lines don’t need to be perfect (mine certainly aren’t!), but if drawing them seems too hard, it’s a sign you haven’t finished the first stage.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 2

This exercise:

  • is not only about seeing distance, but also about replicating it
  • engages your hand, eyes, and mind all together
  • extends the exercises from the first stage about line control
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 3

3. Measure the Distance Between Equal Length Lines

Draw a line of random length, and then draw it once again. Repeat the process, using the same distance that appeared between the first two. The longer the lines and distances, the harder the exercise.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 4

This exercise:

  • is another level of the two previous ones
  • stretches your mind-muscles very intensively, because you’re processing two distances at a time. Don’t let it discourage you!
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 5

4. Draw Crosses: Squares

We’re picking up speed now, so don’t worry if you start losing your breath. The beginning must be hard!

Draw a line of random length, and then cross it in the middle with another line of the same length. „Close” the cross with more lines. The more like a square it looks, the better. Do the same with rotated crosses (45 degrees).

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 6

This exercise:

  • contains a clear indicator of your progress (how squarish the squares are)
  • extends your manual skill by drawing squares
  • introduces you to seeing angles
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 7

5. Draw Stars: Circles

Draw a line of random length. Cross it with a line of the same length, but on a 45 degree angle. Add another one, rotating by another 45 degrees. Do it until you have four lines crossing each other. Close the star with a circle—the more lines touch it, the better.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 8

This exercise:

  • contains a clear indicator of your progress (if all the lines touch the circle)
  • is very complex: combines seeing distance, copying distance, seeing angle, and copying angle
  • extends your manual skill by drawing circles
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 9

6. Copy Squares and Circles

Draw a circle, then a square of similar size below. Copy the circle and square, trying to achieve the same size every time. Remember: if it’s too hard, draw the shapes „softly”, with repeating-overlapping lines.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 10

This exercise:

  • extends your manual skill by drawing circles and squares
  • introduces you to a concept of „general size” (various lengths combined to create a shape)
  • trains your „complex precision”—it’s the first step to copying more complicated shapes
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 11

7. Scale Squares and Circles

Draw a circle, and then draw smaller copies of it. Do the same with squares.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 12

This exercise:

  • extends your manual skill by drawing circles and squares
  • is the first step to scaling the reference
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 13

8. Copy Combined Figures

Time to combine all the skills you are learning into one complex exercise, a simulation of what you’re going to do when drawing from a reference.

Draw a combination of shapes: squares, circles, rectangles, lines. Then copy the figure as accurately as possible.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 14

This exercise:

  • combines all the previously practiced skills
  • is a simulation of 1:1 reference copying
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 15

9. Copy and Scale Combined Figures

Again, draw a combination of various shapes. This time don’t copy it directly; instead, scale all the components at the same degree.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 16

This exercise:

  • combines all the previously practiced skills
  • is a simulation of scaled copying—the case when it’s the easiest to lose proportions
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 17

10. Copy and Rotate Combined Figures

Draw a combination of shapes. Copy all the components, this time rotating them all by the same degree. Be very, very careful!

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 18

This exercise:

  • combines all the previously practiced skills
  • trains you for seeing proportions even in a disturbed reference
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 19

11. Copy, Scale, and Rotate Combined Figures

Draw a combination of shapes. Copy the components, transforming them all in two ways: scaling and rotating. Paradoxically, you may find it easier than the previous exercise!

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 20

This exercise:

  • greatly engages all kinds of mind-muscles
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 21

12. Copy, Scale, and Rotate Smooth Shapes

Let’s finish this session with a very strong accent. Draw a simple, smooth shape. Transform it in all the ways: copy 1:1, scale, rotate, and combine the transformation.

how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 22

This exercise:

  • is extremely hard!
  • greatly engages all kinds of mind-muscles
  • is a good final exercise—when all the previous ones become boring, this one will stay challenging
how to draw proportions precise lines copy references 23

Good Job!

That was the second stage. Make sure to stay here for longer—these aren’t easy exercises, and the harder they are for you, the more important it is to work through them. Give yourself as much time as needed, and even more than this!

How can you tell when to stop? When these exercises become boring, but not in an unenjoyable-boring way—rather I-can-do-it-with-my-eyes-closed boring. 

The next step after mastering them is to draw from a reference. However, keep in mind it won’t become completely trivial. It depends on how much work you’ve put into these exercises, and what you’ve learned from them. 

So, this was about drawing from a reference. Next time we’re going to look into drawing from imagination!

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You can print this image for a quick reminder of all the exercises

How to Create an Instagram Story Cover: Photoshop in 60 Seconds

Post pobrano z: How to Create an Instagram Story Cover: Photoshop in 60 Seconds

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Organize your Instagram stories with beautiful covers! Check out this video below!

Photoshop in 60 Seconds: Instagram Story Cover

Making a creative Instagram profile is a really easy way to get more followers. Now you can organize your favorite stories with clever covers on your profile. This video will show you
how to create three easy covers using awesome gradient backgrounds and fine-line icons.

Watch the steps unfold and get all the details you need in the process below. Check out more amazing backgrounds and resources on Envato Elements.

How to Create an Instagram Story Cover

First set up your document. Open a New Document at 1080 x 1920 pixels, the perfect size for Instagram.

Instagram size

Now decide which color or graphic you want to use for the cover’s background. For an easy result, simply Fill a New Layer with any color using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

But for a more creative route, I’ll use one of these beautiful Gradient Backgrounds from Envato Elements. Copy and Paste the background onto a New Layer and position it in place using the Move Tool (V).

Add a gradient background

Now add the categories. Download a Fineline Icon Pack and use the icons to define each category. Here I’ll add the Instagram logo for Instagram templates, a music icon for my favorite music, and the sun icon for lifestyle posts.

Add the category icons

Position each icon in the center of the graphic and upload the result to Instagram.  Then go to your profile and create new covers for your Instagram stories.

Here is the final result.

Ig story cover

Learn More With Our Tutorials!

Inspired to learn more cool tips for Instagram? Start with one of our Photoshop
tutorials! Create fun and inspiring graphics to post on all your social media profiles.

Get Amazing Design Resources

Want to create videos like this? Download the resources used in this video:

Check out these tutorials to learn more from our experts:

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